Why omnichannel strategies need good humans behind them

Omnichannel has long been a buzzword in the furniture and mattress industry. But when does a buzzword become something more permanent? 

For many, an omnichannel strategy is no longer an option — it’s a necessity. To succeed, you have to make the best of both technology and person-to-person customer service. 

Look how much market share physical retailers lost when DTC brands took the industry by storm around 10 years ago. And look how many DTC brands are now rushing into brick-and-mortar stores because they are finding that a solely online presence doesn’t promote growth.

An interesting example of how omnichannel works comes from a story posed by Liam Chase, founder of Tensel and Doorswing — two growth platforms that leverage reviews, SMS campaigns and more for marketing. 

He said he helped a retailer convert a prospect who replied “Stop” to an SMS campaign to a $2,000 ticket. With a quick and friendly call, Chase found out about her needs and helped her find a sleep system that worked for her. 

He offered this advice: “Next time someone opts out of your SMS campaigns, don’t get disheartened. Simply give them a call, figure out what got them reaching out in the first place, figure out their pain, and give them the benefits they need to know to be enticed enough to show up, so you can help them sleep deeper and dream sweeter.”

In this real-life example, technology was used to connect the customer with the retailer and eventually get them to come into the store to purchase.

On the other hand, some may say that being too aggressive when someone opts out of a campaign can lead to a lost customer for life, which has merit. However, it’s all about the way it’s carried out by a real human being.

If you were to call this customer and immediately try to sell them or ask them what you can do to get the sale, they would be irritated that you’re trying too hard.

But if you simply called to say that you’re sorry to see them opt out and hope that before they go they can let you know of anything you can do better as a store, that gives them an option to speak up and it doesn’t push them to buy. You can even leave this as a message if they don’t answer.

Technology is a great way to start a connection with customers, but human contact — whether it’s in-person or by phone — and giving the customer an opportunity to weigh in is the most valuable way to bring it all home. 

If a customer makes it clear they are no longer interested in communication, there are ways you can salvage the relationship with one final form of contact. Just remember that you can’t be pushy, your end goal is to help them, and if they say they’re not interested during this communication, politely end the conversation and move on.

There is a balance needed when it comes to an omnichannel strategy. And though technology makes things easier today than they were 15 years ago, the tried-and-true in-person strategy will always be needed.

Alex Milstein

Alex Milstein is the Editor in Chief of Casual News Now and Bedding News Now. He previously served as senior editor of both Casual Living and Designers Today, and covered technology for Furniture Today, with a focus on augmented reality, e-commerce, and 3D visualization.

View all posts by Alex Milstein →

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