Companies that succeed in making the customer experience consistent and seamless across devices logically enjoy greater customer engagement and loyalty. Omnichannel support delivers business value through increased conversion and reduced attrition. The approach provides companies with better insights into buying patterns and delivers greater differentiation – because customers are more loyal to companies that offer a “great” user experience.
So why doesn’t every company double down on Omnichannel? The truth is that most businesses are built on systems with rigid technologies and interfaces that do not readily enable an omnichannel platform with a channel-specific experience. This lack of flexibility means that organizations are struggling to deliver impressive omnichannel experiences and compete in the API economy with new and innovative business models.
In this slideshow, Mark Lister, vice president, Experience Engineering, and James M. A. Williams, director of experience engineering, Ness SES, have outlined five recommended steps companies should take to determine how they can best implement a successful omnichannel strategy.
Implementing an Omnichannel Strategy
Click through for five steps companies should take to determine how they can best implement a successful omnichannel strategy, as identified by Mark Lister, vice president, Experience Engineering, and James M. A. Williams, director of experience engineering, Ness SES.
Build a Business Case
Step #1: Build a business case.
Perform a channel assessment to determine which channels are effective, which are not, and which channels are not in your portfolio, but should be. Use future-view journey mapping to identify gaps that need to be filled and where you can generate additional value from existing channels.
Envision the Seamless Channel Experience
Step #2: Envision the seamless channel experience.
Look within and beyond your four walls to elevate the customer journey. Contemplate all potential connection points with partners, employees and vendors that can facilitate a frictionless customer journey and add value to the experience. Determine what can be done in six months, 12 months and beyond to ensure your applications meet and exceed your customer – and your business – needs.
Develop and Integrate Your Channels
Step #3: Develop and integrate your channels.
Align your application portfolio with your omnichannel strategy. Save time, money, and effort by integrating only those applications that truly support your omnichannel vision. It’s important for companies to build consistent channels that work together despite the fact that each channel is often built upon different platforms and technologies. Utilize application programming interfaces (APIs) to establish those connections and a continuous flow of information.
Sustain Channels with Continuous Optimization
Step #4: Sustain channels with continuous optimization.
Online and offline channel alignment must be monitored and resynchronized when needed. Leverage your observations and insights to understand customer “path to purchase” preferences to personalize cross-channel experiences and add features to capitalize on unique channel characteristics (e.g., mobile vs. website). Do this regularly – at least every month.
Evolve as Channel Needs Change
Step #5: Know you must evolve as channel needs change.
Customer needs and preferences will change over time, so a culture of ongoing feedback loops, data analytics, experimentation and transparency is needed to improve the quality of service for users. New or unused channels may become the solutions for emerging requirements. Look out for opportunities to further monetize data and generate revenue by connecting other propositions to your company’s ecosystem in new and appealing ways.