An omnichannel experience that makes the customer experience seamless across all channels of interaction is increasingly important. Many education professionals have experienced more of this approach to marketing, sales and general relationship management in their personal and professional lives in recent years. That means it's not just an advantage when encountered, it's increasingly an expectation.
Understanding current omnichannel trends helps your business become more effective, from first contact to a sale. Let's look at a few current and important omnichannel considerations.
Everything from same-day shipping to strong growth in food delivery services is evidence of increasing customer expectations for fast, positive responses to purchases, inquiries and other actions. Statistics from Google show searches for the terms "24/7" and "customer service" together grew 400 percent between 2016 and 2018. While such a level of support may not be feasible for your business due to the costs of maintaining always-open customer service center, there are some important takeaways to keep in mind.
Your business should look to provide as much information as is reasonable to customers. This includes both static data, such as methods of contact, and dynamic information, like product stocking levels, Google suggested. Allowing customers to make informed decisions is important, whether it's about a purchase or the many other choices that arise during the customer journey. It helps them avoid a number of less-than-positive outcomes, like reaching the checkout page before being informed that a given product is out of stock or isn't available in a sufficient quantity. Because seamless experiences are the driving force behind the omnichannel concept, this is an especially important topic to revisit on a regular basis.
Forbes contributor Fred de Gombert pointed to subscription models as increasingly popular options for businesses and consumers in 2019. Although this isn't a universally applicable approach for all businesses that market to educational professionals, there are some clear potential uses. Companies that offer decorations, activities and other classroom materials can consider a subscription model that varies based on the age of students involved, specific subjects the teacher instructs, seasons, holidays and many other options. This sales strategy can make customers feel like businesses view them as individuals, while also locking in a steady revenue stream for companies.
In a more general sense, using data collected from existing customers can help create a more personalized experience that encourages future interactions. Providing suggestions for future purchases based on accumulated data isn't a groundbreaking concept in 2019, but it remains a powerful one. The value of the omnichannel experience can shift between professionals who do little if any work outside their time in the office - meaning they may not be as interested in the availability of constant points of contact - and teachers and similar staff who often take work home with them. No matter the focus, however, data-driven interactions are always better than standardized, impersonal ones.
To learn more about driving your omnichannel marketing efforts forward, get in touch with Agile today!