Analysts from Forrester, IDC, Opus Research, Ovum, and Nucleus Research weigh in on the top challenges to delivering omnichannel customer experience.
Mark Grannan of Forrester, Mary Wardley of IDC, Dan Miller of Opus Research, Ken Landoline of Ovum, and Rebecca Wettemann of Nucleus Research answer the question:
What are the challenges to delivering great omnichannel customer experience?
Here’s the information they shared with our interviewers at Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2017.
Overcoming data silos
Mark Grannan, Senior Analyst, Forrester:
The challenges around omnichannel are honestly — silos. Traditionally, you have channels that are aligned with specific business units, products, or geos. And then digital is a bolt-on. So now with omnichannel, it’s not just digital and then traditional, it’s how do you blend the two?
And then how do you acknowledge that customers are going to leverage multiple digital touchpoints along that journey, and then stitch it together? That data problem is one that’s really hard to surmount, especially when you consider things like privacy and regulation come into play.
Ken Landoline, Principal Analyst, Ovum:
The leading issue in preventing a good, strong multichannel, omnichannel environment really is in siloing of information — data has been isolated into certain areas and it’s not being mixed together, and management of that data is done individually in the silos, and not across the board.
Getting a true 360-degree vision of the customer really requires those silos to be blended together, and managing that information so that we can get to the stuff that we need right away.
I think the good companies that are really moving in the right direction in customer experience management and customer engagement are using a multichannel approach by merging their data together and managing it as one data center.
Mastering multichannel and cross-channel
Mary Wardley, VP, CRM Applications, IDC:
Omnichannel is a very complicated concept to deliver on. We are progressing through multichannel — that’s the first line of defense. We’ve got many channels that customers, like water, are seeping through. They will find any nook and cranny, and use those channels to reach the organization. That’s great, and the organization has responded by providing many channels. Wonderful.
Now let’s talk about cross-channel. Can we persist the interaction within the context of the customer having been on a website, not quite finding the answer, going into a community, getting close to an answer, and then getting a “Would you like to chat?” message? Does that agent in the moment know where the customer has been and what he or she is looking for?
Getting personalization right
Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research:
I think the primary of it is recognizing who the person is, and solving the authentication problem. Because once you know and have high confidence that you’re talking to a particular person, you can understand what their history has been, you can know what their entitlements are, and what levels of service you want to offer them. And that’s a first order issue.
Sometimes that information gets lost as they move from channel to channel.
Getting technology and humans to work together efficiently
Rebecca Wettemann, Vice President, Nucleus Research:
Issues today for companies trying to deliver a great omnichannel experience are twofold — it’s both the technology and the humans. With technology, it’s integrating those disparate systems, legacy applications, and data. And on the human side, it’s getting that user interaction perfect.
The great news is that with technology today, we can use things like artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and embedded analytics to help those humans be more effective on their first interaction with the customer.
Copyright © 2018 Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.
This transcript may be edited for readability.