How and when customers receive information is just as important as the content and purpose of the correspondence. Utilizing channels strategically requires that the delivery method itself − print, mobile, or online − is based on a set of rules crafted to help meet the company’s business goals.
Going to the effort of customizing content only to issue it using the same method for everyone leaves a lot of potential value on the table. It doesn’t take into consideration what the most effective channel might be, and can result in customers questioning just how much the company really knows about them − or cares. Not understanding and acting on something as simple as customer preferences puts their loyalty at risk and valuable opportunities to share important information are completely missed.
Here are two key considerations when implementing a multi-channel correspondence strategy:
Content Access & Usability
Today there is more content than ever before, but that does not automatically translate into its usability across channels. In fact, the addition of channels such as web and mobile in many ways has contributed to the growth of content that is not available beyond its original purpose. Over time, data and content silos are created and as a result, the practice of serving up certain types of communications using one channel over another because each has its own unique content libraries.
Centralizing content is important because it provides the access point needed to share a wide range of company resources. Usability, and along with it re-usability, is a second aspect and is achieved in how the content is managed. Metadata and versioning for example can help determine how a discrete piece of content should be used and can also play an important role in determining the best output channel.
Dynamic Output Workflows
Handling delivery channels as a dynamic step in the workflow transitions them from an output tactic to part of the company’s communication strategy. What is the best channel? The answer is always different in each case and rules-based workflows provide the capability to make that happen. It can also mean that more than one channel is used to deliver the information to the same person. Dynamic workflows have the added benefit of automating processes which shortens time-to-market making the communication more relevant and effective.
Companies adopting the strategic view can truly leverage multi-channel correspondence by expanding capabilities to act on information as a whole, in real time, and equally across channels.