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In February 2012, I published a research report titled Multi-Channel Digital Marketing: Addressing the Why’s and How’s to Achieve Success in the New Era of Customer Engagement. The report answers a question most customer-facing professionals are challenged with: is there a correlation with using more channels and company performance results?

For the purposes of the study, we defined “multi-channel customer engagement programs” as marketing, sales, and/or service activities that take place through four or more channels (e.g., social, mobile, web, and email). The study shows that the company brand serves as glue in connecting these multi-channel client engagement activities. Indeed, based on our data analysis, we noted: “…57% of companies with multi-channel customer engagement programs cite improving brand awareness / strength and relevance as the top goal driving their customer-oriented business activities.

Comparing the performance of companies based on the number of channels they use has created a striking pattern. Businesses that use four or more channels accomplish far greater year-over-year performance improvements in the following customer management and marketing activity measures:

  • Customer retention
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Number of unique visitors to company website
  • Click-through rates

Furthermore, survey results also indicated that as companies increase the number of channels they use from one through four or more, their performance in number of positive mentions through social media channels and Return on Marketing Investments (ROMI) improves following an upward trend.

In October 2013, we performed follow-up research in Omni-Channel Customer Care: Empowered Customers Demand a Seamless Experience, which noted that companies with an omni-channel CEM program experience 91% higher customer retention, 510% higher average profit margin per customer, and 586% higher customer lifetime value to organizations without such programs.

To provide end-user organizations with practical guidance on how achieve such improvements within their multi-channel customer engagement activities the report also identifies several business processes and technologies as key ingredients of success.

Observing the findings above might create an impression that simply adding new channels to the existing mix would result in immediate performance improvements. This would be an inaccurate statement to make as there are myriad factors that determine success. Organizations are advised to carefully study the best practices (both business processes and technologies) highlighted in this research to determine if, and how adding channels to their existing mix would boost their performance to achieve their goals.

Take a look at the Contact Center & Customer Experience Management practice page for more information.

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