In capped industries like utility and telco, you’re often targeting people who are already with a competitor and likely don’t actively switch providers. To stand a chance of winning these customers and their long term loyalty, you need to build trust through flawless customer experiences – that’s where multichannel comes in.

Your customers live in a multichannel society now. The standard is instant, convenient, frictionless onboarding – and anything less than this feels jarring. Customers expect to interact with brands face to face and over the phone and web, without needing to join the dots themselves.

Many utility and telco companies are working with legacy systems. Which means any that can master the complexities of this new multichannel playing field will gain a distinct competitive advantage.

 

What kind of system is needed for multichannel sales?

As McKinsey’s telco report Change the channel: A new multitouch point portfolio outlines, multichannel sales tech is what will set future telco industry winners apart. But it needs buy in from everyone in the business to bring all channels and departments together:

“Delivering a multichannel strategy and enabling cross-channel customer journeys usually requires significant changes in IT platforms,” the authors write.

“Target IT capabilities to be developed include, among many others, a cross-channel product advisory engine, a fully multichannel architecture offering, an agile operations platform supporting real-time automated processing, fully online event-driven CRM, and a fully parametrical product catalog.”

However, a complex system only needs to be complex under the hood. For sales reps it should be effortless – an automated breeze that enables them to whisk people through a tailored customer journey and close deals almost instantly anywhere, anytime.

Off-the-shelf options that try to achieve this are rarely a good fit for telco and utility companies. They’re designed for different customer journeys and fewer processes, so they create additional friction for sales teams and anyone trying to manage the back end.

To make cross-channel integration work behind the scenes, and to make it work effectively for customer journeys in utility and telco, often requires many tailored APIs. Zoom in on the multichannel architecture and it’s clear that this can’t be the work of just any developer.

 

Multichannel architecture: how it should fit together

When we configured our multichannel sales tech for Ogi, an ISP and managed IT services company, the engagement was as important as the delivery.

We worked with Ogi to shape a customer journey for field, tele and web sales, and we identified what APIs we would need to pull in and push out the relevant data.

While some systems might make use of only four calls, more sophisticated systems like Ogi’s can make use of up to 12 API calls. These can include requests, such as for product, address data and so on. They can also involve many outbound calls, sending information for payment verification, to book installations, to 3rd party systems and other sales processes.

All this makes the tech simple but specialised on the surface, enabling Ogi’s reps to make contact with potential customers and close deals in record time – without stalling points in the process – on the phone or in the field.

Beneath the surface, the cross-channel integration makes it possible to analyse sales performance metrics in a new way across field, tele and web sales. Ogi can see where they can retarget prospects that don’t complete the sales cycle, or where customer journeys needed to be tweaked further.

 

What’s an affordable route?

 As a new contender in fibre, the Ogi team says they struggled to compete on price against other providers, so they needed to offer a great customer service as a USP.

“The sales processes we had in the business before PSI were not fit for purpose,” says Sally-Anne Skinner, Chief Revenue Officer at Ogi. “We would not have been able to go out to market and deliver the scale that we have and the penetration that we have without significant amounts of customer dissatisfaction and pain and resources.”

An out-of-the-box solution wouldn’t integrate field, tele and web sales in the way they needed. But sophisticated solutions are usually built gradually over many years, often from the ground up. Ogi couldn’t afford to wait.

They needed a seamless multichannel experience. Although customers would never think of it in these terms, in a multichannel world, they are coming to expect tailored customer journeys, unified by an automated backend system.

Using our full suite of products – Fusion Core, Pulse, and Touchstone – Ogi were able to create this seamless end-to-end sales journey across the three sales channels that they operate in. It was a world away from their former solution.

“If we were still using that solution,” says Alexander Breverton, Telesales Manager at Ogi, “we wouldn’t have had the success we have had, it’s safe to say,”

To learn more, see our case study deep dive into how PSI helped Ogi scale and penetrate their market