Bridging Omnichannel Data Silos is Key to Delivering Great Customer Experiences

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Omnichannel
Customer Experience
A few weeks ago when I attended CRM Evolution 2013, much of the buzz was about the omnichannel customer experience. As you might expect, a central topic of discussion was around breaking through the data silos that exist between different channels and enterprise functions that can inhibit the omnichannel customer experience. But as industry leaders and practitioners have discovered, the key to success isn't just about integrating customer and operational data across the enterprise. While technology integration is important, it's also essential to instill a culture of collaborative data sharing that's clearly communicated from senior executives along with the benefits that can result.

A few weeks ago when I attended CRM Evolution 2013, much of the buzz was about the omnichannel customer experience. As you might expect, a central topic of discussion was around breaking through the data silos that exist between different channels and enterprise functions that can inhibit the omnichannel customer experience. But as industry leaders and practitioners have discovered, the key to success isn't just about integrating customer and operational data across the enterprise. While technology integration is important, it's also essential to instill a culture of collaborative data sharing that's clearly communicated from senior executives along with the benefits that can result.This includes understanding how customers use different channels for different purposes to ensure that companies are providing them with relevant experiences. "If you're not looking at the various touchpoints used by customers from the customer's point of view, you're not going to get there," says Dr. Volker G. Hildebrand, global vice president of CRM Solutions at SAP.

For companies to succeed in providing customers with brilliant and fluid omnichannel customer experiences, it's also helpful to use information that's known about them to craft personalized and unique experiences. For instance, a bank that has high-value customers who prefer to use online self service tools to check on investment performance can map the customer journey and use customer feedback to identify any snags that prevent customers from obtaining the information they're looking for. From there, a project team can make any changes that might be needed to the online self service tool and notify customers of any improvements that have been made as part of a closed-loop communication system.

Forward-thinking companies are also making greater use of feedback that customers are sharing in their interactions with the contact center as well as behavioral information that can be gleaned from customers' use of different channels to strengthen the customer experience. For instance, a company can use text and web analytics to evaluate the type of information a customer appears to be looking for on its website and use these insights to route the customer to the right agent for help through a click-to-chat offer, says Max Ball, director of product marketing at Genesys Telecommunications.

These are just a few recommendations for addressing the omnichannel customer experience. What are some techniques that are working in your organization?

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