Delivering an Omni-channel customer experience is a must for Digital Service Providers: Pt 1
In order for operators to become a DSP they need to combine digital activity with strong leadership, create business and IT alignment to turn technology into transformation. They need to provide a consistent, high quality customer experience regardless of how and where a customer chooses to interact with them.
One of the key tenets of that will be to ensure that data and context from initial contact carries over to subsequent channels to improve customer interaction, provide them with a seamless brand experience and enable DSPs to tailor their customers’ journey. Tomorrow’s market winners should be able to deliver an experience that is cross-channel by design, allowing customers to search, buy and serve seamlessly across multiple channels and touch points. An experience that is able to deliver the products and services that are not only highly relevant to the individual customer, but also timely in nature. The success of a company in delivering that experience depends on their ability to collaborate and align their business processes with multiple enterprises, from content providers to supply chain partners to selling partners, says Ari Banerjee, senior director Strategy at NetCracker.
The interaction journey of a tech savvy customer is complex, convoluted and non-linear which traverses different channels and touch-points. For adroit interpretation of customer preference and to provide holistic customer experience, operators are left with no choice but to stitch together customer data and more importantly customer interaction data spread across different channels.
Today most operators’ channels operate in siloes both organisationally and from systems standpoint. Therefore it fails to project homogenous single entity brand awareness, up-to-date information and a unified look and feel that does nothing but disappoint customers. They demand services that are always on and accessible from a range of touch points, including smartphones, tablets, retail kiosks and social media. Social media plays a critical role as consumers might start their research for any product on social web site and consider their friends’ suggestions on Facebook or Twitter, compare product or services online, research further on blogs such as Yelp etc before actually making buying decisions in the store. Customers can also decide to touch and feel the product in a retail store but ultimately decide to buy it from the comfort of their home via a tablet or other device. It is therefore pretty clear that complex tapestry of the customer’s decision making process is non-linear and traverses across multiple channels. It becomes critical for DSPs to align these multiple channels so that they all provide consistent and personalised experience to their customers. System engagement with end customer needs to be uniform and needs to delineate across channels; different mobile devices, as well as different touch-points; in-store, catalogs, the website, social media etc.
Handful of Tier 1 Telco’s currently do this for their B2B customers where every enterprise may have a different kind of a screen and look and feel. CSPs are now extending their vision and are looking to apply those personalisation principles to specific customer segments in real time and images, offers etc are tailored based on customer context, choices, transaction patterns etc. The customer should be able to begin a transaction on one channel and continue/complete it via another. A good example could be, the shopping cart that the customer filled while researching a particular device online can be pulled up at the store at the Customer Service desk or a self-service kiosk and the order completed there. A catalog purchase of a device that has yet to ship can be modified online or at the store. The key objective here is for CSPs to create an intuitive, personalised environment in which the consumer can interact seamlessly with one brand in contrast to multiple siloed systems and processes which can create a fragmented brand experience.
The author of the blog is Ari Banerjee, senior director Strategy at NetCracker.
In Part 2 of this blog tomorrow, we will look at the steps a successful DSP must take to provide a unified cross channel customer experience.
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