October. 17, 2018 posted by Foehn

 

Whilst omnichannel customer engagement has been a contact centre option for several years, the adoption of this functionality is only now beginning to attract widespread adoption. Equally, managers of both business operations and contact centre services have learnt that the implementation of omnichannel can be an all or nothing commitment where planning is critical. As such, the transition needs investment in the people, technology and culture change to make it work. In turn, the business case has become essential in giving business heads the confidence to make the move.

How do you create a business case? What do you need to consider? Is omnichannel right for your business? Is this what your customers really want? These are the questions echoing through board rooms across the world today. At Foehn, we provide advice and consultancy services to establish omnichannel requirements for individual businesses. Whilst this is a detailed process, there are four fundamental considerations that arise repeatedly and prove essential to ensuring your omnichannel business case is effective.

Know your customers

If you do nothing else to support your contact centre plans, make sure you understand your customers. To make a real impact on customer experience with omnichannel, you need a clear understanding of your customers’ needs and expectations. That understanding must span all stakeholders that influence or touch any part of the customer experience. At the same time, it’s important to obtain a clear picture of how customers want to engage and interact with your business. Segment your customers according to market, lifetime value, demographics, etc., to give more direction to the omnichannel features and the costs you need to incur. Segmentation will also give you a firmer basis for forecasting long-term needs and creating a development roadmap.

Break down the business silos

When functional teams manage customer experience, it creates silos and a disconnected experience for customers. This all acts against omnichannel communication and related processes. To avoid this, designate a single executive who is accountable for specific customer experience objectives across your teams and set performance metrics that deliver the most value over the customer lifecycle. Under this management ‘umbrella’, stakeholders from marketing, IT, customer service and support need to encourage teams to collaborate, provide feedback and share ideas across your organisation.

Technology can also create silos. Changes in customer demand and technological innovation can create bespoke functionality and ‘pockets’ of technology. It’s important to adapt to changing market conditions but always with an eye on the bigger picture and how this impacts a unified omnichannel strategy.

Map technology to the customer journey

Create a visual representation of every customer touchpoint and interaction with your business, from the point that the customer is acquired and following each step that the customer takes to acquire, learn, use and support your product or service. Include repeat purchase points and opportunities for cross-sell and up-sell points within a journey map.

This map will then act as a directive for communication and the omnichannel technology you need to make a successful customer experience. Build-in management reporting that shares interaction data and insights and includes access to customer relationship data. Journey analytics can help you obtain greater visibility of intent, engagement, profiles and the right omnichannel technology to help you deliver personalised and proactive engagement.

System essentials

An omnichannel contact centre provides the ability to engage customers on their terms and provide consistent, meaningful journeys across all engagement channels. To achieve this from your omnichannel technology, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will the system address the specific issues your customers trying to resolve?

  • Will the system meet the needs of your different customer segments?

  • How will the system accommodate the customer journey for each segment, from start to finish?

  • What can you learn from your existing channels and infrastructure to help shape your new system?

  • What is the scope for automation of simple tasks across channels to optimise agent time?

  • How can the system capitalise on mobile messaging? It’s the fastest-growing engagement channel amongst evolving segments.

  • How can the system and provider support voice? Don’t forget, it’s still the most preferred engagement channel amongst established segments.

See our whitepaper to learn more about omnichannel and building a business case for your new contact centre.

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