In our last Human Discussions talk, our founder has chatted with Graham Johnston, Head of Omnichannel at Three UK about his experience and predictions for the future of omnichannel.
Graham has been covering the current role for the past three years and, as described by Graham himself, he focuses on how to best serve the customers both commercially and from a support perspective across different channels. Graham focuses on how Three UK can adapt and innovate in order to ensure customers have the best possible experience across all of the different touchpoints as a brand.
As explained by Graham, it is difficult to provide a specific definition for omni-channel. Such word has many diverse definitions as he believes it is different for every business.
To Three UK, omni-channel includes the purchase journey together also with the end of life, so often missed by other brand and retailers. To Graham, omni-channel is a more human relationship with the customers, treating each customer as an individual with his/her own personal needs and preferences. It is fundamental also to provide customers with the most seamless way to interact with the brand regardless if it is on social media, in physical stores or online.
The customer must be able to easily interact with the brand and with the people who work in it. In the case in which a customer wants to speak to another human, he/she must be able to easily do that. This ability also leads to better results whether we are talking about customer service or sales. The ability to help customers to easily interact with the brand is the philosophy behind Three Live, a broadcast through which customers can directly have a conversation with professionals regarding a product or a service. Three Live is broadcasted live every hour and each session lasts around 30 minutes. Customers can ask questions and have answers immediately in an anonymous way. Three Live is seamless, fun, engaging and it is exactly what is needed nowadays.
At the moment, due to the current pandemic, several steps of the customer journey have been improved and will still need improvement to ameliorate each customer experience. In this context, however, pro-active communication coming from the brand is fundamental. Many customers have been used to carry out certain actions which are now accomplished differently. Due to this reason is important to be helpful and to engage in pro-active communication in order to seamlessly change the behaviour that has been carried out for many years.
A further element which is essential to consider in the current time is that customers want control and they must have it. As a brand, you cannot create a customer journey and force it on your customers, it is never going to work. As reported by Graham, the beauty of omni-channel is that the customer can choose which channel they want to interact through. In doing so, the customer has more control over his/her actions and the brand becomes more authentic and dedicated to personalisation. Authenticity is fundamental for a brand, it is one of those elements that makes it more human and real.
The current pandemic has certainly changed the scenario alongside with many consumer behaviours. It has been necessary to make the customer journey more digital, but it is important to not focus only on the last touch. Brands must stop focusing on the last touch and acknowledge more about each customer’s journey because each one is carried out differently. Brands must learn what they can improve both on a sale perspective so to contribute to better purchases but also from a support perspective. Brands must learn all they can on the way customers interact with each channel and whether he/she wanted to do something, and it was not possible to achieve it. In the next months, brands should really focus on how well the channels play in the customer journey.
Some of the tech solutions that Graham would advise to consider include:
https://www.usehero.com/ – virtual shopping app giving store associates an ability to connect with customers in real time via video call
Watch the talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnxmQcLzBy8
Listen to the talk here: