April 18, 2017
Two barriers to a true omnichannel experience—and one way to overcome them through a “10:5” approach
By: Heena Patel

We all know what today’s non-stop customers want from the companies they do business with; a seamless buying journey that’s integrated and consistent across different channels. And an immersive, intelligent experience that understands and anticipates their needs, dramatically reducing the thinking and effort required.

Put simply, they want to be able to start their journey in one—often digital—channel, continue through myriad interactions across others, and complete the purchase using whichever channel is most convenient to them at the time.

Sounds simple? Think again.

While consumers’ omnichannel aspiration is widely recognised, it remains frustratingly difficult for most businesses to fulfil. The result is that omnichannel thinking is all too seldom translated into omnichannel doing. And in my experience, the reason for this comes down to two main barriers.

The first is businesses’ legacy—both technological and organisational. All too often, data and interactions are fragmented across numerous legacy systems in different channels. Think contact centres based on a standalone CRM platform, and digital channels/apps built on different content management tools all interacting in different ways with billing, provisioning, order management and fulfilment back-ends.

Sounds familiar? If it does, you’ll have a problem going omnichannel.

The second barrier is siloed organisational structures that are no longer fit for purpose. The traditional linear marketing funnel has now gone for ever, blown apart by the transformation of customer journeys into myriad interwoven interactions in person, online and across social media. But customer-facing organisations are still organised around separate functions like marketing, sales and customer service. They shouldn’t be.

How to break out of this deadlock? Our work with clients going omnichannel confirms that the solution lies in an approach we’ve termed “10:5”—because it involves focusing on 10 core KPIs and working with an ecosystem of five partners. There isn’t room in this post to go into detail: for that you’ll need to read our new paper. But suffice to say for now that clients we’ve helped to use this approach have realised improved upsell/cross-sell performance driving a 12 to 15 percent increase in average revenue per user (ARPU).

The fact that omnichannel needs to look so easy from the customer’s perspective makes it all the harder to deliver. But the great news today is that there’s a proven way to achieve it—no matter where your business is starting from.

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