One of the key reasons we established Livework was that we had seen again and again a single channel project fail to reach its potential due to a disconnect with the other channels. A new website, for example, would sell customers a ticket but the call center would not be able to help when that process failed.
As we get better the landscape gets more complex
Twelve years on things have improved but we still find that service channels are created in isolation. In addition the number of channels organisations are using is growing to include mobile, social media and outsourced services creating a more and more complex landscape. Service design has the tools to help manage the complexity.
Cross channel at the right point in the river
In retail the discussion about bricks & clicks is as old as the Internet. But the key is not in having both. Rather, it’s how you integrate the two that really counts with customers. Depending on market factors, the right combination of web, store and delivery can delight or irritate customers with your approach.
Cross channel thinking helps channel shift
Another area we focus on is where an organisation aims to reduce costs through channel shift. This strategy is an understandable one but can cause unseen issues. A cross channel approach would consider the transition to and from the new channel and how parallel channels support shift, rather than loading the new channel with all the expectations.
No more channel conflicts
Cross channel gets really exciting when channels work together to create optimum customer experiences. More and more customers are online whilst on the phone to a service provider. Aligning these two – as we have done for insurer Gjensidige – can be really powerful. When an agent and the customer can see and discuss the same thing magic happens. This is a fundamentally different way of thinking about channels.
Small improvement to major alignments
Cross channel is a service mindset – it recognises that customers do not stay in one channel and can be either delighted or irritated depending on the way channels work together (or not). The opportunity for businesses is to first make small connections that smooth the customer experience, and then to really align channels into an integrated customer experience.