Sarah Stealey Reed
Published: September 12, 2013 | Comments
Have you ever thought about all the ways that a company can engage with you? Have you considered all the channels that they use to build a customer experience? Take a hotel for example - from the website, to the reservation agent, the confirmation email, the valet greeting your taxi, the front desk staff, to the television screen in your room mentioning you by name – regardless of whether it’s automated or human; it’s all intertwined. A good brand knows there is an opportunity to consistently engage with you at every level and create a memorable experience that lasts well after you’ve check out.
The MGM Grand Detroit has been a surprising experience.
Making Multichannel Memorable
I am spending the week at the Customer Response Summit in Detroit and much of the conversation has been around multichannel. Simply said, multichannel is providing more than one option for a customer to reach an organization. Multichannel customer service isn’t just about adding new channels, it’s about providing the support opportunity that delivers the most effective service and provides the highest customer engagement.
The consideration and planning of a multichannel support structure is mostly being driven by the customer adoption of emerging channels like social, mobile, and advanced self-service. This reactive versus proactive approach is often catching enterprises ‘off-guard’ and not allowing them to harness the true engagement power of the new channels, or of the connected customer.
With customers having more options than ever, how can organizations best leverage channels for customer engagement?
This morning I was listening to a presentation from Jay Farner, the President/CMO of Quicken Loans. They rightfully consider themselves a ‘Customer Service’ company and he outlined the strategies that drive their growth and help support their multichannel philosophy.
- Bridge the gap between departments and teams
- Create better experiences through alignment
- Focus on research and feedback
The Problem with Customer Feedback
Any of us that provide a service or product understand that customer feedback is vital. Unfortunately, feedback only comes after the customer experience has already happened. This not only puts the organization on the defensive, but often leaves the customer with a less than meaningful resolution. Let’s face it, there is only so much a brand can really do once the damage to the customer is done. You can’t take the experience back; you can only improve upon it. Feedback therefore is often less for the person providing it, and more for the company to prevent it from happening again.
One of the biggest challenges for an organization is leveraging customer feedback in real-time and reacting in a way that creates instant engagement. Social media and mobile arguably provide an exceptional opportunity to accomplish this, which is why a multichannel strategy should really be considered. According to our most recent research, only 23% of enterprises feel their customers are extremely engaged with their brand. That leaves a lot of opportunity left on the table.
MGM Grand Detroit Knows Multichannel Engagement
Over the last few days I’ve had the pleasure of staying at the MGM Grand Detroit. While I wasn’t expecting anything to go array, I also wasn’t anticipating anything spectacular. I was wrong. From a traditional engagement standpoint, they hit all the standards, but it was MGM’s unexpected usage of social media and mobile that surprised me.
On the first morning of my stay I was in need of a healthy breakfast. So after my workout I went on a quest and sadly came up empty-handed. As I was walking back through the casino I sent out a quick tweet about my satisfaction with the gym, and my less than happiness about the dining options. I was not actually expecting a response; rather it is just my nature to publically share my experience. Shortly thereafter the hotel tweeted me back and told me about some healthy options they had recently added in one of their restaurants. They even sent me a link to the menu.
Ok, that was pretty cool. But it didn’t end there. Later that afternoon the MGM followed back up and let me know that the poolside menu also had some menu items I might appreciate. Along with that they introduced me to their spa. At no time did I feel pressured to use their onsite services; rather I loved that they had introduced me to outlets and options that I may not have previously considered.
Here’s where things really became interesting. In the last response they utilized the #crsummit hashtag from the conference I was attending, even though I never told them why I was staying at their hotel. That meant they had done their homework on me and knew how to properly personalize my experience.
My favorite part of all these interactions? The component that really impressed me? After that last tweet, the MGM started following me on Instagram and began commenting on photos and postings from the conference. They were not only interacting with me on a personal level, but also at my community level. That is extreme engagement.
Would YOU Go Back to YOU?
The MGM Grand in Detroit is indeed doing multichannel right and ensuring that all their customer touch-points are consistently positive. They are also utilizing social and mobile as great tools of engagement. I of course went back to social to thank them and received a reply from not just @MGMGrandDetroit, but the voice behind the handle, @hmcdonald. Well done to you both.
Of equal interest was a response I received from a fellow lover of the customer experience @businessgp. He paraphrased my experience like this, “Spot on. Ensure you make me want more before I’ve even had it all. Would you go back to you?”
Would you go back to you? What a glorious question to ask about the service you, your company, and your experience provides. Would you go back to you? To me, this engagement metric sounds better than any NPS or CSAT score. Would you go back to you?