These days, customers expect you to be everywhere they are – and they are literally everywhere.
They’re using 2-5 devices at a time, they’re on multiple social networks, they read blogs, walk into stores, and want to communicate with you one-on-one via phone, email, SMS, and chat – just to name a few.
How do you handle it, and use it to your advantage?
Embrace the Omnichannel Customer Experience
Customers’ increasing need to be served wherever they want, however they want, and whenever they want can be overwhelming. But that’s how people shop these days.
If you want to develop your business into a referral machine, you need to get creative and measure up to your customers’ new expectations.
Differentiate Multi-Channel Customer Experience from Omnichannel Customer Experience
Many businesses are already reacting to this phenomenon. They’re looking for raving fans – and they’re start showing up everywhere, too.
They are launching their own apps, blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, live chat services, advertising their phone number, their website, and opening profiles on every possible social media platform – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it…
They think that just by being on all these platform, they’re giving customers what they want, and then get frustrated when they don’t bring in new referral opportunities.
But what these businesses are doing is adopting a multi-channel approach to customer experience, and they often show up differently on each platform.
By contrast, an omnichannel customer experience refers to a unified customer experience. No matter where or how the customer interacts with you, an omnichannel approach makes them feel like they’re getting a consistent experience in terms of service quality and the value they get from communicating with you.
Provide an Omnichannel (Not a Multi-Channel) Customer Experience
Think of it as a brand voice. If you’re sociable and funny during in-person meetings, you want to make customers laugh on every platform – whether they talk to you directly on the phone or browse through your Instagram photos.
If customers are inspired by you for your optimism, consider how that should affect your app design, your Twitter profile header, and the content of your blog posts.
True, we all act a little different depending on the situation we’re in, but we’re still the same person. Customers need to feel like there’s a coherent business personality and approach at every contact point for them to start getting attached… and for them to trust you.
Only customers who like and trust you will send you referrals. Embracing an omnichannel approach is a great way to earn referrals, because most small businesses aren’t providing this type of experience for their customers.
Remember that Quality Matters More than Quantity
That’s why, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter that you’ll show up on every single platform imaginable. If you don’t run a major corporation, you shouldn’t expect to act like you have the same publishing power of one.
It’s much better to take it one step at a time, master one platform, and only then add others, while staying consistent across all platforms you’re active on.
What really matters to customers who send you referrals is to know that you’ll put their referred friends or colleagues first. The way to do that is to tailor your messages, your colors, your brand personality, and how you show up in client communications not only to who you are, but mostly to who your customers are and what they need most from your brand to realize their dreams.