America’s Customer Festival 2015: LIVE FROM THE EVENT- Omnichannel Engagement

In Customer Engagement, Multichannel, Omnichannel by Kim Xrossing

Omnichannel Engagement at America’s Customer Festival

A successful omnichannel experience starts with “Why.” Kristen Zavo, Director of Insight, Innovation, Marketing, and Strategy, Luxottica Group started her keynote address with a bang.

Kristen explained the theory of the “golden circle” with three rings- what, how, and why. Giving your customers the answer to “why do we exist” in the very beginning works because you inspire, but not manipulate them. You draw a connection and belonging as well as maintain trust and loyalty.

The omnichannel experience sometimes gets a bit complicated when dealing with all of the different channels. We can easily get lost in the process, but Kristen reminds us that the main focus should always be the customer no matter what distraction. Some of the top omnichannel challenges include:

  • inconsistent experience across channels
  • competing prices, sometimes at the same store
  • too much, poorly-timed or counterproductive communication
  • irrelevant channels

It’s important to give customers a reason beyond our products/services to buy with us and not elsewhere. A great example Kristen pointed out was the average woman who tries on 500 shoes in the store only to decide to buy it cheaper somewhere else online. It’s an unfortunate situation for that physical store, but that’s the challenge in maintaining a customer through more than just the product.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” –Kristen Zavo

Amit Bhardwaj, Senior Director of Customer Loyalty, Marsh Supermarkets then follows her with his address on determining what points of the customer journey your company needs to engage.

We are in a state today where we went from touch points to constantly being in touch. The mobile enables the customer to be in touch at any time. It also, however, empowers shoppers to shut out providers with a simple click or a swipe. With this said, discerning intent is critical and so is fulfilling this intent. Context and proximity are game changers. About 45% of people respond to proximity initiated message vs the 9% that respond to a traditional message. This is typically when an app reminds you of a certain something that is within your proximity and gives you the intent to purchase as opposed to waiting for the purchase on its own.

Amit lastly brings up the enhancing touch points- the “and” factor including:

  • Click & Brick
  • Pull & Push
  • Value & Utility

Toni Jones, Director of Digital Marketing and Customer Experience, U-Haul International gave her speech on celebrating customers’ moving experience by engaging in their entire journey.

The U-Haul customer journey when moving starts with decision to move –> planning the move–> packing–> moving day–> unpacking. What U-Haul figured out was which social media was being used during the moving process. For instance Twitter is used a lot when deciding to move while Instagram is used tremendously during moving day.

There’s something about driving a big U-Haul truck… Customers love this phase and they love taking selfies! U-Haul decided to make a massive collage of U-Haul customer pictures and place it all over their branded trucks within each customers hometown. “Share your U-Haul moments” became famous. They had over 18,000 photos submitted to date and 6,000 trucks imaged with customer photos making it an overall successful project.

For the close of America’s Customer Festival 2015, Perrin Lawrence, Manager of Social Media Marketing and Audience Development, The New York Times gave us her insight on how social media can improve the customer journey.

What she learned this year about the digital age: Life back in 1995 was quite simple. Now, the news is so spread out through different sources, it’s hard to keep up with all the noise and avoid FOMO (fear of missing out). The New York Times needed to engage with their customers on a higher level. To catch up with the changing digital age, it was important to meet the customer at the digital doorstep.

One of the biggest steps they took was to understand timing and when the customers have a particular feeling to a specific topic in the news. Second big step was to set up a more accessible presentation. Lastly, the location of where the news is being shared is absolutely important to how the consumer views your brand and how exposed you become.

A tip Perrin shared is to experiment constantly. The consumer is constantly changing so by staying ahead of the game, it’s crucial to keep the tests running. Another important tip is to keep data at the center. The ultimate way to keep a reader-centric approach is by continuing to understand each stage a customer runs through and how to address them during each stage. This is truly how you address a customer in a digital age.

If you missed out on this year’s America’s Customer Festival, make sure you’re there next year and don’t experience FOMO!