May 25, 2010

Consumer Multi-Channel Experiences

What can a faulty commute teach us about relationship marketing?

This morning the New York City number 1 southbound subway train stalled at 116th st, for about a mile. After being stationary for 5 minutes, we passengers got frustrated. The transit system responded with alternatives; a bus to the next free station, a mile south a 96th st.

New Yorkers reacted in alternate ways: some sat and waited, steaming or confused. Others piled into crowded buses southbound. Some hailed an expensive taxi. Finally, a large pack, including myself, saw the bright sunny morning and decided to walk for 20 blocks downtown, enjoy the weather and get healthy exercise.

So too with acquisition campaigns for relationship marketing. They need multi channel response vehicles (web, phone, text, and sometimes even mail?) to allow for alternate consumer preferences for their experiences. The multiple channels also provide backup coverage in case.of a temporary fault.

Of course, efficiency in your CRM system is still a valid concern, as it is for the Metro Transit Authority. Measure each response channel for throughput on its funnels, and monitor for quality control to keep faults and delays to a minimum.