The secret to the customer engagement architecture puzzle?
What is the secret to a successful customer engagement architecture?
Why is it an essential part of the puzzle that needs to be in place to enable your organizations delivery of great customer experiences?
Let me try and answer that question.
The short answer is … context. Everywhere. Assimilated into everything you do. The proverbial golden thread that ties together a customer engagement architecture.
Combined with a synergetic relationship between your Systems of; Engagement, Record and Insights. Underpinned by an integration and aggregation layer, or platform, which enables your customer engagement ecosystem to communicate with your legacy backend applications and systems seamlessly.
Here is my attempt at visualizing this architecture.
Let’s explore these ideas some more.
Your customers, internal and external, interact with your organization in many ways, using a wide variety of channels. Whether it be via voice, face to face, web, chat, social, mobile app and even via IoT (Internet of Things) devices, or a combination of these.
How do you ensure that you deliver the best CX you can?
Firstly, I would suggest that all interactions are channeled through a single funnel into your contact center solution. This is a real-time System of Engagement, which provides ID&V (identification and verification), self-service, intelligent routing, work assignment, workforce management and most importantly, context store, functionality to your organization.
Here you manage your resource availability, you forecast and schedule your workforce and you store, in real-time, all the customer journey context associated with a specific customer.
The nuggets of context gleaned from the many channels and systems of engagement are then passed on, along with any further required interaction attributes, to your organizations System of Record.
This is the second part of the puzzle. The System of Record typically acts as a CRM (customer relationship management) and service request management platform. It can also perform the role of a unified agent desktop or workspace. As well as potentially being the one true, organization wide, source of customer profile data. The 360° customer view repository, including keeping record of all past interactions, with relevant context used to enrich this data.
In most organizations, the System of Record needs to have read/write access to multiple different line of business systems to present all relevant customer and transaction specific data to an agent, self service or RPA (robotic process automation) system. Each of these legacy systems typically has its own integration methods.
Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and replace these systems, in an almost impossible transformation project, would it not be easier to create an Integration and Aggregation layer, or platform, which allows any new application in the organization to access information relevant to it? Additionally, this approach would also support agile development methodologies. This is the third piece of the puzzle.
Plugged into these environments would be your System of Insight. Your analytics and reporting systems. The fourth piece of the puzzle.
This is where you gain insights into all your customer interactions, where you learn about your organizations CX effectiveness and compliance. What your customer and employee satisfaction and sentiment levels are? This is the “big /small data” you use to plug back into your customer engagement solution to become more proactive and deliver personalized service. This is how you bring the “human touch” back into the ever-increasing digital world we live in.
Ultimately, you need these elements to work as one. That’s the secret.
Not that easy to accomplish, but it is something every organization out there must attempt to deliver on if they want to remain relevant and ahead of the pack.
To quote the Borg of Star Trek lore, “…Resistance is futile.”
Customer Experience is not only a system or pieces of technology. It’s an ethos. CX is ultimately about how we live. All the time. In all interactions and engagements, with all people and things. We need to remember that.