The omni-channel environment can be compared with an orchestra – achieving seamless service delivery and a positive customer experience across multiple contact channels is the harmony a business strives towards. It’s what customers want and expect, according to their preferences. That’s what INOVO Chief Executive Wynand Smit stated recently, and he’s hit the note square on the head.
The challenge, when it comes to implementing an omni-channel strategy, is that there’s no perfect model for this, and one that works for every business requirement and context. Many companies refer to a multi-channel environment with numerous but functionally disparate contact channels as omni-channel, but this is just offering the customer various contact channel support options. “Omni-channel” as a concept is largely aspirational, a goal that companies should be working towards by aligning their processes, technology and people to their customer experience and business objectives. To harness this metaphor, multi-channel can leave the silos operating in isolation, the strings separate from the woodwind section, and potentially out of tune with the rest of the business.
Business strategy alignment is inter-departmental, bringing all areas of business into a common space; the ultimate focus is on customer-centricity, even for those within businesses who are not customer-facing.
“Every touch point is like a customer experience pendulum – swinging individual sentiment one way or the other,” says Smit, “it is essential that everyone understands the knock-on effect of different processes and individual actions. In music, one wrong note stands out and can spoil a harmony, in business, customers know when there’s a glitch in the system – we must listen to our customers to find out what they’re experiencing and improve the entire customer journey for improved service”.
Once internal business alignment is achieved, efficient channel management can move towards successful channel integration. All customer interaction and profile data can then be made accessible to customer service agents, resulting in an increased likelihood of a faster resolution. Thereafter, the data should be used intelligently – analysing patterns, trends, and deriving insights to feed back into the business to positively influence the customer experience.
By focusing on the different elements that contribute to the efficiency and productivity of the contact centre environment, and the associated journey, businesses are empowered to enhance customer service, satisfaction, loyalty and sales.
With that in mind, Wynand Smit and the team at INOVO offer a wide range of services, technology and insight to assist companies to conceptualise and implement customer-centric strategies that are not just focused on alignment but driving results that matter to the business and their customers:
“Ultimately, you only have so many hours in the day, and it’s up to you to make sure that every minute is contributing to your success. You have the tools – the instruments in your orchestra – so why not take the steps necessary to get the entire team playing in harmony to an appreciative audience – your valuable customer,” Smit concludes.