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Articles

New hybrid journeys take customer relationships to the next level

BY Sharon Malloch

Once in a while, it’s love at first sight. But more often than not, it’s love over time. It’s a series of positive interactions, one built on the next, that reinforce who you are and generate – in the other person’s mind – a liking or preference toward you.

The business parallel is eerily similar. As with any relationship, a company’s brand – who you are in the mind of the consumer – is built over time through a series of small interactions or touchpoints.

The first interaction may only leave a subtle impression: how your logo, tagline, or an image in an advertisement makes them feel. But as they engage with you more and more over time – online, in your store, by purchasing your products or dealing with your customer service – their impression of you takes root and becomes stronger, more defined, and sometimes so engrained it becomes difficult to change.

A series of small interactions can accumulate to have a big impact on brand preference. And we all know, brand preference, supported by a positive customer experience, has a significant impact on purchasing, customer satisfaction, and loyalty.

Right. So, we know the objective: create a series of successive interactions that positively build and nurture the customer relationship. But how? Let’s take a look at the process.

Create a series of omni-channel communications and touchpoints

Whether you’re trying to acquire a new customer or service an existing one, the process typically involves using a series of communications or interactions (aka touchpoints) to reach the end goal. Traditionally in customer communications, printed touchpoints were created and delivered using a legacy Customer Communication Management (CCM) solution with the marketer or service team member creating content and handing it over to IT for programming to create the desired correspondence or document. These legacy touchpoints were one-offs, and not linked together by anything other than being housed in the same system.

Modern systems like Messagepoint have changed this process – giving business authors the ability to create omni-channel communications and collections of communications, and to do so more efficiently and effectively. Messagepoint enables users to drive both consistency and personalization at the same time by sharing content, building variations from master touchpoints, and leveraging implicit rules to drive highly tailored content to an individual or group.

The key to building momentum is having a series of omni-channel touchpoints that lead your customer to the point where they (and you) have achieved the desired end goal. This process benefits from methodical follow-up, mapping, and automation of the journey.

Automatically trigger a sequence of communications

Customer journey mapping technologies are being used, increasingly, to map out and string together a sequence of touchpoints and define the conditions under which they are triggered. The result: communications that are created, personalized, and delivered in response to the actions your prospect or customer takes.

Here’s an example. A consumer clicks on your banner ad and is re-directed to your website where they are presented with a web page of relevant information. They complete a form to download an asset or register for a webinar. Based on the action taken on the website and the information provided in the form, the journey automatically triggers one or more follow-up communication within a pre-defined period to further engage the customer, provide additional information, and take the relationship to the next level. Depending on the information you have about them and the capabilities of your communications management system, you can drive deep personalization in the materials leveraging demographic information, their actions, purchase history, preferred communication channels, and more.

Manage with Messagepoint; sequence with Salesforce Journey Builder

Many of our customers want to leverage their omni-channel Messagepoint communications within hybrid customer journeys. To this end, Messagepoint has launched an integration to Salesforce Journey Builder which will allow them to do just that. The new integration is listed on Salesforce AppExchange and enables marketing and customer experience teams to populate customer journeys with printed and digital customer communications managed and enhanced in Messagepoint.

Here are some key benefits:

Omni-channel. Messagepoint enables omni-channel journeys to ensure you are interacting with your customers via their channel of choice. Messagepoint enables commercial-scale print correspondence, documents, and direct mail as channels for the journey – so you can deliver an experience tailored to the customers’ preferences.

Personalization. Messagepoint makes it easy for business users to drive highly personalized communications and interactions based on information you have about your customers in Salesforce.

Consistency. Consistency across the customer experience is critical to building trust and loyalty with your customers. Having a centralized content hub that enables content sharing and re-use across touchpoints and channels is critical to delivering a consistent experience.

Automation. Once the journey is built, approved, and released, there’s no further human intervention. Simply monitor the automated delivery of touchpoints as the journey executes. The reduction in manual work delivers considerable cost and accuracy improvements.

Agility. Easily change or modify your communications. Messagepoint enables fast easy updates by your business author, supporting the use of A/B testing.

A better, modern customer experience. With this solution, customers are engaged and nurtured when and where they expect – delivering a modern and personalized experience in their preferred channel. Expect to see your response rates and customer satisfaction rocket.

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