What Is Channel Fragmentation And How Does It Impact CX?

Kris Hayes and Meenal Prasad

We’re now undeniably living in the age of customer experience, with CX projected to overtake product and cost as the key brand differentiator by 2020. Meanwhile, customers are willing to spend a price premium of up to 16% for a better experience.

But it’s also the case that connected customers are engaging with brands through more digital channels than ever before.

What is channel fragmentation?

Marketers used to be able to rely on pretty specific media to reach customers: TV, radio, and print. As the Internet evolved, there was another way to reach customers. Enter social media, and suddenly nothing looks like it once did.

This is what’s meant by channel fragmentation – there are so many media, platforms, and channels to message customers that it can be difficult to know which is best for each customer.

Also, keep in mind that channels that are commonly grouped together under a single banner, like social, actually consist of a multitude of different platforms. Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber, Telegram, WhatsApp – these all come with their own opportunities and rules of engagement.

What’s the frequency: The risks of using the wrong channel

Every customer has their own preferred channel. This can depend on age, activity, location, and what they are looking to achieve, but there’s an element of personal preference and urgency that means it’s never completely predictable. But get it wrong, and your CX will suffer.

For example, 49% of customers prefer to receive support via SMS than with a phone call. If the only support option you offer is a phone number, you’re essentially guaranteeing that half your customers will have a poor experience.

It’s no longer just a case of finding the best channel for your brand – but the one that’s best for the customer at the moment they want to connect. This is a huge challenge: how can you possibly hope to anticipate every individual’s wants and needs?

Discover the right channel automatically

Leading multi-channel engagement solutions utilize failover rules that can escalate and move conversations automatically between channels, like push, SMS, and social, based on user preference, data connectivity, and historical response patterns. This is all handled through a single communication interface, providing a customer view that cuts across all channels.

Thresholds can be set by the enterprise, so if a message cannot be delivered or isn’t read or responded to within a certain time, the system will automatically carry over to the next most appropriate channel – and ultimately to SMS, which, with its global availability and acceptance, is the ultimate failover channel.

Intelligent solutions can stop channel fragmentation

Reaching customers on the right channel at the right time delivers superior digital engagement, boosts open and conversion rates, and reduces overall notification costs. And, of course, it helps to improve that all-important customer experience.

Reach your customers when and where they’d like you to. Download the paper today

This article originally appeared on Future of Customer Engagement and Experience.

Kris Hayes

About Kris Hayes

Kris Hayes is currently the Vice President and Head of Sales in the Americas for SAP Digital Interconnect at SAP. His unique experience in the operator and enterprise space gives him a holistic view into how organizations can utilize digital transformation products and strategies to run faster.

Meenal Prasad

About Meenal Prasad

Meenal Prasad heads the SAP Digital Interconnect enterprise product portfolio. In this role, Meenal leads a team focused on creating value-added products that enable SAP Digital Interconnect customers drive higher engagement and streamlined communications with end consumers, as well as employees and stakeholders through intelligent multichannel interconnect services.