The Customer Response Summit in Austin, just kicked off. Execs in the Know always put together a great agenda and this one looks exceptional. There are great speakers from several leading brands, sharing their knowledge, expertise and insights of the customer experience. So I’m sure it’s going to be full of opportunities to learn from real industry experts.
My own focus at the event will be on demystifying omnichannel. Our industry hypes the words “multichannel” and “omnichannel,” often using the terms interchangeably. But what exactly is omnichannel and why is “omnichannel” the latest hype? And, even more importantly, what does it take to deliver an omnichannel experience? The very first conversation at the main session of the event this morning was around the “unicorn” that is omnichannel.
I believe that it is important to take a look both at the similarities and differences between multichannel and omnichannel contact center strategies. There are similarities, but also important differences. There are four key areas that I believe all leaders should be exploring regarding omnichannel right now:
- Silos; every department in your organization that reaches out to customers needs to be working together as one. This may need you to blend you marketing and customer service teams as a start, but all other teams with a customer related function, such as advertising, PR, and sales, divisions, product lines, may need to be included in these changes.
- Processes; ensuring that you can deliver the same great CX on any channel is what omnichannel is really about and that may need process change – especially so you can allow customers to jump from one channel to another. This needs planning as it is not just about adding additional channels to the mix.
- Technologies; what new systems do you need to make these connections work? Although most of the new channels offer a free service to customers – the social networks for example – you need to think carefully about the systems needed to monitor them. This may require investment.
- Governance; what new systems and metrics are needed. You may need to entirely revise the metrics used once you move away from an environment where your customer interactions are planned around the customer service team and the customer experience.
My omnichannel session is at 11:30 on September 20th. I’m sure that many of these ideas – and more – will be explored at the Customer Response Summit event. If you are going to be in Austin during the event this week then please say hello, otherwise leave a comment here or get in touch LinkedIn.
Photo by Nicolas Nova licensed under Creative Commons.