Consider this: In a typical day, how many communication channels do you use?

Most of us use several – text, phone, email, Facebook Messenger and possibly more.

Why do we ask? We want to emphasize that no one uses just one channel anymore. We all use multiple ways of communicating, and we all have our preferred channels. About 98% of people in the US use several channels daily, as reported by Forbes.

Do you know who is included in that majority? Your customers.

As more communication channels arrive on the scene, businesses are challenged to establish a consistent presence on all of the channels that their shoppers are using. As a busy business owner yourself, how do you make the time to create an informative and accurate experience for your shoppers across every channel?

More than likely, you already have the digital tools you need to create a stellar communication strategy. But are you using these tools to their full potential? Are you using them together? Campaigns that incorporate three or more channels achieve a 287% higher purchase rate, according to e-commerce marketing platform Omnisend. Blending multiple communication channels into a single, streamlined strategy is known as omnichannel communication.

What is omnichannel communication?
Omnichannel communication means integrating all of your channels into a single strategy to provide unified communication across your branded touchpoints. In other words, you are ensuring your prospects enjoy a seamless experience no matter if they are visiting your website, calling your dealership or reaching out on social media.

How does omnichannel communication work? Instead of viewing each communication channel as a standalone platform, treat them as cogs in a wheel that interlock with each other and keep each shopper’s path to purchase moving forward. Once a prospect interacts with your dealership, any channel you offer now becomes a potential tool to communicate with your team.

While most dealerships make an effort to be available on several platforms, many lack a unified brand standard, and as a result the overall customer experience is fragmented. For example, a dealership may have a great phone strategy but apply hardly any time to answering messages on social media. Or perhaps a prospect exchanges helpful texts with a sales rep but finds that, at the time of their in-store visit, the staff on hand has no knowledge of the previous conversation.

Omnichannel communication goes a long way in leaving a positive impression with your prospects and driving sales opportunities. Think with Google reports that 80% of in-person visits are influenced by omnichannel strategies. This is because omnichannel communication is based on individual preferences, rather than a cookie cutter system, which makes it extremely convenient for prospects to engage with your dealership. Imagine how blown away a customer would be after experiencing a smooth, consistent journey down the path to purchase, culminating in a personalized visit at your dealership!

Launch a Successful Omnichannel Strategy
The success of omnichannel communication hinges on maintaining a consistent customer experience. Here are some tips to uphold consistency across your communication channels:

Choose the right channels. Identify the platforms that your customers prefer (eg, Facebook, text, email, etc.) and start building your presence there.

Align your messaging, objectives and design. Every digital channel should follow your brand guidelines and include the same features and wording to create a sense of familiarity.

Set team expectations. Create a standard for your team to engage and follow up with shoppers – and continually revisit this standard to keep it running smoothly.

Access customer data from one source. Recording and storing data on one platform (your website, for example) allows you to view a lead’s entire journey from start to finish and see the full picture.

Analyze your metrics. Having metrics in place to track the outcome and value of every customer interaction will help you monitor how well your overall strategy is performing.

Omnichannel communication means creating a streamlined experience that connects each of your communication channels together. Maintaining a consistent brand, voice and standard across touchpoints allows shoppers to use the communication channels they like best to enjoy a quality interaction with your dealership. Maintaining a strong, unified communication strategy helps build customer trust and brings you more long-term business.

There is much more to learn about omnichannel communication. We invite you to contact ARI today if you have any questions about creating an omnichannel strategy.