What Does Channel-agnostic Mean?
‘Channel-agnostic’ means the customer experience is seamless. It doesn’t matter which channel the customer uses, but rather that their brand experience is consistent, easy and enjoyable.
Here’s what it looks like: Let’s say you’re reading a blog about a new restaurant. Your curiosity is piqued, and you want to book a reservation. You find a link within the blog post to reserve a table. There's also options to do the same by clicking to a Facebook or Instagram post.
The journey of the blog post reader seeing a restaurant review to sitting down at that same restaurant and enjoying a meal is simple, seamless and hassle-free.
What’s the Difference between Channel-agnostic and Omnichannel?
The omnichannel customer journey has received a great deal of ink, but it’s not the same as a channel-agnostic customer journey.
Here’s the difference: the omnichannel customer journey is designed to include all possible touchpoints and channels for a positive customer experience, while a channel-agnostic experience means that the customer experience is the same regardless of the channel.
‘The channel-agnostic customer journey means the customer experience is the same, regardless of the channel.’
We’ll go back to our previous example. In an omnichannel customer journey, reading the blog post about the new restaurant would trigger a browser-based marketing campaign (you’d see ads for the restaurant on other sites within the same browser). The omnichannel customer journey doesn’t necessarily take you straight to where you want to go, which is booking a table at this new restaurant; it’s about stretching the customer experience across touchpoints.
On the other hand, the channel-agnostic customer journey shows customers that businesses know what they want. It’s fast, efficient, and enjoyable.
How Can Businesses Create a Channel-agnostic Customer Journey?
Businesses create a customer journey that puts the customer front and centre by:
- Rethinking their customer journey strategy
- Using the right technology
- Analysing data to assess how the customer journey is going
Rethinking Your Customer Journey Strategy
To satisfy your customers, you have to rethink your current customer journey strategy. For many marketers, their customer journey is segmented by channel: there’s a team that handles SMS, another which handles social, another which handles emails, and so on. That approach doesn't put the customer first, though.
It’s not about sharing information through a variety of channels; rather, it’s about thinking, ‘Does the customer want this information? Will sharing this information create a better customer experience?’ .
You may need to reorganise your teams so that messages are no longer siloed into channels, but delivered to customers when they need them most.
Here's an example: Richard walks past his favourite shop and receives a text message that a sale is on. The text message contains a link that takes him directly to a coupon for 20% off his next purchase. The journey from seeing a sale to accessing an inducement to buy something is quick and easy for Richard - he doesn't receive the same message several times through email, ads in his browser, texts, etc.
Using the Right Technology
Supporting a successful customer transaction requires technology that achieves three things:
- It breaks down information silos and centralises customer data
- It allows you to personalise your messages to customers
- It goes beyond surface-level personalisation to make messages meaningful and relevant
Break Down Information Silos to Centralise Customer Data
A successful customer journey relies upon a 360° view of your customer. You need a deep understanding of who the customer is, how that person has interacted with you in the past, and where they are in their customer journey right now.
Sometimes, that information is stored in various locations throughout the organisation. It needs to be centralised, so you gain a deeper understanding of the customer, what he or she wants, and when he or she needs information from you.
'Customer information should be centralised, so businesses understand what customers want'
We'll illustrate with another example: for Dan's birthday, his favourite bookstore sends him a coupon for the next book in the series he's been reading. This demonstrates to Dan that the bookstore is in tune with what he likes and wants, making him more likely to shop there.
Personalise Messages to Customers
The best customer journey is a personalised one. Every channel the customer uses should deliver a customer experience that’s tailored to that specific customer.
Choosing the right marketing software automates personalisation to allow you to customise content at scale. You don’t sacrifice human touch, even while you're reaching many customers.
Go Beyond Surface-level Personalisation with Relevant, Meaningful Content
Personalisation isn’t just about putting a customer’s name into the salutation field - think ‘Dear Amanda’ chain emails. It can go quite a bit deeper, making the content you share with customers relevant and meaningful. Moreover, marketing automation allows you to do it at scale.
Personalising content is about understanding where a customer is in their customer journey, and tailoring content to ensure it’s relevant to their experience. For example, if you visit a site for a second time, you wouldn’t want to be asked to sign up for the company’s newsletter again - especially if you’ve already signed up for it.
‘Personalisation is about understanding where a customer is in the customer journey and tailoring content for relevance.’
In addition, the content should come at the right time and contain helpful information. Let’s say you were in the market for CRM software. You contact a couple of vendors, and they send you marketing materials; one vendor sends you a white paper on how CRMs can be used for upselling opportunities, while another sends a blog post on one of their products that’s related to, but isn’t, a CRM. You’ll choose the vendor that sent the white paper, because they understand what you need.
Analysing Data to Assess How the Customer Journey Is Going
Analytics offer insight into the success of your customer journey. They help you understand how customers interact with your marketing messages as well as what steps they take after receiving those messages.
Thanks to developments in technology, marketers can reap the benefits of AI-powered analytics which learn about customers and what matters to them, so you can better target them.
Improve Your Customer Journey with Enlighten Designs
Since 1998, Enlighten Designs has delivered amazing digital experiences to customers. The combination of our knowledge, expertise, and partnerships with Microsoft and Sitecore enable us to create better customer journeys for our clients. To learn more about improving the user experience with personalisation, download Sitecore's free white paper.