I have been talking a lot about how 2013 is going to be the year of the omnichannel. Just take a look back at my last few blog entries – I have probably mentioned it on almost every post this year.
I think that it is important to reinforce this message because, at TP, we are always trying to stay one step ahead of the daily reality for most companies. We correctly predicted the growth in social media as a channel for reaching brands and I feel certain that this blending of channels is where things will go next.
But I was talking about the omnichannel on Twitter this week and IDC analyst Christine Bardwell said that she had used the term and written about this back in 2008! Well that is five years ago now so she really was ahead of the curve, but then I guess that is why people buy research from companies like IDC!
However, I believe that attitudes to the omnichannel have changed considerably in the past five years. If you approached major consumer brands five years ago and asked about their social customer service strategy then perhaps a few thought leaders would have considered it, but the vast majority would have just asked what you meant.
The adoption of social customer support has entirely happened within the past five years and the acceptance of this as normal has been even more recent. No major brand today would ignore social media as a way of engaging with customers.
But the omnichannel is bigger than just bolting social media support on to your existing channels. When the customer can engage with a brand using any channel and getting an equal level of support across all of them then the omnichannel will have truly arrived.
Photo by Clive Darra licensed under Creative Commons