Organizations striving to keep up with industry leaders are undertaking an omnichannel transformation—one that views touchpoints as part of a seamless customer journey and not as independent encounters.
It’s finally time to buy a new phone. You start online, researching the latest products, and looking at your wireless carrier’s site to find the best available deals. You see something that looks like a good fit, but you still have some questions and decide it might be easier to sort things out in person. You head to your carrier’s nearest store, talk to a salesperson, and purchase the phone – everything is going smoothly until the phone unexplainably won’t start! Thankfully, your carrier’s website has a chatbot-assisted help desk that matches you with the right support provider to solve your problem quickly.
In that short customer journey, we already see three or four vital channels being dynamically engaged by the active consumer, and this process is not atypical. While customers still follow an expected lifecycle at a high level—learn, buy, use, grow, retain—many individual experiences thread across multiple (and varied) channels, goals, interactions, and more.
(Nili Goldberg, “Optimizing Omni-Channel Experiences with Customer Feedback”)
To be successful in the age of experience, organizations can leverage a variety of approaches to meet customer expectations:
- Increasing customer convenience – Language translation, high-powered AI, and other cognitive services allow you to reach customers anytime, anywhere.
- Seeing the individual as an individual–not a number – By integrating data streams across business lines and channels, you can achieve a comprehensive customer view and get down to a segment of one.
- Giving the customer immediate value in every context – Advanced sensor networks can identify a customer quickly, understand what the customer needs, and deliver value regardless of where the customer is on the customer journey.
- Using an outsider’s perspective to give the customer a streamlined journey – The ideal approach is to focus on those things that genuinely bring customer convenience and delight, and that also have a business case to support them.
- Being flexible and responsive to trends in customer needs – Using an agile, design-thinking mindset, one can quickly experiment with, learn from, adapt, and revise touchpoints.
(Martin Koehring, “Creating a Seamless Customer Experience,” The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2015)
Case Study: Nedbank reimagines the banking experience.
Nedbank, one of the top four banks in South Africa, introduced video banking as an alternative for clients during peak demand periods. The service quickly grew to account for up to 40 percent of client inquiries.
In 2016, Nedbank took the service a step further by extending it to its ATM network, essentially providing a 24-hour, on-demand teller. Nedbank also supports the client experience through EVA—a chatbot on Nedbank’s website that answers client questions and completes basic forms. Debuting in 2017, it now handles up to 80 percent of some inquiry topics at only 10 percent of the cost of live agents.
Finally, Nedbank’s Market Edge data-analytics tool for commercial clients uses big data analytics to provide an anonymized breakdown of clients’ customers’ spending patterns, demographics, income segmentation, and more. Nedbank’s clients value the enhanced insight into their customers, which helps them with everything from marketing operations to resource planning.
“Going Omnichannel – Why It Is Critical For Business,” Burt Krushenski, Commercial Observer 2018
“How To Optimize Omnichannel Customer Journeys With Customer Journey Analytics,” Swati Sahai, Pointillist 2018
“12 Examples of Brands with Brilliant Omni-Channel Experiences,” Aaron Agius, Hubspot Blog 2019