Mastering the last mile of omnichannel

  • Posted on September 15, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Mastering The Omnichannel Customer Experience Management

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Brian McGee.

Today’s consumers expect contextually relevant experiences across all the touchpoints they use to interact with your business.

While some analysts have suggested that “omnichannel is dead” and proposed “harmonized retail” as a replacement, their concern relates to how the phrase has been understood historically, largely in the context of retail. However, when it comes to data and real-time segmentation, omnichannel customer experience management (CXM) remains a hot topic and an effective methodology to drive conversion.

Solving the challenge of real-time edge delivery is the last big step for achieving moment-relevant, dynamic experiences. This demands solutions that integrate with digital delivery mechanisms. Your bottom line depends on it.

The importance of data

Impactful customer engagement is built on a foundation of data, collected from multiple sources, and used to create experiences that connect seamlessly with your audiences. This data allows you to communicate on their terms and through the touchpoints that matter to them.

Yet as devices proliferate, the challenge intensifies. Connecting the dots between disparate customer touchpoints and acting on insights is becoming increasingly complex.

User-specific profiles are needed – combining user attributes, activity and account data across sources. This is the only way to deliver contextual, cohesive and relevant messaging for each individual user.

An evolving journey

Before CXM, there was multichannel; a methodology for engaging with customers on a channel-specific basis. But the problem with multichannel was that it treated different touchpoints as disparate silos.

Breaking free from the silos was the first step towards creating synchronized marketing messaging and seamless experiences.

Omnichannel CXM allows you to break free. It enables organizations to easily coordinate marketing messaging and experiences across customer engagement points.

With omnichannel, everything is connected, and all previous interactions, between brand and customer, are evaluated before new content and experiences are served up, wherever that may be. But for CXM to work, you need to combine new customer activities with their IDs and histories. Only then can you track users across platforms and create the sought-after 360-degree view.

Once this more complete identity is created, you can present the most suitable messaging through the most appropriate channel, ultimately delivering a better experience and heavily influencing customer actions.

Naturally, customers expect their data to be kept safe and private. Showing them that you have their best interest at heart and using their data appropriately will lead to greater trust and more conversions.

However, without a map of the customer journey, even the most comprehensive data won’t advance customers to the point of sale.

Building the customer journey

Customer journey maps begin with identifying the channels that are most likely to be used by the customer.

For example, packaged goods consumers might be more likely to happen through mobile and point-of-sale touchpoints. For financial products, with longer lead-times, a brand’s omnichannel strategy must account for greater engagement through web forms, email and phone channels.

When you employ customer journey mapping and data orchestration strategies you could well see a significant improvement in conversion rates, as you’ll be clearer on where you need to engage and through which channel. However, data is often dispersed across systems. It can be challenging to pull together insights from a wide range of back-end systems and customer-facing touchpoints.

Adobe has been able to rise to the challenge, integrating touchpoints and activating experiences across its ecosystem. According to Gartner, Adobe is a recognized leader due to the strength of Adobe Experience Platform (AEP).

AEP delivers contextualized, personalized experiences by matching lookalike or customer-specific profiles in real-time. AEP’s architecture allows for easy connections to existing Adobe CX products, as well as rapid integration with other platforms. That’s what makes it special, and a powerful tool for unifying customer data for the purpose of journey mapping.

It’s also backed up by artificial intelligence, as well as a data standardization and pre-configured data science models. AEP also features a service to combine known and unknown customer data in real-time. Without getting too caught up in the detail, this means that AEP is very hard, if not impossible, to beat for building customer data profiles.

Foundations in digital customer experience

Of the many omnichannel providers recognized by Gartner for completeness of vision and ability to execute, Adobe is the only solution with a true foundation in digital customer experience. And that’s a significant advantage for users.

The influence of digital-powered channels and touchpoints in the customer journey is unquestionable. This means you need to master both the art and the science of delivering the experiences, wherever and however your customers engage.

Back-end platforms such as ERP, CRM and Analytics also play integral roles in powering omnichannel customer engagement, and they are elevated with the help of deeply connected digital experience solutions.

When you reach the consumer with the right message and experience, at the right place, at the right time, that’s when the magic happens. And that means harnessing the power of technologies like Adobe Experience Platform.

How has your experience with omnichannel been? Have you put any of these solutions to the test? I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments section or hearing from you on LinkedIn.

Visit this page to learn more about building a better customer experience with Avanade and Adobe.

Credence Credence

Your blog is beneficial for us. Your omnichannel marketing insight is helpful. It integrates all sources to create a unified view of your user and reach out to them.
Sinch India

April 12, 2022

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