Omni-Channel Strategies Require Collaboration

Want to learn more about successful omni-channel strategies?  Read on for a personal story that got me thinking about omni-channel.

The phone rang in the middle of the night. It was my daughter, who was completing a semester abroad in London.

“Ma, I’m short on cash, and I need extra this month….You know I’m booking my flight home in December, right?”  she asked.

“Yes,” I said. Yes, that would be fine, of course, it’s OK.

Then I grabbed my mobile phone, punched a few numbers, and in seconds, I transferred funds from my account to my daughter’s account. Just by pressing a few buttons on my phone.   

Happy daughter,  happy Mom… and that got me thinking about the why and how of omni-channel.

 Check out our eBook for best practices and Appian’s digital platform approach to transforming to omni-channel.

Why is  Omni-Channel So Important?

My experience illustrates why omni-channel has become so important.  Simply said, for banking customers like me, omni-channel represents the convenience of a seamless experience along with personalized service – anytime, anywhere.  And banks are focused on omni-channel strategies because they represent opportunities to build customer loyalty and drive growth.

For banks, omni-channel  requires the ability to understand and serve customers with a view across all activities and channels.

To succeed, banks must take a customer-centric approach, and combine digital transformation technology with new approaches to the business.

As PWC states in ‘Making Omni-Channel Work’, “It’s tempting to think of omni-channel banking as a technology issue, particularly because there is often a lot of technology involved. But delivering a consistent, appealing customer experience—online, in a branch, by phone, on an app—requires a different way of thinking.”

Business and IT Must Work Together. To realize their omni-channel strategies, banks must undertake transformation efforts.  For those initiatives to be successful, business and IT must work together, with aligned goals.

As part of the transformation, the leadership teams will need to closely revisit end-to-end business processes – from the customer all the way into core and mission critical systems – an endeavor that cannot be completed in silos and on its own.

Further, as PWC points out, one of the biggest challenge is organizational, since nobody owns omni-channel. “For many banks, branches are still primarily for selling, call centers are mainly for servicing, and digital means marketing.”  To move forward on a customer-centric omni-channel strategy requires a collaborative approach that not only needs IT and business to join forces, but also calls for cooperation across the business functions.

Omni-Channel is Personal

For my latest experience, I was totally impressed with how easily I could move funds. It was effortless. I didn’t have to drive to a branch to complete my transaction. I didn’t have to fire up the laptop in my home office. Instead, I was able to interact with my bank on my mobile phone… on my terms.

All because my bank realized the importance of omni-channel and had begun to implement a strategy for customer-centric business.

Want to learn more about successful omni-channel strategies?  Check out our eBook for best practices and Appian’s digital platform approach to transforming to omni-channel.