Creating a seamless, individualised experience across all communication channels is not easy when each is owned and managed by different areas of the business. Fortunately though, by prioritising and constructing an omnichannel customer engagement hub (CEH) organisations can bring together the data, intelligence, and activation technologies that shape world-class customer experiences.
What is an omnichannel customer engagement hub?
An omnichannel engagement hub is a technology stack made up of platforms that are able to work in unison to provide relevant, personalised, consistent, digital experiences across all channels.
Though the goal substantiates the investment, I can’t stress how difficult and lengthy this process can be without the right technologies and partners.
Is your organisation providing a disjointed digital customer experience?
Perhaps your organisation is still grappling with the complexities of building an omnichannel customer engagement hub or still deciding how best to structure the right approach. In the meantime, your customers are left trying to navigate a sub-standard and/or disjointed digital experience. There are a number of factors that contribute to a sub-standard customer experience, including:
- Very little or no relevant information in the engagement, meaning that the customer sees no value.
- Inconsistency between channels and messages (tone, design), due to silos in the organisation – this makes it hard for customers to connect emotionally, as the brand personality is not identifiable.
- Customer journeys are disjointed and not designed to give customers a seamless experience. This creates frustrating and disconnected experiences and possible customer attrition.
- The organisation has made decisions based on operational requirements, rather than customer requirements. For example, pushing all customers to an app, rather than allowing them to engage on the channel they’re most comfortable with.
- Unintelligent processes that are not designed to respond to the customer’s actions. Predefined journeys can be frustrating.
All these symptoms are typically a result of:
- Siloed strategies, where each department focuses on individual goals and so there is no big picture alignment.
- Legacy technology and thinking in the business that limits the ability to provide the ideal customer experience.
- Redundant solutions, where different departments solve the same problem in a different way on different technologies.
- Disjointed data as a result of it residing in various platforms, making it hard to get a view of the entire customer experience.
- No client-centricity because of the difficulties in shifting the culture from product-focused to customer-focused.
- No journey-centricity because of a misunderstanding of who owns the journey and limited information on what the customer is actually trying to achieve (customer intent).
The end result is customer attrition, which is the opposite of the loyal, engaged customer base all organisations aim for because these customers spend more. The organisation will also eventually face an increased cost to serve its customers.
Improve engagement with an optimal customer engagement model
To build an effective engagement hub, these 5 major categories must be considered:
centralise, analyse, orchestrate, compose and present.
Each of these categories represents one or many technologies in the stack which need to work together to create the optimal engagement.
From a data perspective, for instance, the aim is to centralise data from across the organisation in order to mesh together a single, accurate, queryable view of the customer.
“A single customer view is an aggregation of all data an organisation has on a particular customer, presented to give a clear overview of them and their specific data.” – Brandwatch
In short, the goal of the optimal customer engagement model is to collect data and events to create a loop of intelligence in personalising the ideal customer experience across the available channels.
The power of the omnichannel customer engagement hub
Investing in understanding and building an omnichannel customer engagement hub is vital because it can go a long way to solving the majority of customer engagement issues faced by organisations.
Organisations that understand what an engagement hub might look like for them and build a strategy on how it can be achieved, can start working towards achieving the experience that their customers have come to expect.
Organisations failing to make this their number one strategic and technical priority in a post-COVID world however, can expect to lose customers, as well as experience a reduction in customer spend and an increase in the cost to serve.
In contrast, iteratively improving their technology and capabilities in this space has been shown to reward early-adopting organisations with longer term retention of customers, an increase in customer life-time value and a growing customer base.