Saturday, June 10, 2006

Expertise Day at the HU FCJ (3)

One on the experts from outside the HU College was Ruud van Hilten, who works for OB10, a company delivering electronic invoices. The company is involved in channel delivery and has built up quite some experience in multi-channel delivery, but also cross-channel delivery. And he expressed his experience by a fear statement on the title page of his sheets: heading for the Grand Canyon at 140 mph with your eyes closed.

He tried to bring home the business of multi-channel marketing by stating what usually went wrong. And the reader will recognise it from his/her own experience. You get a sales SMS in the morning at 10 o’clock; exactly at a moment that you do not have time for it or are just in a meeting. And when you have arrived home in the evening and the potatoes are damping on the table, you are called by a call center, ‘advising’ (= selling) you pension facilities, a mortgage or a newspaper.

Yet people are channel agnostic; they do not care about channels. They could not care less about multi-channel delivery and the problems involved; in fact about a single supplier with multi products and multi support problems. Of course companies are trying to solve this with self service. You do all the keying work or you search for an answer yourself. Of course for a company self service is a way to get address details, but it is no way to solve problems; it is in fact a way to avoid communication with the customer. The worse the self service is the worse is the response from the customer. Increased visibility and accessibility will drive incremental response.

Multi-channel is already a difficulty, but cross channel delivery is even worse. A chain with many shops and many products from various sources is a league by itself. Ruud pointed to an US company, but I guess that Amazon can also be called a cross-channel company. Cross-channel delivery requires a fine tuned business process. And the dangers of cross-channel in a not fine-tuned business environment are great: loss of consistency, confusion, loss of satisfaction, ad-hoc management. In the worst case it will end up like heading for the Grand Canyon at 140 mph with your eyes closed.

Tags: ,

Blog Posting Number: 404

No comments: