The First Step to Omnichannel is to ‘Channel’ Your Favorite Team of Superheroes

In our last blog, Omnichannel Customer Service: Function or Fad?, we defined omnichannel customer service and discussed what an omnichannel experience looks like. However, we often hear that organizations are having a hard enough time managing and delivering on engagements over multiple channels. How can one even consider going down the path to omnichannel? I mean, even the word “OMNICHANNEL” itself seems like a term that only a superhero could deliver on. What’s a mere mortal to do?

When mulling over this very question, I was inspired by the latest movie I saw, which just so happened to be about a band of unexpected superheroes: “The Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Each character started out with individual objectives based on their own agendas. Peter ’Star-Lord‘ Quill is on the quest for a mysterious orb, but really desires forgiveness. Drax looks to avenge his family. Gamora seeks freedom. And Rocket and Groot are on the hunt for monetary gain.

But it wasn’t until [SPOILER ALERT] they began to consider more than their own objectives, came together and realized a common goal that they really began to work toward accomplishing something spectacular, making them ‘guardians of the galaxy.’ By this point, you are probably thinking that I am grasping at straws, but bear with me.

Back in the real world, we brought together two customer experience experts, Jeanne Bliss, founder and CEO of Customer Bliss and Nancy Jamison, Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan to address the very topic I was mulling over before: What is the first step down the path to delivering on omnichannel experiences?

“You have to have cross-organizational buy-in,” says Nancy Jamison. “… If you have a division that’s going off and doing a mobile strategy, and you have your marketing department all of a sudden deciding that they’re going to get into social media, and you don’t have … organizational support underneath, including a plan and looking at all of the ways consumers are contacting us. If you don’t have that, it’s just not going to fly.”

Turns out, my superhero analogy wasn’t as far-fetched as I had thought. In fact, every single one of us out there can be superheroes; Champions of the Customer Experience, if you will.

Just like Peter Quill, Groot and all of the other ’Guardians‘ who started out working solely toward their own desires, we too can accomplish amazing things when we band together and consider what’s really at stake: the overall customer experience. Each organization within the enterprise must come together to decide on what the customer should experience holistically.

Not just the mobile experience. Not just the IVR or phone experience. And, not just the social media experience, but the complete or, if you will, omni-experience that your customer has with your company.

While you are getting this cross-functional buy-in, what else should your organization be doing?

“First thing that I would do is to become my customer,” says Jamison. “You’re only as good as your weakest channel. If you’re going to provide that consistent, seamless experience… you need to go through and try every single channel, every single way that you can contact your own company. And a lot of people don’t get that.”

Again, we can look to our favorite superheroes for guidance here. Some of our most beloved icons–Superman, Spiderman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer–are heroic because of their ability to empathize, often because they’ve experience similar challenges in the past.

We’ve all encountered good and bad customer experience. Have you put yourselves in your customers’ shoes lately and experienced what it was like to do business with your own company?

Now that you’ve learned what Jeanne Bliss and Nancy Jamison have to say about the first step down the path to Omnichannel, we invite you to don your superhero cape or Spandex (for some reason, superheroes love their Spandex) and be a Champion of Customer Experience at your company. Learn more below.

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This article was a guest post from Tina Liu.

Tina Liu Avaya

Tina Liu is Product Marketing Manager for Avaya’s Self Service and Outbound solutions. Prior to joining Avaya, Tina worked as a marketing manager at Cisco Systems, covering Unified Communication and Collaboration solutions. She has ample experience in CRM, having worked on the client-side as a CRM manager at Giorgio Armani and on the vendor side at a CRM SaaS company. Tina has a BA in Business-Economics from UCLA and a MBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.