Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Omnichannel Customer Experience Is More About Your Organization Than About Your Technology

Photo by Thomas Q on Unsplash

There is a lot of focus today on omnichannel marketing and engagement, but brands would be well advised to focus first on omnichannel service. Getting omnichannel service right is not just a tech problem; far from it. In too many of today's customer interactions, organizational silos are evident, channel adoption and maturity is variable, brands' self-interest is apparent, and employee training and empowerment is weak. All of this contributes to a fractured customer experience that undermines trust, loyalty, satisfaction, and advocacy.

This was brought to mind as a result of a rough experience I had with a telecommunications provider. In the end, I am happy with the services and where we landed, but getting there--whew, what a frustrating and unpleasant ride.

I moved to a new home, and I used the telecom provider's website to purchase a set of services, including a set-top box, a channel and movie package, and internet services. The installation process was tortured, and it didn't need to be:
  • Day One: The installer comes to my new condo. She can't find a way to wire a set-top box adjacent to my TV, tells me I needed a rewiring specialist, and promises to arrange the appointment.
  • Day Two: The technician who is about to arrive calls and asks if I've been rewired. I tell her that is what she's supposed to do. She cannot--she's only an installer. Someone entered the wrong data, so I need to reschedule, yet again.
  • Day Three: I need to wait two days for a rewiring specialist, but in the interim, I reach out to the company on Twitter and ask if there is a streaming option that would avoid the time and hassles of rewiring. There is, but Twitter support cannot help. I need to call.
  • Still Day Three: I call the company and learn there's an easy streaming option using my provider's app on Roku. So, I cancel the rewiring appointment and replace it with yet another installer visit.
  • Day Four: While we've changed the appointment schedule, nothing has changed with the services I ordered, and I wonder if I have the right package. So, I reach out to Twitter support and ask. They cannot help and tell me I have to call.
  • Still Day Four: I call and speak to a person who confirms the package I ordered will not work with streaming. After a lengthy discussion, I settle on the right streaming package. I assume I'm done, but nope, the person to whom I'm speaking cannot make the changes. I need to talk to a sales rep, and so I'm transferred.
  • Still Day Four: Another long and torturous discussion ensues, and it seems to me the salesperson with whom I'm speaking did not review the lengthy and detailed notes captured by the first rep. After almost 55 minutes on the phone, I finally have the original order canceled and the new streaming services set.
  • Day Five: I'm frustrated and angry, but this is the turning point. The installer arrives, and installation goes fast. Roku and the provider's app work like a charm. Everything is right with the world.

All's well that ends well, or is it? To explore the adverse impact of this experience and why this company needs to focus not just on tech but on org structure, job descriptions, employee empowerment, and product complexity, please finish reading this post on my Gartner blog.

No comments: