The Importance of a Seamless Multi-Channel Engagement

Multi-channel engagement is your organisation’s ability to reach and engage with customers through various channels such as email, SMS, app push-notifications, etc.

By using multi-channel engagement, you’re able to create value for both potential and existing customers from a variety of different touchpoints.

The benefit? 

You increase the chances of attracting and converting potential customers, while improving relationships with existing ones. 

You reduce the risk of your message being lost in translation and misunderstood by your target audiences. 

And you also produce high quality communication standards, resulting in richer feedback as well as better, more predictable outcomes.

From Paper to Gorilla Glass

Traditionally, multi-channel was about understanding how to flow between fixed, real world engagements. From physically buying your paper ticket to handing it over at check-in, every touchpoint was manual and in need of human interaction.

And still today, many of these physical processes exist in conjunction with digital channels. And with each channel comes both a cost and a huge amount of overhead to manage on a daily basis. 

This is simply because we haven’t gotten around to computerising certain experiences.  

Yet there’s hope.

Although it might be a small percentage, what we’re fast seeing is that these different channels (and the user experiences within them) are undergoing a complete digital transformation.

And with that digitisation comes a necessary rebalancing across all of these channels. Because at the end of the day, digital channels tend to be far cheaper to manage than traditional, physical channels.

Digital channels allow you to shape a dynamic environment that gives passengers an issue-free, tailored experience across a variety of platforms.

Perhaps the channel comes in the form of a chatbot. Where passengers can make bookings, queries and even basic conversation to inform themselves of anything related to their journey.

Maybe it’s an automated voice that converses, responds and sounds exactly like a human. Where it can help calm the customer by either dealing with high-pressure situations or routing the call to the best possible consultant to deal with a particular problem. Imagine that, Siri for your airline. 

This way, you can orchestrate a powerful human experience in a much more fine-grained way. 

Now we start stitching these channels together.

The expectation of the passenger is to have the comfort and freedom to pick up where they left off. Whatever state they left your relationship in is the state that they’d like to pick up from. And on whatever channel they would prefer.

We’re entering a world where you cannot force a customer to engage with you. 

If you have multiple partners, whether it’s a loyalty partner or a miles’ partner, passengers might want to engage with you through these booking systems, these aggregators.

They still want the same experience. Albeit through different channels. 

So as part of this digital journey, it’s all about getting and managing a central view of your customer.

So if you’ve got a booking one that same booking one needs to be able to deal with a channel through chat, a channel through desktop, a channel through web, a channel through a partner.

And what we do is we overlay it with an API management platform. So your front-ends become connections into your system as much as your third party partners are connecting into your systems.

Everyone shares the same microservice.

Oh scale. Is that a problem? 

Well, yes. That’s why we microservice it. Because microservices are now designed to fit into a world of containers, which is basically the capacity for hundreds of servers that can be fired up and shut down very quickly. 

This ensures that you have as much compute power as you ever want, depending on where the traffic is coming from. And that you’re able to shut it down as quickly as you brought it up and that you can maintain complete control of that compute. 

So combining microservices with containerization across the channels is vitally important, because the central database that links them will keep the state in the journey that your passenger last left themselves in.

They might lose a connection. They might go under a tunnel. Or they might run into distractions and come back on a different channel.

Again. They want to pick up where they left off. 

They don’t need your archaic rules, timing them out, resetting them, leaving them with a blue screen. 

No one wants to repeat themselves every time they are cut from a journey. That is not an experience.

Those days are gone and you need to be dynamic. You need to be engaging. You need to be measuring and you need to be offering the best possible, simple service that the customer needs. 

We’ve made it a reality in Comair, where they went from a 27-minute journey to book an online ticket down to three swipes on a mobile. 

This is possible. 

Simple journeys across multiple engagements is key.

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Our Co-founder and Chief Evangelist Officer is an ex-Google, ex-Barclays Executive with enough personality to make AI work all by himself. With over 16 years of experience doing international keynotes, making digital transformation work across Africa and spreading laughter, he sells AI like beer.

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