Omnichannel in Action
The other day my errands turned into one omnichannel adventure after another. My experience offers three examples of how companies in three different industries improved my customer experience with their omnichannel solutions.
Pick Up Prescriptions
My first stop was my pharmacy. The pharmacy sent me a text telling me that a prescription had been automatically refilled and was ready for pickup. The message came via SMS not because that’s how the pharmacy does it, but because that’s how I told them to do it—and I had a few choices.
A code was displayed on the pharmacy’s mobile app. When I picked up the prescription, the pharmacist’s staff scanned that code; I was authenticated and she knew what I came to pick up. (I could have authenticated myself any way I want: that app code or my membership card or my phone number.) And when I got home there was an email with a digital receipt for the transaction and a web link to my online account.
(A while back, when I would pull into their parking lot, their locator would trigger a text message to me about all their daily specials. But that got annoying and I directed that those notifications stop.)
That’s convenient. But it gets a lot better.
My next stop was the supermarket. Let’s count how many channels I used to buy milk, mangoes, and mayonnaise—and see how that improved my experience.
1. Before I left, I went to the market’s web site to add coupons and personalized deals to my digital shopping list.
2. When I got to the store I used my mobile app to pick up where I left off online. With my permission, the app used my location to find the correct store and presented my list of items organized by aisle.
3. I scanned shelf price stickers to add products to my list.
4. I used the physical channel—AKA my shopping cart.
5. I used my loyalty card to authenticate myself at checkout and receive all the discounts I added across all the channels I used.
6. And there’s at least one partner channel: I used my rewards credit card to receive a discount at the gasoline pump on the way home.
I counted six. But my omnichannel day wasn’t done yet
Hit from Behind
Wouldn’t you know it, I get rear-ended after getting gas. Here’s what I did. I used my smartphone to take pictures of the scene, of the two cars, and of the other driver’s information. Then I made a preliminary report to my insurance company with my mobile app, and I uploaded those photos. When I got home (the ice cream was a little melted but not too bad) there was an email with instructions on how to complete the claim. I followed those steps, took a “four-corners” photo, and I was approved to take the car to the shop.
That repair facility connects to the insurer and to me, and together the three of us form yet another channel. I can call my agent and find out how far along the body shop is in the repair process, or call the body shop to see if the claim has been approved, or call neither and look it up online or on their app. And if I ever have to speak to an agent or interact with an IVR, my cell phone number will provide either with all the information they need to help me.
Every day we at USAN talk with more and more companies wanting to bring more and more channels together, just as these companies have. Omnichannel spans industries and those industries deploy it in ways I haven’t touched on here. It powers the front-end customer interaction, and the back-end business processes and data analytics. And, most important, it’s quickly becoming the critical driver of customer satisfaction.
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