The lines are getting blurry between the traditional business categories that separate things like customer service, reputation management, and marketing. This is because technology is increasing to the point where a business will need to be a cohesive experience for customers or they will go somewhere else.
The term “omni-channel” is used to express the way that business operates within channels online and off. We have many opportunities to interact with a business because the lines of geographical location and access are erased for much of the population.
This is very apparent in retail, with the current omni-channel expectations of consumers armed with a smartphone and not afraid to use it to research products while waiting in line. Those same researchers may later access a store’s site and make a purchase after they have visited the brick&mortar establishment to see if it fits. Blurry lines being crossed by an individual expecting a positive experience no matter which channel they access — that’s the expectation of today’s retail customer.
But retailers aren’t the only businesses seeing this blurring in their siloed operations. People expect a consistent, positive experience from a business at every touchpoint. As a business moves online in social media and other forms of digital outreach, that consistency becomes essential.
Customer Experience Is Powerful
We’ve all seen poor customer experience go viral online and erase a carefully built brand. Social media has put the power of marketing into the hands of the volunteer — the person who experiences the business and decides to express themselves online.
Reputation management, customer experience, and marketing aren’t different departments without overlap. The lines are blurred because the customer is in control of their interaction with your business. The way you manage your social media outreach had better mesh with the mission of your business, motivation of your marketing, and capabilities of your customer service reps. It all fits together, and the customer is the one who has the power to put the pieces together to make their own experience.