Omni Channel Experience - It's A Process Problem
by Matt Donovan, on Jun 6, 2022 9:30:00 AM
As COVID’s social distancing pushed even the most technology-phobic consumers online, many major retailers had to scramble to extend or expand their existing communication and commerce channels in order to continue to provide good and services to their customers in the new online environment.
But what happens when the app used to place an order doesn’t communicate adequately with the pick-up team, or the designated online parking spaces are already full? Or the chat channel doesn’t integrate with the order fulfillment system. Snags like these often result in handwritten signs in the parking lot, sticky notes adorning the call center computer screens, and employees in reflective vest directing traffic trying to explain next steps — and it’s a process problem.
Over the past several years many retail organizations leveraged emerging technologies such as mobile devices combined with web, chat, and social networking to extend and expand communication and commerce channels out to their most tech-savvy customers. Many of these organizations used a piece meal or best of breed approach to create a patchwork of systems to support these multichannel efforts. This incremental approach allowed organizations to rapidly test new ideas and quickly react to emerging needs, however, often at the expense of creating data silos of customer interaction. Given the rather low transaction volume at the time of rollout, these silo restrictions could often be masked by the herculean ad hoc magic of internal staff piecing to customer data across system.
That said, looking at the growth of online giants such as Amazon, Google and most recently the astronomical market value of Twitter it’s easy to see that the new communication/consuming habits we learned during COVID are not going to go away, and therefore, have raised the need for a full omnichannel customer experience design vs. simply multichannel technology approach that many of us are experiencing today.