How channel disintegration can show us a more valuable OSS

I’m currently working on an assignment that is slightly left-field for the typical OSS consultant, but is giving me a different angle on OSS than I’ve had before. I’m working on a predominantly IVR-based project, but considers journeys through multiple customer contact channels. In theory, it has nothing to do with OSS, but I’m finding that it has more relevance than I expected.

Let’s say that an OSS provides the tools for a telco’s fulfilment and assurance factory. Conversely, whilst some telcos use their IVR for self-service, most are used for customers to report issues. Failures in the fulfilment and assurance factory are often the reason for calls hitting the IVR. You could also claim that most of those customers don’t want to call the IVR number, but feel compelled to because of issues they’re having (think negative NPS score before the service provider even has a chance to respond).

Modern IVRs can gather very sophisticated feedback from the customers, so they are far more valuable as a feedback mechanism for OSS than I’d previously realised. Remember the build-measure-learn loops we discussed earlier this week? IVR to OSS integration isn’t commonplace but holds great potential.

In the book I’m currently reading, “The Best Service is No Service,” there is a reference to the three deadly sins of self-service:
1. Not enough choice – there’s a limit to the frequency or format of self-service options
2. Poor usability design
3. Channel disintegration – no integration across channels

It’s the last item I’m most interested in. In the omnichannel and NPS-centric world we’re moving towards, I believe there’s a huge opportunity for a new style of OSS to corral the channel disintegration – to measure and manage customer journeys through multiple channels (IVR, online, OSS [customer-facing and back-of-house], BSS, retail stores, livechat, email, etc) and facilitate build-measure-learn loops.

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