Orchestrated omnichannel user experience, the word ‘orchestrated’ may remind you of an orchestra. To orchestrate something, like a music score or a user experience in our case, is to coordinate it in a way to produce a pleasant effect.
Designing a wholesome omnichannel user experience could be likened to an orchestra conductor bringing the strings, percussion, brass and woodwinds together, keeping them in time and working together to create a beautiful symphony.
Likewise, designing an effective omnichannel user experience requires 5 key components to work together in creating a high-quality user experience:
- Consistent (Read: How to Create a Consistent Omnichannel User Experience)
- Optimized for context (Read: How to Create an Optimized Omnichannel User Experience)
- Seamless (Read: How to Create a Seamless Omnichannel User Experience)
User Journey Orchestration
It’s important to support users in moving seamlessly from one channel to another, allowing them to pick up where they left off with ease. But beyond this, the design ought to be a step ahead of the user in predicting what the user may do next and meet their needs before the user even needs them.
Creating an orchestrated omnichannel user experience is to covertly coordinate or plan the user journey with the aim of minimizing the effort from users for future actions. In order to offer your users something useful and relevant at the right time as a next step, you need to really understand your users well enough to properly predict the potential step based on the current circumstance.
The best way to understand your users is to conduct user research.
How to Create an Orchestrated Omnichannel User Experience
Real-time and contextual orchestration requires a mature data model that is highly integrated, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. But don’t let this dissuade you from achieving a less complex level of an orchestrated omnichannel user experience. There are 3 levels of orchestration of increasing complexity.
Level 1: General User Journey
An easy starting point for businesses that don’t require any investment in technical undertakings is to automate the user journey. This can be done by identifying common user journeys that are straightforward and follow a relatively linear path. Once the common user journeys are successfully identified, the next step would be to identify opportunities in reducing the effort required for the next step in the journey.
This level of orchestration works well for linear user journeys such as going to a dental appointment. For example, the user might receive a text notification from the dental clinic to remind them about their appointment. This text notification could include useful information such as a link to the address for convenient directions.
After the dental appointment, the dental clinic may send a follow-up text message for after-care information as an easy reference and reminder for the user. The journey will feel well-designed and connected, creating a pleasant and impressive user experience.
All that is required for a level 1 orchestrated omnichannel user experience is thoughtful service design for the general user journey.
Level 2: Large Segments of Users
The 2nd level of orchestration requires the use of specific pieces of data in order to facilitate the next step in the user journey. This can be done by looking for opportunities in the user journey to include specific personalized interactions based on the customer data.
Having a customer journey map is hugely beneficial in identifying these opportunities. Creating a customer journey map is not easy, it requires a depth of research, engaging a user experience research (UXR) agency or UI/UX agency will save you a lot of time and effort in doing it yourself.
Segmented orchestration allows targeted opportunities to be identified so that specific orchestrated interactions can be added to the user journey for groups of users that meet certain criteria.
Businesses may already have existing data to determine whether the additional orchestrated interactions are suitable, otherwise, it would be helpful to start collecting data to gauge the success rate of the additions.
Some of the personalized interactions may be triggered by backend batch processes after identifying those who qualify, generating the next step for users. A disadvantage to large-segment orchestration is that these interactions may not always be triggered at the right moment of the user journey.
In this level, the orchestrated touchpoints are identified and built in a manual and static way. Whereas in the next level, there is dynamically automated real-time orchestration that is tailored to granular user segments.
Following the example above of going to the dentist, the customer journey map may show that users often schedule an appointment every 6-12 months for descaling and polishing. This opportunity in the user journey allows an orchestration where the dentist can send timely notifications to users, perhaps even throw in a promotion where they can refer a friend for a discount or free gift.
Level 3: Granular User Segments
This level is the most mature and complex level of the omnichannel user experience, powered by a journey-orchestration engine that makes use of user data to determine when, what, and how to deliver an interaction to users.
This can be carried out using software that supports journey analytics, enabling your business to orchestrate journeys by taking actions in adjusting touchpoints for user segments based on the insights known about the users.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is commonly used to suggest actions. A personalized journey can be built based on the users’ context, goals, interests and behaviours. Each user can experience a unique journey through a nurtured path of action-related touchpoints, and their future interactions can also be taken into account for the most suitable interactions and communications.
There are several types of software platforms available that have some or all the required capabilities to dynamically automate real-time orchestration:
These softwares enables companies in analyzing user behaviours and motivation over time and across channels and devices. User journey analytics platforms, which is also known as user journey visioning platforms, detects activities across all the touchpoints and channels.
Visualizations are then created using the user journey data to help businesses understand the user journey through their ecosystem. The visualizations are also helpful in creating and refining a user journey strategy.
Journey orchestration software provides the ability to manage and automate journeys through identifying events or user states, allowing businesses to build suitable actions that are triggered based on these events.
The most sophisticated tools use AI to suggest these actions. The aim here is to deliver personalized user journeys based on the interests, behaviours and goals of the users. These tools help in creating a web of action-related touchpoints, ensuring that each user experiences a unique pathway leading them to their goal. The software helps to predict future interactions and therefore executes the most suitable communications and interactions.
User Data Storage and Management
This refers to the business’ ability in understanding the individual user journey across its entire ecosystem of channels, devices and interactions, from support to sales.
Specialized platforms in this capability are called customer-data platforms (CDPs) where a data view of the customer is created using the user’s individual interactions with the business. Bringing together vital information which is otherwise scattered around the ecosystem in various backend systems such as support-center systems.
The most enjoyable user experiences are those that are highly personalized and dynamically unfold based on the specific needs of the user. Creating an orchestrated omnichannel user experience is a key component to a wholesome omnichannel user experience.