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Thoroughly modern multichannel CRM for today's Millies

As technology cycles quicken, expectations for better services and experiences grow. Customers expect faster responses, better information and greater value from vendors. Implementing multichannel CRM

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technology is one way to help ensure that customers get what they want.

Brent Leary

Delta Air Lines is one company that's serious about multichannel customer service. Delta customers can buy flight tickets using laptops, tablets or mobile apps. When it's time to check in, travelers can again use their laptops and print out their own boarding passes at home. They can even use Delta's app to track checked luggage. The app shows which travelers are on the upgrade list and stores receipts from previous trips. Customers can also receive text message notifications if something goes awry with an upcoming flight. Handling travel arrangements from a laptop or mobile device makes customers feel like they have more control -- and they like it, too.

Video game company Kabam has also gone all-in on multichannel: It wanted to gather more customer feedback to improve the gaming experience and retain more customers. Although the company boasted millions of active users, it received very little feedback in an online forum. To get more feedback, Kabam implemented UserVoice help desk software and started interacting with players in the gaming applications. It now gets upwards of 200 contributions weekly, from one gaming forum alone.

For more on multichannel CRM

How social media makes a multichannel contact center stronger

Which metrics should a multichannel contact center use?

Tools that aggregate and analyze social, demographic and transactional information -- such as SAS Visual Analytics and the Adobe Marketing Cloud -- can determine what customers want and the best ways to reach them. Systems that allow companies to communicate with customers across channels, including email, social and text messaging, provide the full context of interactions across departments to provide quick and accurate responses. Examples include Oracle CX, Salesforce Service Cloud, Zendesk and Freshdesk.

To connect with customers, companies have to use attention-grabbing mediums like video and images, optimize them for the right devices and deliver them over the right channels. This gives organizations the best chance to stay connected over time but, more importantly, it opens up avenues that turn one-time buyers into regulars.

This was first published in November 2013

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