The Challenges of the Omnichannel Landscape
Today’s consumers are multichannel, multi-device users and they are going to interact with companies at every engagement point without a second thought. So, without even consciously deciding to, they are going to expect brand consistency and uniform customer service at every level of interaction.
Therefore, business executives and leaders must remember that consumers view their experience with a company as just that – an experience with a company, not as an experience with an individual channel (web, store, mobile, etc.) of a company. Unfortunately, the reality is that most retailers still operate in silos. But this shift also offers the savviest of companies a prime opportunity to develop a cohesive omnichannel strategy that will lay the foundation for future success.
While a multichannel company offers consumers the opportunity to interact within various channels, omnichannel refers to the experience the customer has as they take their journey across the various channels. When using the right methodology you can measure the experience across all channels (omnichannel) while also measuring the experience within each channel (multichannel).
As consumers migrate to an omnichannel world, companies must also adjust the customer service offerings they provide. The obstacles that executives and other business leaders face as they embrace an omnichannel strategy fall into three categories:
- The first is the company’s current organizational structure and the barriers between the various segments of the business. Traditionally, companies have been organized by departments focused around specific channels, which led to isolated metrics, channel specific financial objectives, varying financial processes and even leadership differences. Learning how to reach across those barriers and develop a structure that is conducive to the omnichannel experience will be a major differentiator for successful companies in the future.
- The next big challenge executives face is the technology required to integrate all of the channels seamlessly. Inventory management systems have to be capable of tracking across channels, while CRM solutions should enable relevant customer data to be visible throughout an organization. Previously, teams would purchase a new solution or platform based on their specific needs, but moving forward, the ability of new solutions to integrate with other new or existing technologies will be paramount.
- Finally, in order for companies to successfully deliver an omnichannel experience, they need to be able to measure it. A team cannot manage what they cannot measure, and those who are measuring their experience in a single silo are ignoring the impact that one channel may have on another. By measuring success through the eyes of the consumer, an organization is able to rise above the behavioral success or failure within a channel to focus on the success of the experience within a channel, which is a much more predictive measurement.
Powered by precise voice-of-customer measurement, predictive analytics, and the ForeSee methodology, the ForeSee cx360 customer experience platform gives organizations the opportunity to meet and overcome these challenges by providing:
- Visibility across the various customer experience points, interactions and journeys – such as shopping, account management, sales and service interactions across digital, contact center, and in-location experience points with both immediate and longer term impacts on the overall customer relationship and lifetime value.
- Insights to understand how these dynamic interactions interrelate and impact one another.
- A System of Multichannel Metrics to provide precise measurement and reliable intelligence for teams responsible for individual touch points, for line management responsible for operational excellence at a channel level and to inform brand-level and company level investment decisions.
- Benchmarks to illuminate relative performance versus industry and broader market expectations – not just within an individual channel but across a set of interrelated experiences.
Next week, we will talk about some of what we see as the best practices for measuring the omnichannel experience. Until then, learn more about the ForeSee cx360 Multichannel Customer Experience Platform at ForeSee.com/multichannel.