Recently I had an issue with my mobile phone. To sort it out involved calls to customer services and a couple of visits to store. Which is when things got all a bit much for Vodafone, and I got very irate. Apparently, customer services can’t access the store data and vice versa. So neither side could answer simple questions about my situation. Which for a modern business is very, very crap. Especially one that sells it’s ‘omnichannel’ technology and experience to others (see here for their sales blurb)

To thrive in the modern world where each customer averages 7.2 devices and uses 3 on daily basis* you must be able to integrate across multiple channels. The ability to get a single view of each customer is vital and most importantly totally expected by customers.

People don’t care where they are when they choose to interact with you. But it seems to make a huge difference to the service they get.

Modern success stories such Uber, Netflix, Amazon, Airbnb have done this from day one. But that’s the advantage of start-ups, they can build themselves perfectly aligned to the modern customer.

For older legacy businesses, it’s much harder as it requires new systems and technology. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be pulling out all the stops to get it done.

In fact, I’d say it’s the single most important objective for all businesses. It should be discussed at every board meeting “How do we get a single view of every customer across every channel”

Don’t add a new channel without being very clear on how it’s going to integrate with customer service and provide a seamless experience. This happened a lot in the early days of social media where everyone treated it like a simple broadcast channel.

Of course, you can always stick to traditional one way broadcast channels to shout at customers while driving them down a specific customer service channel because that works for you. But you’ll continue to lose out to start ups who know how to talk to the modern customer.


*taken from the Adobe Econsultancy Omnichannel report

Thanks to for the great image above