In this Communications in Context video segment, Head of Voice Products Roland Selmer breaks down the omnichannel customer experience and explains how businesses and developers can employ it to deliver exceptional customer experiences and high customer engagement. (To read the full transcript, scroll below the video.)
What Are Omnichannel Customer Experiences? (Full Transcript)
Roland Selmer , Head of Voice Products at Nexmo: Sure. So take a step back and think of just, like, a single-channel kinda retail experience. People used to go earn their money and then go to the high streets and go to a shop and kinda buy stuff and leave, right? And then as society evolved, we started having more and more channels where potentially we had multichannel environments where you could go and buy things in a brick-and-mortar store, but you could also have a web presence.
And an omnichannel is really any customer contact point that you could really think of. So it could be bricks-and-mortar, online, TV, mobile. And if you think of a customer user journey, there are now multiple—kind of omni—points of customer contact. Someone could be having a conversation with somebody on WhatsApp discussing…let’s say they’re buying a pair of jeans, talking about some jeans. They might Google it on their phone on the way to the shop. They might go to the shop and actually have a look. They might use an app from the store to maybe make a purchase decision. And they might at some point on the web wanna return those products. So we have this whole kind of omnichannel customer contact experience.
An example I’ve given you now for retail, but I guess it pertains to service sector type products as well. And what is really useful is technologies that allow the retailers to have a consistent view of the customer along that journey.
We’ve all experienced, for instance, when, let’s say, we’ve gone into our bank and we’ve spoken to them about our account or something like that, and then a couple of days later, we’ve called them and tried to discuss the same problem that we’re having. And we have to recreate that context again. We have to say who we are. We have to give all these weird password hints, authenticate ourselves. And that is a negative user experience having to recreate through all these omnichannels, recreate that context of who we are and what we’re trying to do.
So what would be great is if we could start to see products where, regardless of the channel that we interact with brands and service sectors, that the context is always easy replicable. And we don’t have to kind of recreate. We don’t have to get into what we call these kind of context recreation loops. And if we can achieve that, I think this really leads to much higher engagement, better user experience, and overall better customer engagement.
We don’t have to get into what we call these kind of context recreation loops.
Glen Kunene, Editor-in-Chief: Right, right. And I know there [is] a scenario that a colleague of ours had described that really made it clear to me was the idea of a business traveler who has some rewards program, because they travel frequently, but that rewards program ties in flights, and it ties in hotel. It ties in a number of different services. And, like you said, the touch points for all those services are on the phone. They’re directly in person. And if the company that offers that rewards program could have a single view of that customer in all of those touch points and provide the appropriate context each time they go to the car rental place or whatnot, the user experience would be so much better. And I think you’re completely right about the engagement of that user.
RS: Exactly. And that’s what we try to build at Nexmo, right? We’re very focused on this whole concept of contextual communication. We’re working very hard on building contextually aware APIs right now. And the interesting thing in this, there’s kind of an anthropological reason for this, right? So whenever we interact with a brand who seems to know what we’re trying to achieve or who recognizes us, there’s what we call these kind of dopamine events that occur. So there’s actually quite a biological reason why these things are successful.
GK: I think I’ve experienced the antithesis of that.
RS: It works both ways, so…