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Delivering Omnichannel Customer Experiences with Process Orchestration

Coordinate automated and manual tasks with process orchestration for a complete end-to-end customer experience.
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Organizations can suffer from broken or inefficient customer experiences, despite investing in the latest technology, driving away even the most loyal customers after just two negative interactions.   This disconnect is often rooted in legacy systems that fragment the customer journey, hindering the delivery of seamless, personalized experiences that customers now expect. While quick-win automation efforts may offer temporary efficiency gains within individual steps, they fail to address the holistic customer journey, ultimately leading to customer dissatisfaction and churn.

In the telecommunications industry, half of all customers feel that they only get the best customer service when they threaten to walk away. Gartner research shows that insurers who focus on implementing a personalization approach will enjoy 20% higher retention rates in the near future. Many financial institutions also admit to losing 20% of their customers due to poor customer experience.

As many industries become more competitive with the appearance of new digital-first startups and other disruptors, attracting and retaining customers requires an omnichannel approach. This approach unifies customer journeys and transforms fragmented business processes into seamless customer experiences. It can also improve customer satisfaction, create stronger brand consistency, promote higher customer retention rates, offer enhanced customer insights, and more.

Read on to learn more about the challenges of scaling omnichannel customer experiences, and why organizations are adopting process orchestration best practices in order to overcome them.

The challenges with scaling omnichannel customer journeys

An omnichannel approach aims to integrate every customer touchpoint — both physical and digital — to create a consistent and cohesive experience. For many organizations, however, shifting to an omnichannel approach is challenging due to a lack of process visibility, outdated technologies, and business process complexity.

Lack of visibility

Business processes are complex by design, with different tasks that span multiple people, systems, and devices. They can also be lengthy processes that take weeks or months to complete and require complex decisions.

In an attempt to automate fragments of an end-to-end process, organizations often adopt robotic process automation (RPA) bots and various low-code, proprietary, and homegrown systems. This fragmented approach offers short-term value, but makes it difficult to gain in-depth visibility into end-to-end customer journeys as processes contain multiple isolated workflows that aren’t fully integrated.

A lack of visibility into business processes slows down time to market and introduces risk that automated solutions are built incorrectly. Modeling processes and automating business rules for orchestration using a standard like business process model and notation (BPMN) and decision model and notation (DMN) can help organizations build simplified visual representations of complex experiences and overcome silos. This allows different customer-facing teams to better collaborate with IT teams to build and scale omnichannel digital experiences.

Outdated technologies

With a necessary push toward digital transformation, many long-standing companies are struggling to maintain existing operations without disruptions while continuing to innovate. This necessitates combining legacy and modern technologies in order to remain competitive.

Many companies still rely on legacy IT systems due to existing business processes involving older workflows and systems that have evolved to meet new requirements. Even digital-first companies deal with technical challenges related to proprietary and monolithic systems that require specialized expertise and vendor-specific talent to maintain. These systems often lack the performance capabilities required to handle the higher transaction volumes needed for digital-first experiences.

It’s not always realistic to modernize everything in the short term, yet companies still need to remain agile and adapt to customer expectations. Organizations need to adopt solutions to overcome these technical limitations and get more value out of their existing systems to deliver omnichannel customer experiences. This also requires implementing processes that are scalable and reliable to avoid disruptions.

Process scope and complexity

As business processes evolve, they invariably include additional endpoints and subtasks to meet new requirements. Most customer acquisition and customer support processes now span many different people, systems, and devices – both customer- and employee-facing.

Some processes have complex business logic hidden away in code, which makes it difficult to pinpoint and resolve incidents. Many processes need to dynamically react to events across different endpoints based on data and automated decisions from previous steps and dependencies in the process.

Existing business processes can be notoriously brittle. If one endpoint or subtask breaks, an entire customer experience flow can deteriorate. Organizations need to simplify and optimize these processes from end to end to scale an omnichannel approach while maximizing existing technology investments.

How process orchestration improves customer experiences

Process orchestration coordinates many different automated and manual tasks—and can even tie multiple processes together—to form a complete end-to-end process. Here’s how process orchestration can impact customer experiences:

  • Visibility: Designing orchestration processes improves visibility into existing customer journeys, unlocking new opportunities for optimizations. Modeling also helps align business and IT teams, ending siloed, error-prone automation and introducing one model for true collaboration.
  • Reliability: Orchestration enables end-to-end customer processes to be executed consistently at scale. By centralizing control over various endpoints, process orchestration helps minimize errors, prevent bottlenecks, and maintain high-quality customer experiences across all channels.
  • Flexibility: Process orchestration allows for faster adaptation to changing requirements. It’s easy to replace a certain endpoint without impacting the rest of the process. This level of flexibility provides more freedom to choose preferred technology, programming languages, and tools while avoiding vendor lock-in.
  • Reusability: Many aspects of modeling processes are much easier to reuse for other processes. Adopting process orchestration lowers the total cost of ownership and accelerates the time to market not just for customer experiences, but for all business processes across the organization.

Research from Forrester suggests that adopting a process orchestration solution like Camunda can significantly help organizations deliver value to customers faster and enable businesses to scale to handle more customer interactions while providing an improved long-term customer experience. According to the Head of IT Standards at one insurance company that has implemented Camunda:

“The customer experience increased dramatically. You cannot measure that in euros or dollars, but it has an impact that management sees.”

Camunda client

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