State of the Industry How integrating customer interactions across all communication channels impact

The last decade was spent chasing the proverbial “360 degree” or comprehensive view of the customer. A shift is now underway to the consumer driving the conversation, causing a need to deliver a 360 degree view of the company instead. That is, creating a consistent customer engagement across all communication channels, including voice, web, mobile, social and point-of-sale. There is little more damaging to the customer experience than when a service interaction has no continuity between the channels, with the customer repeating the same information as they transition from one channel to another. Even worse, the customer often receives different, or contradictory, information depending on their interaction channel. And with the emergence of the new mobile service channel, this problem will only be exacerbated. This article explores how organizations can adopt a 360 degree view of the company – projecting a single unified customer service experience across multiple disparate communication channels.

The 360 Degree View of the Customer

Companies have long struggled in their desire to form a single view of their customer. Mergers and acquisitions, legacy IT systems and multiple agent desktop applications have led to a complex solution for what is in essence a very simple problem: Simply trying to understand who your customers are. Fortunately, the range of solutions has matured over a decade of grappling with the issue. Some software vendors attempted to become the single source of truth, which was in effect a massive data (re) normalization effort that is usually very costly, time consuming and has high failure rates. Other vendors approached the same problem with “surface integration” technology, by simply painting the customer view in real-time, dipping into the various backend and line of business applications as needed in a non-invasive manner. These solutions, albeit more tactical, were generally quicker to implement at a lower cost and lower risk, but did not reduce the overall portfolio of IT applications.