by John Seeds and Karl Phenix
Recent changes in customer expectations, channels, and technology have all shifted the landscape of customer experience – and this has caused a necessary evolution of the customer journey as well. Crafting a successful customer journey means thinking holistically – looking at all channels and all engagement opportunities to evaluate the connection points along a continuing path.
The more understanding and purpose you put into the customer journey, the happier and more loyal your customers will be. In fact, elevating company-customer interactions across the entire lifecycle of a customer’s journey benefits both sides of the relationship.
On the consumer side, offering more fluidity, ease, and convenience in the customer journey will have a quantifiably positive effect on the entire customer experience. Meanwhile, orchestrating this kind of simplification and intentionality in the journey will also it makes things easier for your customer service staff. As a bonus, your bottom-line will benefit too!
So how do you achieve a customer journey transformation that facilitates this level of function and depth for your business and customers?
Experts from Avtex and Microsoft discuss "The Art of Customer Journey Orchestration"
What It Takes to Build the Most Effective Customer Journeys
As with most marketing strategies, you’ll need a combination of comprehensive customer information and orchestration of the right technologies and processes to create a strategic roadmap that bring engagements to life.
Customer Journey Design
Your customer journey design is the plan of action to make sure your customers have a positive experience with your organization, not matter what channel or touchpoint they reach you through.
To create this holistic, customer-centric design, you’ll need to establish a better view of your customers’ current experience - especially where they may be dropping out of the path entirely - so you can improve those identified areas of friction. This deepened understanding of your customers will be your guiding light as you design your new and improved customer journey – helping you to identify customer behaviors and pain points, so you can anticipate their needs and offer more value throughout the entire journey. But for this to happen, customer data is a must!
With customer data being everywhere these days, you don't need to wait for a perfect data painting to begin building helpful insights. Start by talking to your peers in different departments to see what kinds of information they are gathering about customers. What patterns are they seeing in customer behavior and what are they hearing directly from customers? Ask what sources they are using to build these insights and where there are knowledge gaps.
Asking these questions will help you to start building a more rounded vision of your current customer experience, while at the same time helping to identify where you need to dig a bit deeper. For example, you may find out that key customer segments are demonstrating or communicating a preferred way of engaging with certain parts of the journey, but there is noticeable friction or misalignment between what they are wanting and want you are delivering.
Performing these kinds of exercises can help feed important information for your customer journey design. However, developing a customer journey design that remains relevant and valuable to your customers on an ongoing basis will require more sophisticated methods.
Customer Journey Orchestration
Great customer experience design can’t reach peak effectiveness unless you execute it well.
For starters, a seamless integration of all systems and technology impacting the customer journey is absolutely essential to breaking down team and department siloes to facilitate cross-functional collaboration. The smoother and more consistent your internal processes, the more positive they’ll be as external touchpoints for your customers.
Data technologies are also essential to orchestrating a high-impact journey for your customers. The more detail you’re able to employ in your data tracking, the better your personalization and targeting of customer communications will be. The most impactful data solutions tell you more than just how long a customer spent on your site, and which pages they lingered on – the data can get as detailed as what a customer might have put in their cart and then left behind, or what they might have searched for but then not purchased. Incorporating data into decisions that inform deployment of the right-content at the right-time is what orchestrating customer journeys is about.
This kind of orchestration may seem difficult or complicated, but with the right orchestration of tools it can be quite simple, with low impact on resources and high impact on customer loyalty, retention, and sales.
The Perfect Customer Journey Hinges on Integration
Developing impactful customer journeys is key to delivering a meaningful, differentiated customer experience – the most impactful, differentiated customer journeys deliver personalization, ease, and consistency to every customer on any channel, across all points of engagement. In order to successfully deliver this kind of impact, you’ll need an embedded strategic design and seamlessly orchestrated technology.
If you’re ready to transform your customer journey and bolster your customer experience, Avtex can help. Our customer experience expertise and exceptional understanding of the sophisticated functionality of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Marketing solutions make us a great partner in facing the challenges of customer journey evolution. We’ll take the time to understand where you need to grow and then collaborate with you to design a CX approach that’s centered around the needs of both your business and your customers to deliver extraordinary results.