Multichannel customer contact is a fact of life. Unfortunately, so are organizational silos and divided ownership of the media that your customers use, or want to use. In an increasingly complex customer interaction environment, there’s no time like the present to get your corporate act together.
Start with a discovery process that takes inventory of the ways customers currently interact for various contact types, as well as the technology in place to enable these interactions. Gather the critical business drivers that the strategy must consider, along with the elements of corporate strategy and operational goals that will influence channel priorities.
Assemble a cross-functional task force to establish a vision for multichannel. Use the inventory to identify gaps, assess requirements, and surface dependencies. Prioritize initiatives to define a plan and timeline. Assess the impact on your people, process, and technology as well as your customers.
In a perfect world, the task force presents a cohesive multichannel strategy and plan to a cross-functional steering committee that assumes the mantle for making intelligent investments and monitoring business impact. They can get (and keep) everyone on the same page, working together toward common goals. They’ll ensure that the appropriate “connective tissue” gets put in place for end-to-end service delivery and hold the responsible parties accountable for results.
An effective multichannel governance structure demands focused attention to the following critical success factors:
- Visible endorsement and support by senior management to champion the strategy, build coalitions to support it, and create the desire for change
- Representation from all stakeholders to establish a broad base of support, leverage distinct perspectives, institute peer review, and promote the initiatives across the organization
- Understanding of and allegiance to common goals and vision
- Documented policies and procedures that govern project submission, evaluation, rating/ranking, approval, monitoring, and post-implementation assessment
- Oversight of investments and resource allocation across all customer contact channels
- Performance management to measure tangible contributions to business goals
- A formal change management process to overcome resistance and dramatically increase the likelihood that projects will succeed
A carefully constructed strategy, an effective governing body, and the right foundational tools make it possible to optimize the customer experience while delivering on the organization’s business objectives.
For a more detailed discussion on this topic, read the full article entitled Pursue Strategy and Governance to Ensure Multichannel Technology Optimization.