Everyone Talks About Omnichannel, Let’s Talk About Your Systems First
You’ve all heard about Omnichannel, one of the hottest trends in the consumer business at the moment.
To make sure you are up to speed, an omnichannel strategy means you can meet your consumers where they are, with the right message at the right time. This enables organizations to deliver a unified customer experience that acknowledges the previous touchpoints along the customer journey.
Leaving marketing fluff aside, omnichannel means your consumers can find you and contact you in any channel: phone, email, website, mobile app, social media (Facebook Messenger), chat, and so on.
With the explosion of this trend, a proliferation of CRM and Service Platforms emerged, all promising you a cross-channel, 360 customer view of any touchpoint, and basically a single communication platform with your consumers. So far so good.
The problem is, that when you call the online service you’re subscribed to, it feels like they have no context at all from the last time you reached out to them via chat. This is called Service Discontinuity, and that’s because CRM and Service Platforms are just one part of the equation.
While used for communicating with consumers, CRM and Service Platforms are not used to resolve customer requests such as refund, reship, promo code, and so on.
All those actions are handled in ops systems — the umbrella name for all back-office, admin, order management, shipping, billing, payments, and any other vertical or company-specific system that holds the unique business logic and business processes of each company.
As mentioned in previous posts, ops systems are unique to every company, representing their unique business processes. They were built in a highly customized manner, often by internal R&D teams or by SIs (system integrators); they have no “off-the-shelf” API integrations. Additionally, they have a lot of data, customer info, and business logic built into them, and are the operational aspect of the business.
Since internal ops are always lowest on the R&D roadmap and budget (main focus is on the product itself and on self-serve tools as mentioned above), ops systems are not fully integrated into CRM and service platforms and so all customer-facing reps use them regularly. Oh, and they are here to stay.
In simple terms, that means a lot of customer info (such as transactions and orders), past customer requests and resolutions, and big chunks of the customer journey and touchpoints (let alone new products, services, or promotions you want to introduce) reside outside of the CRM or Service Platform. That is why, no matter how good or shiny the latter are, they only paint a partial picture of the customer. And without a solution for ops systems, your omnichannel strategy won’t stand but rather create a frustrating CX due to service discontinuation and lack of context.
In addition to this, the disparity of systems creates a burden on customer-facing reps who need to be the ones manually connecting data points from the different systems, while memorizing policies such as what can be offered for retention. This approach leaves a lot of room for mistakes and a lot of money on the table.
If you want to go omnichannel, or you are already there, make sure your customer-facing reps have a true 360-degree Omni-view of the customer on hand — both interactions-related (CRM) and operational — so they can get up-to-speed quickly and provide top-notch CX that will make the customer actually feel like you know them and their context, no matter the channel.
Interai’s Customer Operations Platform is the only solution enabling companies to build a true Customer360 App on top of all & any existing systems, no matter the system, with no code, API integrations or R&D effort, as a companion to any CRM or Service Platform. Lightning-fast.