7 MINS READ
Customers are demanding
Customers today are used to getting exactly what they want when they want it.
Receiving personalized email recommendations for newly released shows on Netflix, interacting with an Apple specialist online and then opting for curb-side delivery, asking Alexa to buy a product based on a suggestion received on the Amazon mobile app—tech giants are raising the bar for customer expectations every now and then. To implement and execute a truly omni-channel strategy, companies must rethink how they engage with customers demanding anytime, anywhere, any device services. However, research shows that 82% of businesses are not delivering frictionless customer experiences.
Curating hyper-personalized experiences along the entire customer journey and across channels is crucial to stand out amid the digital noise and secure loyalty, grow revenue and improve bottom lines. So, how can businesses achieve a truly integrated omni-channel experience? This paper discusses how a platform with a system of intelligence (SoI) layer and enterprise orchestration capabilities connecting every system and channel can bring organizations closer to this goal.
By supporting real-time interaction management (RTIM), a unified platform can deliver contextually relevant customer experiences across all channels of engagement. This is effected by anticipating customer needs, prescribing the next best-action, and automating decision-making.
Context is at the heart of great customer experiences
Netflix started as a DVD-by-mail rental service, and today it is the world’s leading subscription streaming service with over 200-million paid subscribers.
A hyper focus on the customer, which they call consumer science, has been vital to their success. The company uses a scientific methodology to form and test hypotheses, discover what delights customers, and then use that to craft an ultra-tailored and seamless experience.
When it comes to personalization across channels, Sephora is a leader in the retail space. It leverages an omni-channel strategy which links offers and other communications across e-mail, web and mobile, allowing the brand to drive engagement on a channel the customers prefer.
Customers gravitate toward and stick to brands that offer consistent, highly relevant experiences with every interaction. According to a Salesforce study, over 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, and yet feel they are treated like mere numbers. With digital disruption, customers are becoming even more selective in the way they engage with brands. But more importantly, they are demanding a seamless experience across channels. About 74% of customers have used multiple channels to start and complete a transaction. That’s not all — nearly 76% of customers choose the channel depending on the context of the message.
Context is at the core of exceptional omni-channel customer experiences as shown in Figure 1. Contextual intelligence leverages insights from multiple sources, such as personal information as well as purchase and interaction history to offer exactly what customers need, on any channel. However, a Gartner report predicts that about 80% of marketers would have abandoned their personalization efforts by 2025, due to lack of returns on investment (ROI).
For many brands, personalized campaigns fall below expectations because they lack context, and therefore fail to deliver meaningful, relevant ‘in-the-moment’ experiences.
Seamless omni-channel strategy should answer many questions
There is no single solution for harnessing the power of contextual intelligence.
It requires a holistic approach, which includes creating a 360-degree view of data across internal and customer-facing systems, realigning processes to the customer journey and leveraging the right platform to make insights available to people across the organization. Here are some questions businesses can ask to see if their omni-channel strategy is truly seamless:
Can a customer dispute an invoice on the web and then get a response in real time?