Multichannel marketing isn’t a new concept, but it is one that many businesses struggle to implement.

It throws up a number of different challenges, from tracking customers to joining up marketing activities, so it can be difficult to know where to even being.

During a talk on multichannel optimisation at Econsultancy’s JUMP conference Belron’s group e-business manager Craig Sullivan discussed several issues that brands need to consider as they move towards an effective multichannel strategy.

He said the benefit of multichannel is that it allows brands to get great customer insights, which in turn allows them to build better products and drive higher revenues.

Here we look at two themes from Sullivan’s talk: user testing and cross-channel analytics using phone tracking…

Usability

Sullivan said that usability testing is one of the most important tasks for businesses as they move towards multi or omnichannel.

This is because the experience that a customer has online contributes towards their perception of the brand, so a poorly designed website or app will have wider repercussions besides just losing you online conversions.

The ideal situation is to have a website that makes people delighted at using the service and adheres to brand values, but also makes a profit.

A user-centric design can only be achieved through user testing, which basically means that developers need to be willing to get out of the office and speak to people about new products.

Speaking to consumers about new products has several benefits:

  • Products should get to market faster with lower development costs.
  • It focuses the entire team on what customers need and where the money is.
  • Improving customer satisfaction leads to increased revenue and growth.
  • It should uncover actionable insights that identify pivots or disruptive opportunities.
  • It helps to identify where different channels are connected and how they impact the customer experience.
  • User testing removes any opinion, whim and ego from the design process.

Sullivan recommended two books that discuss user testing; ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ by Steve Krug and ‘Undercover User Experience Design’ by Cennydd Bowles and James Box.

Cross-channel analytics and phone tracking

As part of a multichannel strategy businesses need to allow customers to contact them through whichever channel they want.

As well as email or a call centre, this may include social media, live chat or even a video call.

Not only will this improve customer satisfaction but it also opens up new opportunities for tracking these touch points and analysing consumer behaviour across channels.

Sullivan highlighted call tracking as one way that businesses can improve their multichannel strategy.

This can be implemented simply by allocating each consumer touch point a unique phone number, which then enables companies to evaluate how many calls each channel is driving.

This information can be used to identify what information consumers are looking for when they go online or look through a catalogue and also which channels perhaps aren’t worth investing in. 

Furthermore, Sullivan said that by adding a ‘click to call’ function on mobile sites businesses can track which page the customer was looking at before they called and even which keyword the customer typed into Google.

On desktop Sullivan recommended investing in call analytics which can assign a unique phone number to each visitor to your website.

Then if the customer makes a call you can match the entire journey across the site with the telephone conversation, which can then feed back into the web analytics.

The call centre can even tailor things like the sales messages, promotions and routing based on which webpages the customer had previously been looking at. 

Sullivan said that a lot of these analytics can be implemented for free, but also recommended Infinity Tracking for UK businesses looking for help with their call tracking.