How to Create an Effective Cross-Channel Engagement Strategy

by Guest Author on January 9, 2020

in Guest Posts

What is Cross-Channel Engagement?

Cross-channel engagement entails combining multiple communication channels so you can track your customer demographics and strategically engage your target market. 

Customer engagement must be the focal point of your cross-channel engagement strategy. This means creating buyer personas, tracking a customer’s journey, discovering pain points and more. With the right omnichannel strategy, you and your team can increase product sales, customer retention, and lead conversion rates.

Interconnecting Your Communication channels 

The five primary channels marketers use to interact with their consumers are:

  • Phone Calls

  • Email

  • Live Chat

  • Social media

  • Internet (website, paid ads)

Interconnecting your communication channels is the first step to building your list of prospects, engaging new customer demographics and effectively engaging with your target market. For instance, an integrated phone and CRM system helps a business understand its ideal customer behaviour and easily identify the source of each lead. 

Phone Calls

Establishing a business phone line creates a channel of communication between your sales reps, prospects and clients. Phone calls provide businesses with direct contact and instant feedback; a valuable resource for sales and marketing teams. According to NUACOM Cloud Phone System, “When a prospect is identified, make your sales call within the first minute… As the contact attempts grow, the likelihood of converting a lead decreases.” Time is a critical factor when converting a lead into a customer.

Cloud-based phone systems, such as NUACOM, typically include a user portal, an IVR (interactive voice response) menu to set up your call flow, and can integrate with a variety of communication channels. Integrated phone and CRM systems let you access a complete timeline of every conversation recorded via phone, email, or live chat. If you do not interconnect your communication channels, you are at risk of losing ‘hot leads’ due to the lack of documented engagement in your CRM.

Email

Email is another important channel for sending commercial messages, software updates, sharing published content, and more. Email marketing platforms, such as ActiveCampaign, help you identify prospects, leads, and customers then send targeted messages to each group. Beyond email marketing, ActiveCampaign offers other services like sales automation and a CRM software platform. 

Comparably, HubSpot is another widely used platform for email management, marketing automation, and CRM software. HubSpot Sales lets you track how many recipients viewed your email, develop custom email sequences, and rotate leads through automated sales tasks. It also has a live chat feature to engage prospects viewing your website. 

Live Chat

Live chat software lets you communicate with your web page viewers and identify prospects through a messaging platform while they’re exploring your website. So how does it work? Well, whenever a new visitor is browsing your website, your agents will receive an instant notification. Then, they can engage the website viewer with a pop-up chat box, answer all of their questions and determine if they are lead or not. 

If you do not have a sales team to manage your live chat conversations, don’t worry. Many live chat software providers, such as Intercom, have conversational bots that will automatically engage with your viewers. Intercom also has native integrations with Facebook, Salesforce, HubSpot, and many more so you can easily interconnect your communication channels. 

Social Media

Some of the most useful social media platforms are either free to use or widely overlooked. For example, Facebook Messenger is a free communication channel businesses can use to interact with over a billion active monthly users. With Facebook for Business, you can create targeted ads and activate a bot to start conversations in Messenger to promote your business. 

Similarly, LinkedIn provides a channel for businesses to communicate with prospects on a professional level. LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to quickly filter through user profiles, target potential leads, and syncs with your CRM. Social media channels are great for building your list of prospects and enable you to reach new target audiences. 

Internet

To increase your discoverability, you should purchase a domain name that correlates to your product/service and building an interactive website for your target market. Once you finish creating your web pages and filling your website with relevant content, the next step is to advertise your brand with Google Ads. This will help interconnect your channels by displaying advertisements or special offers on Google that correlate with your website, social media posts, email campaigns and sales calls. 

Keep in mind, consumers are bombarded with ads on Google, Facebook, and almost every social media platform. So it’s important to carefully map out your business engagement strategy. You need to tactfully interact with prospects across multiple channels, consider how each interaction will affect their decision to buy, and don’t scare them away by being too persistent. 

How Subscription-Based Businesses Affect Customer Engagement

The ‘one-time payment’ business model is becoming obsolete. Stanford Business reports that the market for subscription-based businesses has exploded, increasing from “$57 million in sales in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016.” Well-organized engagement strategies are a necessity if you want to compete in this inflated market. For instance, here is a common customer journey when searching for a product or solution via the Internet:

  1. Engage Web Browser and enter keywords int0 search engine,  

  2. Click on the top paid Ad or organic search result,

  3. Enter company website and engage with a sales rep via live chat,

  4. Fill out form for free demo, trial or quote,

  5. Get an automated follow-up email,

  6. Receive phone call from the company’s sales rep,

  7. Buy subscription-based software/service or decline,

  8. Receive the company’s targeted ads on social media,

  9. Repeat the cycle. 

If you want to convert your prospects into paying customers, it’s vital to create a cohesive cross-channel strategy and record each stage of the engagement cycle.

Establishing Consistency between Your Communication Channels

Many organisations have several teams engaging with customers on different channels. So, establishing a unified message is important for consistency. Consider how your product and/or service is the solution to your customer pain points. For example, if I’m selling accounting software, my target audience’s pain point would be manual paperwork, hand-written errors and inaccurate data. My product solution would be to automatically generate invoices and reduce these tedious tasks. 

If you add a new feature to your product or update your terms of service, make sure it’s consistent across multiple channels. If you are in the retail industry and offering a 50% discount on all your summer merchandise, communicate this across every marketing channel (social media, paid ads, company website).

Similarly, when you send an email to your clients about the latest developments in your business, ensure that the same message is posted on your website and social media. Don’t forget to update your sales team with the latest information on your communication channels.

Guest article written by: Madison O’Connell, a Content Marketing Specialist. She works for NUACOM – a Cloud Phone System provider that allows organizations around the world to access premium VoIP and Call Center features. 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna Maj January 9, 2020 at 16:46

Thank you for this helpful information! Can wait to implement some of these tactics on my blog. Cheers.

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Chuks Lentora January 9, 2020 at 16:57

Insightful thanks for sharing. I have been trying to do this but one challenge I have now is how to organise email support in such a way that it can be tracked by any member of the team so that if the initial person that responded is not available another person can take over without having to access the other person’s email account.

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