As part of my onboarding with Atomic.io, I’ve been spending a lot of time with our current customers conducting retrospectives on how they feel their engagements with Atomic.io have been – starting right from when they signaled their initial interest.
And as I’ve been running these, I’ve noticed some consistent feedback, particularly around our sales process.
While these customers had all finished their deployments and understood what Atomic.io does and how it’s different, they felt that we didn’t do a good job highlighting what we do well and differently at the beginning of our engagements with them.
In essence, we were burying the magic.
So I thought I’d write a post highlighting the three key aspects our customers have said were really important for them when deciding to go with Atomic.io – i.e., what our ‘magic’ is.
Interestingly, these aspects aren’t product feature-related – they’re more about how we think about this space and the principles we used to design our platform.
The first is the idea that all channels are not equal, the second is the difference between omni and impact channel strategies, and the third is the concept of zero effort impact.
All channels are not equal
When we start working with a new customer, we ask them to rate the impact of all their channels – from apps to SMS to stores to emails – first on their CX and then on their bottom lines.
There are always several channels that significantly impact CX – with a few others that impact it to a lesser extent. For example, one of our clients is a health insurer – and they have a set of channels where their customers can do a lot more as it relates to any health claims they’ve made, which means that these are the channels that impact their CX the most.
Regarding the impact of channels on bottom lines, like with CX, a group of channels always impacts this more significantly (i.e., those that, if they make small changes in, the bottom line impacts are substantial).
Looking at the high-impact channels across both these things, we can then identify a small subset that are high-impact for both CX and bottom lines.
Looking across our customers, a consistent group of channels is commonly identified in this subset: apps, websites, and branch networks.
What’s interesting about these three channels is that they are all authenticated in some way – you know who your customers are in each channel because they’re authenticated, which means you’re able to do more with them in these channels.
This highlights an important – yet often overlooked – difference between authenticated and unauthenticated channels. Namely, your CX and bottom line impact is much greater in your authenticated channels.
When you look at this within the context of channel strategy, it’s clear that there are two different strategies at play: omni and impact channel strategy.
Omni vs. impact channel strategy
Both these strategies are important – and we don’t have a single customer that doesn’t have an omnichannel strategy.
But they deploy Atomic.io because they know they need to do something inside their impact channel strategy– and that requires a different mindset, approach, and toolset.
‘Everyone else was selling software to solve a customer messaging problem. You were focusing on our customer messaging to solve a customer journey problem, and that better our strategy.’
The above is a customer quote that unlocked our thinking as it relates to the difference between customer messaging and journeys.
An omnichannel strategy, by definition, is focused on messaging – how you get the right message to the right person at the right time. And that’s important.
But it’s different from impact strategies, which focus more on customer journeys.
For instance, a recent one we’ve had is how you ensure that customers can generate frictionless claims following a cyclone.
And while you’ll have both these strategies within your organisation – and both are important – how you execute them is different.
Atomic.io is an impact channel platform – that’s where we focus. So, while we plug and play nicely with omnichannel software, our focus on impact channels is what our customers say makes us distinct – it’s where the magic is.
Zero effort impact
If I were to ask you whether having fewer steps in a customer journey is good, what would you say?
It’s not a trick question – the answer is yes.
Most people will know that intuitively. But what I think is more important (and interesting) is why it’s true, which gets to this idea of customer effort.
Fewer steps in a customer journey mean less effort that a customer has to put in – which means less effort is involved to reach the desired impact.
I’ve plotted the relationship between effort and CX below to illustrate this a bit better.
So, the more steps, the more effort – and the bigger the negative impact on CX.
For example, let’s say you get a notification from your banking app that your account is overdrawn. Here, there are four steps from the trigger (the notification) to the impact (the resolution). You get the notification, you have to open the app, and then you have to navigate to where the balances are. You have to go to the overdrawn account, and then you have to transfer money from another account to resolve the issue.
So, on our graph, that looks like this – it’s impacted the CX, but not too negatively.
Okay, but what about a more complex example – say you get notified from your banking app that there’s suspected fraudulent activity on your account. Here, you have between 7–11 steps between trigger and impact. You log into the app, look through the accounts that have transaction activity to identify any suspicious activity, find it, and then navigate what to do about it. If you’re in a progressive app, that might include the ability to block your card. But in many situations, you might have to contact customer service – which triggers new steps, like going to your email account and emailing them.
The increased number of steps significantly and negatively impacts CX. But it’s not just the steps causing this – it’s also the stress and emotion associated with something so personal and important to your customer.
Emotions are a core determinant of CX. The more steps your customers take, the more effort they have to put in to resolve their issue – and the worse their overall experience.
The Atomic.io platform solves for this by enabling the delivery of interactions without steps to resolution. This is zero effort impact. And it requires a bit of magic to create.
Not to toot our own horn, but the Atomic.io platform is incredibly well-advanced. We’ve built some amazing functionality using really cool tech, and we integrate seamlessly into our customers’ core tech platforms.
When we think about zero effort impact, we’re really talking about how we get the right information into the notification so that a customer can resolve it without effort.
Taking the fraudulent activity example I mentioned before, we would treat that by notifying the customer that there has been potential fraudulent activity while lifting up the actual data around that activity so that they can see it inside the notification.
This enables them to distinguish whether the activity is actually fraudulent – and in the same notification, they can also block the account if this is the case.
From trigger to impact in zero steps.
I’ve shared this concept with a number of the customers – and they liked it.
But then I started to think about it in conjunction with the challenges that the customers I’m dealing with now most often voice – and two key challenges keep coming up repeatedly.
The first is marketing and digital alignment.
We have a platform that helps with in-app messaging – and it does some clever things.
But we often hear of a misalignment between what marketing and digital want to achieve.
The second is stalled transformations (i.e., the Change Oxygen running out for major initiatives).
Customers may have thought they had a certain runway, only to find that they didn’t. Meaning they had to course-correct their approach and or shut initiatives down.
So there you go – a quick piece that hopefully does a better job of highlighting the magic Atomic.io brings to the table and how we think about this space differently. Would love any feedback you’ve got.
Atomic.io is an in-app customer engagement platform that provides personalised, actionable and most importantly, secured messages to your customers. If you’re interested in learning more about how Atomic.io can supercharge your existing digital channels, we’d love to talk. Only Atomic.io can help your customers get things done in one tap, increasing your customer response rates and engagement instantly.