Omnichannel Trends and Research Results
The development of omnichannel communication is a significant trend economically and technologically. It is then no suprise that scientific research is carried out in order to better understand it. Part of such activities is pursued by industry leaders, consultants and analysts but the academic community also has a strong presence in the field. Let us see some fresh and interesting studies and results.
In recent years it was the broad study published by Lemon and Verhoef in 2016 in the Journal of Marketing that generated the largest interest. The paper is titled Understanding Customer Experience Throughout the Customer Journey and can be accessed via a subscription that is often available in libraries of higher eduaction institutions. In this work of academic ambition, the authors offer a complex review of the customer experience. They state that “perhaps the most developed aspect of customer journey analysis is in the multichannel literature” and go on to offer ther opinion that this literature has already reach proportions that urgently call for meta-analysis, i.e. an secondary critical review of the content across these publications. Below are their most important observations regarding the use of channels, validated by research.
- “Channels differ in benefits and costs, often making one channel more useful for a specific stage in the purchase funnel than other channels. These differences are, however, shrinking due to technological developments and diffusion of new channels.”
- “Customers differ in their preference and usage of channels across different purchase phases, and specific multichannel segments can be identified that differ in terms of consumer characteristics.” (From this we can interpret that certain indivudal channels and channels groups will attract certain customer segments during the purchase process.)
- “Channel choices in the purchase funnel are affected by one another because of lock-in effects, channel inertia, and crosschannel synergies.”
While these observations may appear to be quite general, they carry no small significance. Attention is called to the fact that in a multichannel environment single channels can never be interpreted in themselves .Rather a whole system of interrelations has to be considered if we want to interact effectively with customers across a variety of channels.
Industry players and analysts thrive to convey their findings in a very practical way. Let us see a few of these and see what we can conclude.
- 44% of organizations have already started implementing a digital-first approach to business processes, operations and customer engagement, according to IDG.
- When asked how many customer service channels they use, 66% of global respondents say they actively use 3 or more channels, Microsoft observes.
- A 73% majority of customers use multiple channels during their shopping journey, says Harvard Business Review.
- 9 out of 10 consumers want omni-channel service. If a customer has interacted online via chatbot and has then been redirected to another agent on the phone, they expect the agent to have access to the previous conversations and be able to continue the interaction without any hesitation, finds UC Today.
- 72% of customers expect companies to know their purchase history regardless of method of communication (e.g. phone, chat, email), NICE reflects.
- 71% of customers wishes to have the same experience across all channels but only 29% of them says that they get this, writes ladly.
- Cusomer satisfaction measured at individual touchpoints is not maintained duing the customer journey. At touchpoint stages, we may measure 85–90% degree of satisfaction, whilte the whole process is only satisfying at 60%, conclude McKinsey, Forrester and KPMG in their joint study.
What we can clearly see is that using multiple channels is a basic requirement for customers and corporations alike. Still, a better management of channels in their relation to one another is a task ahead of us. The last two result points are especially telling as far as reality differing from expectation and customers left dissatisfied. This indeed resonates with the academic research findings: when onmichannel systems are considered, a very complex process has to be managed. Morevover, the best practice has to be realised in a changing technological environment.
From our practice at DBX we may add that we often come across multichannels systems at customers where each channel is in fact an island of communication. In such an environment is is obviously hard to keep information up-to-date across channels and even a keeping records (e.g. unified logging of delivery) is difficult to achieve. If the organisation decides to switch from the island-like solutions to a unified omnichannel infrastructure, a major step is taken technologically as well as in data management, that can help improve business results.
Why Hammy? Because it provides a state-of-the-art, enterprise level solution to the challenge of omnichannel communication. Hammy has a track record of more that 10 years of compliance, reliability and scalability at our customers, who are the leaders of the insurance market in Hungary.
If you are new to Hammy or wish to learn more about the latest features, we are happy to provide a consultation and demo. Feel free to get in touch with us