Meeting The Omni Channel Challenge

By Mark Grimes

Other than sounding like a new reality television gameshow all organisations are facing a barrage of incoming and outgoing documents through many channels. One area which is coming under increasing pressure is that of complaints management. In the past, these were typically received in the mail or via telephone however now customers can use social media, apps, phone, email, paper and the list goes on. What was once a one-to-one relationship is now potentially one-to-many.

This Omni channel approach poses significant challenges for businesses not least identifying who should be dealing with the incoming item. In order to alleviate this issue, the key is intercepting the incoming content early, interpreting it and driving a case management approach off the back of this.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning is one way to help your business determine how better to deal with incoming requests. Not only in complaints but also across multiple facets of your business including account opening, queries, claims management etc.

Intercepting content early and using the natural language processing capability of today’s software allows you to focus on dealing with the issue rather than determining if an issue exists and who should deal with it.

Once the software has determined where the complaint should be directed solutions can now create rich case management objects. Your knowledge workers can work in this case model to determine a resolution and enrich your knowledge base of solutions to customer issues. This drives efficiency and ultimately reduces cost.

If your organisation deals with multiple incoming content types which is used to drive your business process, then looking at AI enabled technologies to drive more efficiency is something which you should be looking at.

An Omni channel approach also provides the ability to receive incoming content no matter what the mode or form factor, and respond back in context using the same mode or form factor in a way that is consistent and clear to the customer.

For instance, most consumers have at least eight ways that they can interact with their bank, or insurance company or government agency: go to a branch or office, send a letter, send an email, scan and send a document, send a fax, call the contact centre, chat on-line or use a Mobile App.

Today, most organisations struggle with this. It’s usually a poorly integrated set of different capabilities that operate at different speeds with different gaps and bottlenecks.

In many cases these processes are not connected. Digitally-born process are far faster than paper or Digital Document processes and all these gaps are problematic.

To plug these gaps requires an integrated back office process, actually a Digital Business Platform (What we used to call Enterprise Content Management!)

This contains Document Capture to handle paper and electronic documents, ECM repositories for the storage and retrieval, Case Management for managing processes and customers, and a public-facing Content Repository.

Traditional capture systems are great at capturing known and predictable document types such as forms. They create an image, extract values from some pre-defined areas on the form and store it all somewhere.

But much of the really important information entering an organisation is not on a form but is in a letter, in an email message or in a PDF file. And traditional document capture systems just can’t handle that sort of unstructured data.

Unlike traditional document capture systems that rely on human intervention for unknown or variable documents, cognitive capture automates the processing of document transactions using a combination of advanced document imaging, content analytics and machine learning techniques to process all document types, including those with highly variable content and unknown formats.

And – very importantly - Records Management and Governance solutions are required for a Certified Records Chain of Custody throughout the life of each document.

Most organisations are still struggling with being able to deliver a smooth content experience and those that do have a higher customer satisfaction. Recent analysis by Forrester has found that cost reduction is becoming less of a driver for business process improvement efforts today, which are instead being devoted to providing a Digital Business platform that is better able to manage customer servicing and on-boarding.

Many struggle with bespoke document management solutions that are created with a process specific metadata model, and so the documents are invisible to other process solutions.

There is no link between customer and document (documents are typically indexed to an application or product id. So, nobody knows what is stored in the enterprise and as a result customer service is poor.

Acquiring true Omni channel capability requires a unified customer view, regardless of which product, channel or employee a customer engages with. 

Mark Grimes is Managing Director of Australian content management consultants Blumark www.blumark.com.au

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