Business as usual today often means the customer experience starts with the mobile experience. Smart organizations are building omnichannel solutions to provide a consistent user experience across multiple channels, with the knowledge that mobile may be the starting point of the customer journey.
While we see a lot of debate around what strategies to adopt in order to complete a successful BYOD or Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) roll out, what remains overlooked is how employee-facing apps, especially mobile point of sale apps, can be built in alignment with the omnichannel strategy.
The discussion of enabling omnichannel experiences on employee facing apps boils down to the discussion of enterprise mobile architecture. Can this architecture deliver a consistent user experience regardless of whether the customer touch point is on a consumer facing app or an employee facing app?
Challenges of Providing an Omnichannel Experience
The pivotal capability to provide a consistent omnichannel user experience lies in the ability to leverage data from multiple channels, analyze the data quickly and use that intelligence to serve up the user experience. Several organizations are already making rapid changes in this direction, by consolidating customer facing systems into the same technology platform instead of maintaining them as siloed systems. However, the challenge is to enable a consistent experience across customer facing channels and employee facing channels.
There is a dominating school of thought that argues that architecture for employee facing apps needs to be different from that of customer apps due to the nature of data that flows through both. Another reason for this argument is the difference between security techniques that are used to secure the connectivity between the two different types of apps and mobile backend. The more important question is whether this school of thought is in line with the objective of providing a consistent omnichannel customer experience, regardless of the channel.
As the lines between sales and service continue to blur and employees use mobile devices to service customers at the store, field, door-to-door or over the telephone, how far will organizations go with the omnichannel experience when providing two architectures for employee facing and consumer facing systems?