How to simplify omnichannel customer communications

Martina Ivanović

Creating an optimal customer journey can be challenging for many businesses. Consumer expectations and interaction behaviors are constantly shifting – and staying on top of these changes can become costly, time-consuming, and frustrating.

We sat down with our Director of Product Marketing, Andy Shirey, to discuss the ways businesses can simplify these processes with ever-evolving communications technology. Read on or watch the video to learn how a customer engagement platform with unified data can help you develop a friction-free customer journey, while simultaneously improving employee and agent experiences.

Why do businesses need to simplify omnichannel communications?

For a long time now, developing an omnichannel communication strategy has been beyond a lot of businesses.

The truth is, many find using automated emails, SMS messages, and even a call center complex enough. They have to deal with siloed communication from different parts of the organization – and there’s often no combined view of the customer. Then, if you add more channels to your communications mix, of course, it creates more complexity. Now, imagine some customers needing to address a global audience.

Ultimately, it’s up to communication providers to remove this complexity for clients and make omnichannel a reality.

What is behind cloud communications complexity?

Each channel is unique and has its own pros and cons. Now, add to this other factors, such as:

  • staying compliant with global rules and regulations
  • avoiding spam filters
  • security and privacy issues

Most businesses use different vendors for each of those different channels – so, complexity here might be an understatement.

Is staying within the rules while using multiple channels simple?

The answer here is only if you have the right advice or expertise.

For example, marketing is an area of customer communications that is subject to a lot of rules and policies that relate to spamming, customer permissions, content, and general customer experience. These rules and policies can change at any time for different channels. You also need to understand opt-in rules, for example, does their channel require explicit customer opt-in?

What do you see brands doing wrong with their omnichannel strategy?

I often see businesses getting into trouble when they start bolting channels onto their existing communication stack using different providers. These are often managed in silos and data isn’t shared. This results in increased costs and complexity – and your customer experience becoming more fragmented. And that results in frustrating interactions.

What are the business effects of communications complexity?

Businesses that don’t unify their customer journey with omnichannel communication can experience:

  • missed messages
  • redundant messaging
  • failed campaigns
  • customer churn
  • lost sales
  • lost opportunities to gain efficiency

All in all, there can be a lot of damage to customer experience, which results in a significant business impact that can spiral out of control.

What is the most important ingredient for a simple omnichannel strategy?

Unified data is the most important ingredient, without a doubt.

If we can break down silos and bring together everything we know about customers, we can really give contextual communications across all channels and throughout the customer journey.

A customer data platform, for instance, can be used to centralize information from a variety of sources – so businesses can really get to know their customers. This might be data from CRM systems, contact centers, websites, payment systems, or loyalty programs. A customer data platform should be at the center of a good cloud communications platform.

What is a unified view of a customer?

Sometimes we talk about a 360-degree view of the customer journey, where every interaction on every channel can be informed by their history. This helps businesses target and personalize communications to create better customer experiences. Analyzing past interactions not only helps us understand what channel each customer might prefer, but more importantly, it helps us proactively engage customers and assist them through their journey.

How do you start simply with an omnichannel rollout?

The first step is to understand your customer journey, so you can identify customer experience improvement opportunities, friction points, and potential churn triggers. Then, you can take that information and evaluate the best channels for your needs.

We have a team here at Infobip that is dedicated to helping customers work through this and understand these points.

How do you ensure customer interactions across multiple channels are secure?

The benefit of managing omnichannel communications from a single platform is that user verification can be built into the customer journey.

This could be via multi-touch authentication techniques such as 2FA. These methods are super effective, very common, people know how to use them, and it reassures customers that they’re being protected.

It could also include processes that run in the background such as silent mobile verification and SIM swap checks. These are great for key points in the customer journey where authenticating the user without adding additional friction is important – for example, during a registration process or during checkout.

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Martina Ivanović