Omnichannel experiences enable users to engage with applications and systems no matter where they are or what device they are using—and without noticing a difference. You probably think of them mostly as experiences for consumers and customers, but what you might not know is that enterprises can deliver other kinds of omnichannel experiences. Let’s learn a little more about omnichannel customer experiences, omnichannel experiences for the enterprise, also known as “enterprise omnichannel,” and what the difference is. Then we’ll look at 5 great enterprise omnichannel examples.
What Is Omnichannel Customer Experience?
Think Disney, Starbucks, Bank of America, Amazon, and Timberland. Each offers customers the ability to interact via web, mobile, voice, digital, and email, but they’re all connected. So, if a customer leaves one and moves to another, the experience continues as if nothing had changed. As a result, consumers feel comfortable with a company, which builds trust and relationships. They keep coming back, but they also, just like in the 1980s shampoo commercial, “tell two friends and they tell two friends and they tell two friends and so on.” Suddenly, you notice an uptick in retention and acquisition.
Because it’s usually big brands and enterprises that offer omnichannel customer experiences, it’s tempting to think that omnichannel customer experiences and enterprise omnichannel are just different terms for the same thing. Don’t give in to the temptation.
Enterprise Omnichannel: Getting on the Magic Omnibus
Omnichannel customer experience is a form of enterprise omnichannel. That’s because enterprise omnichannel can extend to all corners of an enterprise: customers, employees, operations, field, sales and marketing, branches, regional offices, partners, suppliers, and more.
The goal of enterprise omnichannel is to offer numerous ways of interacting and engaging with others inside and outside an organization via different devices, all of which not only offer the same experience but also enable users to continue where they left off if they switch devices. I think of enterprise omnichannel as a kind of magic omnibus, collecting numerous different user and customer experiences and combining them into one, just like an omnibus collection of books or a government omnibus bill. The “magic” is how it takes complicated processes and interactions and makes them seamless and satisfying.
Consider a push notification for single sign-on to a company’s inventory control portal. An employee enters a username and password to log in. A push notification is sent to the employee’s wearable device, smartphone, or tablet asking the employee to approve the login. With a simple tap of the wearable, phone, or tablet, the employee has access. The approval is the same on all three devices. This example is the absolute bare-bones minimum of what enterprise omnichannel can be. So, let’s look at 5 robust omnichannel experience examples for the enterprise so you can get a really good idea of what it is.
Example 1: The Burton Snowboards Logistics Omnichannel Experience
U.S. snowboarding company Burton has a logistics application that connects all sales points and ties them into their back-end systems while providing an omnichannel experience. Customers can purchase from any channel—stores, dealers, and Burton’s e-commerce site. If the Burton warehouse runs out of snowboards or children’s backpacks in February, employees can scour stores and get products sent to buyers quickly. Employees themselves can walk around with tablets, tag and package specific items for shipment, and get the items sent to buyers quickly.The app enables Burton to move goods through its sales channels and avoid big inventory carrying costs. After a year in use, Burton has averaged 56 shipments a day, kept pace for 14 days straight of 200+ shipments, and generated 10 times ROI in revenue. The company is maintaining historically low inventory, avoiding off-price store sales, and turning summer sell-offs into “shopping events” rather than clearance sales.
Example 2: The Beezteez B2B eCommerce Platform
Beeztees is a leading business to business (B2B) supplier of pet supplies with employees and customers in 45 countries worldwide. Beezteez offers an enterprise omnichannel e-commerce platform for retailers that includes product, inventory, pricing, and order information. Through integration with SAP that enables Beezteez to unlock SAP data to web and mobile applications, retailers see a real-time inventory of the different products. During the ordering process, retailers can easily choose to have a product delivered in the store or straight to the consumer's home.
Track-and-trace functionality is integrated into the portal, so retailers always know where the packages they ordered are in the supply chain. Other vendors can easily connect to it as well. Beezteez is especially proud of the pricing capabilities, which includes individual pricing agreements. Beezteez employees can easily adjust prices so the customers always see correct products. And the result of offering this omnichannel experience to retailers and other vendors? Beezteez has improved its competitiveness by offering customized, up to date pricing and features for active marketing contribute to increasing sales.
Example 3: The Zurich Insurance Omnichannel Agent Experience
Zurich Insurance Group is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. In Portugal, the company partners with more than 1,000 agents to offer policies to individuals and small-to-medium enterprise customers. For those agents, Zurich created a comprehensive omnichannel agent experience, starting with a dedicated online portal, an app for tablets, and an app for smartphones, that would be easier and more fun for agents to use while handling all their business.
Agents immediately adopted the new platform and reacted positively to a long list of new features. For example, after a quick search, they can have a 360-degree view of customer activity. They can log in to the app using a fingerprint reader. And, they get mobile notifications on the fly. This omnichannel experience has contributed to a sharp increase in policy business. (If you’re interested in other stories of insurance and customer experience, this blog post by Ariel Russo is full of them.)
Example 4: The Bluezest Mortgage Underwriting Experience
BlueZest is a technology-based specialized property investment funder, and they’re on a mission to overhaul the UK mortgage lending market. Because mortgage applications are long and complicated, BlueZest has transformed and streamlined that experience with a faster, modern, omnichannel mortgage application and approval experience that cuts weeks from traditional methods.
Adaptive forms ensure that applicants only see the fields they need to complete. They can also complete an application in multiple sessions by saving their responses as they go, and picking up where they left off on any device they choose. Progression through the application front-end triggers compliance and risk management validation on the back-end. By the time the applicant finishes, address verification, know-your-customer checks, credit history checks, affordability and indebtedness checks, property valuation, and other background checks have all been done.
Example 5: The BRI Operational Support System (BOSS)
A trusted security services company in Australia, BRI Security tackled the overwhelming task of processing the huge volume of handwritten reports produced by its field operatives with a new app called BOSS. With BOSS, BRI Security’s field operatives can receive job information, record observations, attach pictures, log their breaks, do “welfare checks,” and more—all on their mobile devices.
BOSS automatically compiles a full report when each operative completes a shift. The company’s clients receive these reports instantly. They can also monitor the activity of their contracted staff in real-time with geolocation, push notifications, and multiple data visualizations. BRI Security can also view automated, accurate information from its clients, easily minimizing administration and customizing their service delivery. With BOSS, BRI has deepened its relationship with its biggest client and has increased customer acquisition, including contractual obligations worth millions.
What Else Do These Omnichannel Experience Examples Have in Common?
The applications and experiences cited in this blog post, along with the great omnichannel experience for retail banking described by Michael Douglas, were all developed and delivered with an enterprise low-code application platform (LCAP). That enterprise LCAP is OutSystems, which Gartner says “focuses on enterprise application development for agile and continuous customer delivery by offering a combination of omnichannel support and scalability.”
OutSystems was also named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms 2019. If you’re considering building great omnichannel experiences, you should check the report out. It evaluates18 LCAP vendors out of 200 to help you get on the magic omnichannel omnibus.