Consumers and businesses have not moved exclusively to online shopping; most have simply added the online channel to a growing list of resources at their disposal, often taking advantage of multiple channel resources in the course of a single interaction. With the more recent introduction of online social networks, the online channel has arguably become the most disruptive and opportunistic new business practice of this decade.
Today's online channels not only serve as marketplaces, but more critically, they serve as public forums in which consumers and businesses sound off about your products, your service, your people and your brand. No longer do companies serve customers in a one-to-one environment, regardless of channel. Thanks to the Web, every interaction has the potential to become broadcast as one-to-many, for better or for worse. It's more important than ever for companies to take a multichannel approach to customer relationship management that recognizes the unique role that social online channels play across all interactions.
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