What is the future of User Experience in the world of Omnichannel

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In the world of Omnichannel the number of touchpoints with which our customer has contact is increasing every year. This makes it increasingly difficult to maintain consistency of communication with the customer. 

Therefore, this year we began to carry out Omnichannel audits for the customers of Divante. Such an audit maps the customer transition between channels during common tasks (buying, change of agreement, return, complaints). We check what processes are possible. Then we match the capabilities with customer expectations and sometimes also with selected leading benchmarks. Thus, a map is formed of transitions between channels and a map of Omnichannel Gaps – places where conversions and customer satisfaction are lost, etc.

Conclusions are brutal – each organization under research has plenty Omnichannel Gaps. This means that it is impossible to design UX for all possible combinations of channels, processes and client behaviours. Instead, a set of algorithms should be created that will create a User Experience dedicated to customer basing on his history of behaviours, the current situation and the communication channel of the sheet he uses.

My argument is that in the future the UX designers will not design the User Experience  as such but algorithms to create User Experience. They will become the architects of solutions that will immediately create layouts, messages, or select the tone of voice for the shopping assistant.

The future is already here. In a recent study of millennials in the US, it turned out that young people do not want to talk to the merchants even when buying their first car. They strongly prefer to make an online purchase. This is how Tesla operates. In the company showrooms a customer can see the car and talk about it but cannot buy it. I remember my positive surprise when three years ago, I was in a Tesla showroom and nobody approached me and tried to give me a brochure, and so on. Shop assistants are to be helpful but they are not remunerated from the purchase made by a customer, so they are not pushy. A customer makes his/her configuration and the purchase of the car online. This allows the company to collect much more information than the traditional process, after which the only result is one or two records in the CRM. 

Companies such as Digital Genius propose fully automated intelligent agents that support the customer’s phone or chat.  On the other hand, Amy, an artificially intelligent personal assistant, is a program which when after adding a CC in an email takes over the conversation and like a real assistant arranges the customer’s appointments. Customer service carried out in this manner will allow to gather a lot of information about each client individually and about customer segments as a whole. Today this work is carried out by people and most of the information about customers’ behaviour is not collected, processed and generalized. Today, an experienced consultant can resolve a specific situation but a colleague sitting next to him in the office is in a specific situation for the first time and fails. In the case of systems based on AI this situation will not occur. 

Perhaps soon fingering the touch screen or staring at the laptop screen will be just a distant recollection the same as putting a Kodak film to an analogue camera. After all, our natural interfaces are adapted to the conversation rather than the two-dimensional eye-hand navigation. A hundred years ago, an entrepreneur used to enter the office and ask his secretary whether something important had happened. Then, after the getting acquainted with the incoming correspondence, he made quick decisions whom to reply and a secretary’s task was to dress it into nice words. Then he had time to think and talk with his advisors and contractors. In the near future, our emails may be written by intelligent assistants that will notify us about important issues only and will handle all the routine mails themselves. Methods of interaction known today can significantly change.

Certainly, it is good to invest in two solutions today that will prepare your organization for the future changes.

Single View Of Customer – to manipulate the customer data we need to integrate all the information bases about the client. BigData systems, like Hadoop, enables storing and operating on huge amounts of data. Some of our clients provide Terabytes of data about customers each month, others collect data from nearly 100 IT systems simultaneously. The integration of customer data in one place is an absolute basis to start building a consistent User Experience.

Personalization – when the customer data are located in a single database, we can begin to personalize messages on the basis of the information about the client. Dedicated personalization systems can significantly improve the quality of service and hence the conversion and customer satisfaction. In the future, personalisations can supply the agent systems that will automatically serve the customers.

User Experience of the future is an area joining the sexiest topics of technology – from data collection (IoT, Wearables) through processing (BigData, AI) to modern communication channels (3D, voice assistants). 

The future of the broadly understood Customer Experience is the combination of UX, marketing and technology. Only a combination of these areas will enable meeting the needs of customers.

Published December 4, 2015