Predicting withOUT a Crystal Ball

Omnichannel Federated Channels

Call To Weather — Jan 2017 by Celfocus

In the last week of the year, the word PREDICTIONS gains a life of its own. There are predictions for all tastes, covering all human domains.

At Celfocus we also have our own predictions but instead of using a crystal ball to try to unveil what the future holds, we tend to focus on what our customers are doing, what their priorities are and how Celfocus can add value.

We PREDICT Communication Service Providers (CSPs) around the globe will continue to invest in the omnichannel experience. Customer expectations and behavioural patterns have changed and, with the proliferation of multiple channels, providing a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints is an extremely important.

Let’s take a look at what shouldn’t happen in 2017, where customer frustration drives the interaction.

Romeo is a TELCO4EVER customer that receives a campaign SMS offering a new bundle. Romeo goes to the website and tries to upgrade to the new package but does not succeed. After various frustrating attempts, Romeo calls the contact centre and with Jeannie, the customer service representative, tries to conclude the process.

Before they can start tackling the problem, Romeo has to identify himself and explain the issue. Sharing a screen isn’t an option, because they have different interfaces. Therefore, it becomes very difficult for Jeannie to help him. She talks to a colleague but again has to share the entire context before moving forward, while Romeo patiently waits.

This scenario isn’t as unusual as one would think. However, it truly affects the customer’s experience, leading to high churn rates and low Net Promoter Scores.

By looking back at Romeo’s experience, it is not difficult to identify critical pain areas that need addressing, namely:

  • SILOED CHANNELS - Interaction channels owned by different teams and from different providers lead to a compartmentalised system architecture.
  • JOURNEY DISCONTINUITY - Inability to start an interaction and seamlessly transfer it to another touchpoint, without losing context.
  • LACK OF CHANNEL INTEGRATION - Channel applications are mostly from different providers and were not developed to work together. The integration mitigates some of the issues but falls short of replicating the experience and ensuring a consistent omnichannel journey.

These limitations hamper CSPs’ ability to provide a truly omnichannel experience, where the interaction is process-oriented and not channel fragmented. Where, regardless of the touchpoint, customers have a similar experience and a smooth journey. And when support is required, either service representatives or sales people, can jump in, quickly understand the problem and make a difference.

How can we change this situation?

CELFOCUS Omnichannel and Celfocus’ project frameworks deliver tangible results through an innovative approach, supported by a strong track-record of changing and improving customers journeys.

CELFOCUS Omnichannel is a telco-oriented solution, developed to ensure a consistent customer journey, regardless of the touchpoint. It covers sales and customer care scenarios for Assisted channels (shops, call centres, partners, and field engineers) and Non-Assisted channels (eCommerce and self-care), supported by a common and smart platform, for a seamless cross-channel experience.

CELFOCUS Omnichannel CORE is the foundation of a truly omnichannel experience and acts as the backbone for customer touchpoints across different devices and channels. CORE is the cornerstone of a holistic and transformative architecture for the channels, hence, for a stellar customer experience where they interact with a brand and a company, not silos of software.

All elements of CELFOCUS Omnichannel work coherently and are natively integrated to deliver an omnichannel experience. By leveraging the federated channels notion of CELFOCUS Omnichannel CORE, it’s possible to keep existing systems (e.g., an ecommerce system just recently introduced), but still participating in the omnichannel experience.

Federated channels in CELFOCUS Omnichannel means that existent/legacy channels can leverage CORE capabilities (e.g., Process Continuity Engine, Product Catalogue, etc.) so they can be part of the touchpoints involved in the E2E customer journeys.

Legacy solutions require minor adaptations in order to integrate with the contracts exposed by CORE (application managing the overall journey). However, this is still a very positive trade-off. Mainly because there is no waiting for all the channels to be replaced by CELFOCUS Omnichannel to improve customer experiences.

Nowadays, there is no innovation in having multiple channels. On one hand, arguably all CSPs have made their way into the different touchpoints, internal and customer-facing, web and mobile. On the other hand, differentiation now comes from the experience CSPs can deliver to their customers, not their presence in multiple channels.

One pivotal facet of that experience is the flexibility of choice regarding the more convenient channel. The customer expects a personal and contextualized experience where progress moves from one channel to another.

Delivering this approach demands a holistic view of how channels serve customers. CELFOCUS Omnichannel delivers on this promise, and provides the options to map the road that best fits the CSPs specific context, should an incremental approach be the choice.

CELFOCUS will help CSPs find the optimal roadmap that 1) first addresses pain points, and 2) accelerates the omnichannel experience. Along the way, CELFOCUS Omnichannel will incrementally cover each touchpoint.

Federated channels is a capability within CELFOCUS Omnichannel, a framework to embark on an incremental transformation of channels, without disregarding the interim states happening during the roadmap execution. Concretely, it allows picking a specific channel (or set of channels) that address the most pressing pain points, while the remaining channels are incrementally replaced and absorbed by CELFOCUS Omnichannel. During the different stages, yet-to-be-replaced channels can see their investment monetize, while their contribution to an omnichannel experience is assured (to the possible extent) via channel federation.

Things change. Now your plan can too. Get more of what you need and less of what you don’t.