Omnichannel Experience Is Not One Sided

Omnichannel Experience Is Not One Sided

Businesses are increasingly focused on the omnichannel experience. A business model that unifies customer touch points across multiple channels, providing a seamless experience regardless of how a customer interacts with the retailer.

There are three primary ways that we must reflect on how to define omnichannel. The first is what every organisation intuitively defaults to:

Omnichannel Customers

Regulation drives the most well-known omnichannel goal: KYC (Know Your Client).

The KYC guidelines prevent banks from being used by criminal elements for money laundering. The rules around the legislated KYC also enable banks to better understand their customers and their financial dealings. This helps them manage their risks more prudently.

While unearthing all of this information about their client; they are also capturing a wealth of data about how and where they interact with the bank. This advanced data analysis is powering the Holy Grail of KYC that the banks are striving to give a truly omnichannel experience to their customers through having a Single View of their Customer.

While organisations are looking at developing a single view of their customer; customers are demanding a single view of the enterprise. In a Gartner paper entitled, “Building a Digital Business Technology Platform“, they say the following:

The enterprise having a “single view of the customer” is as important as the customer having a “single view of your enterprise”. For example, customers should be able to walk into a branch, store or service center and ask about transactions and service that were done on a mobile app. This requires fluid integration of products/services/channels, and an outside-in, customer centric mindset for development.

Being Digitally Led

As more and more brands are looking to be digitally led; their reliance on technology increases. This is the omnichannel experience battleground.

For a brand to interact and give a compelling experience for their customers; their customer experience platform must be constructed in such a way that the customer receives context rich and relevant information when and where they want it.

It is a profound and monumental paradigm shift that a business needs to make. In wanting to know as much as they can about their customers, to give them an omnichannel experience, the business needs to expose their platforms in as much detail to their customers.

Omnichannel Employees

Looking at the omnichannel problem through the lens of an employee the world doesn’t look too much different.

The democratisation and consumerism of technology are driving omnichannel experience within organisations. Employees are demanding the same “Apple” experience that they have in their personal lives.

Employees must get their jobs done from anywhere and increasingly, at any time. The increase in Millenials in the work place and the “always on” nature of our fast paced world are primary reasons for this demand.

An organisations information systems platform must be able to expose data to employees. This means that while taking into account the potential security and data sharing risks that are more and more common in a mobile workforce; they also have to share as much data as they would normally when the employee is physically at work.

Employees want a single user interface to get their work done. They don’t want to be forced from one system to another because of their companies systems are incapable of integrating into a single workflow.

Employees have an incredibly important part to play in the omnichannel customer experience as well. A highly engaged employee goes a long way in ensuring that the experience online is matched to that offline. Typically when employees are engaged; they go the extra mile for their clients and make sure they have a great in store experience.

Omnichannel Suppliers

Suppliers are caught between two worlds. They are external employees; or internal customers. They have unique needs in that they must have access to mission critical data which is safeguarded and protected, yet they do not need the same level of data freedom as an employee requires.

This places great pressure on the omnichannel experience. The organisation needs to stay digitally relevant to the supplier to improve the efficiency of the relationship in a way that compliments the way in which they deal with the supplier.

To fulfil goods and services in the omnichannel retail world, suppliers have to create foolproof logistics operations. Retailers are forced to meet new customer demands by deploying omnichannel supply chain strategies and software solutions.

The major challenge for suppliers, is to get their goods to the correct channel as quickly and as accurately as possible whilst keeping costs down.

Getting Omnichannel right

Only when placing a very calibrated lens over the problem can it be solved. When placing strategy; design and technology together as the watch words for omnichannel, can a business begin to get this right.

The omnichannel experience is not a client only experience. It is not a supplier only experience. It is not an employee only experience.

Think of employees, customers and suppliers as people each looking through different windows into your business. Ideally, each should have a slightly different perspective on the same picture. That is the essence of the omnichannel experience – security, systems, processes – these are all panes of glass that should not distort the view too much.

Businesses must plan their omnichannel strategy with focus. Using a checklist approach to find which platforms exist and are the most mature. From there they must prioritize where the least effort and biggest gains are found.

The role of the CDO (Chief Digital Officer) is a melting pot for technology, marketing and strategy. The omnichannel experience is the prime example of their role’s primary aim.

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