The digital world is constantly changing, and new ways of contacting customers are emerging. Companies like Impressorium, Inc. are leveraging communication channels to improve relationships for printers to serve their clients with new ways to drive their business profitability. Focusing on communication channels such as text, voice, video, smart speakers, chats, AI, and more (oh my) allows brands to reach their specific audience more efficiently.
One of the factors that characterize the modern consumer is that they have access to instantaneous information and are interested in convenient communication. Brands that seek to satisfy their customers and offer convenience utilize channels that best support their target customers. However, a channel that would work perfectly for one group of customers may not always work with a different group, based on demographics, behaviors, and geographical locations.
A consumer may prefer online chat when tracking a package but will want to use a voice channel if the package was delivered to the wrong address. Therefore, a company must choose a channel strategy that will work well with different customers and in different situations.
Omni-Channel Compared to Multi-Channel
For several years, you have heard about omnichannel, and multi-channel used as approaches to serve the customer contact space better. On one hand, omnichannel is the ability to seamlessly transfer a conversation and the context from one channel to another to provide a smooth and consistent customer experience. On the other hand, multi-channel involves offering different communication channels separately without considering the context of the conversation.
Omni-channel always gives the customer a better experience with a brand. They can switch between the different communication channels while addressing the same issue with the company. For brands, combining omnichannel and multi-channel allows them to offer customer’s most convenient and preferred channel. This has seen businesses introducing different communication fronts for the customers, including email and voice, online chat, texting, and smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
What about the Opti-Channel Approach?
Given the benefits and efficiency of the omnichannel approach, it has become a norm for many businesses. Customers get to pick up conversations from where they left off despite the channel they are using, while companies get to address each customer issue more efficiently. The major challenge is that companies are left checking boxes rather than prioritizing and designing the customer journey. Consequently, what the companies offer does not correlate with what the customers want, and that is true for most print service providers telling you to use their platform to get more business, or ever try selling it to your customers.
To address these issues and ensure customers are given options on what they choose, the Opti-channel approach emerged. The Opti-channel approach is an improvement of the omnichannel approach. In an Opti-channel, the brand utilizes data to offer customers the channel they could prefer for a specific situation. Available data such as past channel choice and the task to be completed allow brands to recommend the most appropriate channel for the customers.
The Opti-channel approach aims at simplifying the customer contact process. For instance, the craze of smart speakers has seen many people using them in their everyday life. However, if you have customers who do not use smart speakers, offering them the channel will only distract their customer journey. Perhaps chatting or texting would be more idea.
Opti-channel offers a better way of communicating with customers without distracting their journey. The aim is to allow customers to engage with the brand using the most convenient channel for them. With the Opti-channel approach, brands can bridge the gap between what is good for the company and what the customers want. Instead of focusing on the perceived best channel, brands now need to focus more on what the customers want to streamline the communication process.