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Your guide to customer journey management

Updated November 10, 2022

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Customer journey management is a proven method of delivering seamless customer experiences. Customers expect their experience with your company will be similar to those provided by CX leaders such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix. Any less will lead to dissatisfaction, and more likely that customers will leave your business.

While many companies have adopted customer feedback management, 73% failed to improve their CX scores in the last years despite making this investment. It’s simple. VoiceoftheCustomer data (VoC), is not able to be analyzed in aggregate, segmented, or after individual transactions. This data doesn’t allow you to optimize customer experiences and measure their impact on business results. Only a tiny percentage of your customers respond to your surveys.

This blog will show you how to use customer journey management to reach your CX and business goals. Next, I’ll show you seven high-impact business journeys that every company should optimize and measure.

Optimize CX through customer journey management.

What is Customer Journey Management?

Customer journey management is about the journeys customers take to reach a goal. It does not focus on optimizing individual interactions. This mindset shift allows you to monitor, optimize, measure CX and align your entire company with your customers’ goals.

Customer-centric companies use customer journey management to:

  • Based on customer goals, identify the most critical journeys
  • Monitor and measure the in-journey signals to predict journey success
  • When necessary, take corrective action
  • You can track your journey success with journey success scores
  • Prioritize investment in underperforming journeys

Global customer journey management leaders deliver value to their customers and organizations by improving customer experience.

A Journey Management Approach: The Value

Customer journey management was adopted to increase your ability to provide value to customers. Customer-centric businesses use it to understand and assist customers in achieving their goals. This approach will ensure that every interaction is unique to each customer.

Satisfied customers are a return on investment for your business. Identifying the most valuable experiences and quantifying their impact on business outcomes is essential.

Many businesses struggle to link customer behavior with business results. The latest State of Customer Journey Management & CX Measurement report shows that almost half of all companies (41%) claim improved customer satisfaction or Net Promoter Score (NPS). Still, they struggle to translate this into revenue or costs.

You can manage customer journeys to provide the structure and tools you need to deliver the experience customers want and influence the outcomes and metrics that matter most. Your enterprise will benefit in four critical ways from a journey management program:

Enhance Customer Experience

Customer journey management allows you to offer consistent, exceptional customer experiences, no matter their goals or the channels they use during their journey.

CX leaders employ customer journey management to monitor, optimize and measure their customers’ experiences. You can monitor the performance of journeys and identify areas that need improvement. Then, you can prioritize improvements based on their potential impact on journey scores or other CX KPIs.

Journey management is a closed-loop approach that helps journey owners determine each action’s impact on CX metrics. Customer journey management software lets you customize dashboards and track your progress in real-time. You can monitor your progress and see if you are making improvements. Customers will also engage with your company.

Accelerate Digital Transformation

Companies focus on transforming outdated experiences and the processes and systems that underpin them to meet customer demands and remain competitive in today’s fast-changing landscape. Chief Digital Officers have the ability to use customer journey management to deliver simple digital experiences that customers want without requiring costly or frustrating human interactions.

Product owners can use journey management to answer complex questions such as:

  • Do customers use digital products to achieve their goals?
  • What channels are most efficient for specific journeys, and which ones are not?
  • Why do customers leak information from digital channels to the contact center?
  • What products are customers willing to give up digital options to speak with an agent?

Enhance Customer Service and Reduce Costs

Every organization should make it a priority to improve internal operations and reduce costs related to servicing customers. Some customers will eventually leak into digital channels or even bypass them entirely and reach agent-supported channels such as chat and phone. Contact center managers must understand why customers seek assistance from agents and what they’re trying to achieve.

Agents can view everything a customer has done and their journeys when supported by a customer-journey management program. This allows them to assist customers more efficiently and effectively while reducing call centre metrics such as call time and repeat phone calls.

Customer service managers can monitor journeys across channels and time to identify the root cause of severe cases and determine how many customers are having the same problem. This allows them to manage escalation more effectively and reduce costs.

Increase Revenue

Experiences are now more important than products or services for enterprises today. Market leaders understand the importance of providing differentiated experiences for customers and clients as they shop and make purchases, but many are unable to do this. You can track customer acquisitions across channels so that every interaction reflects consumers’ unique experiences with your company.

Marketing teams can also use a journey management approach to increase customer revenue. This includes sending upsell and cross-sell offers. Marketers can monitor customer journeys and incorporate journey context to ensure they send the right offers to the right customer at the right time and through the most appropriate channel.

Customer journey management allows you to track journeys and identify voluntary or involuntary customer churn indicators. Marketing professionals and CX experts can improve retention by understanding the journeys that lead to churn and identifying the root causes. Prioritizing actions to optimize these journeys is a way to increase customer satisfaction.

The Customer Journey Management Framework

Three main approaches to customer journey management include journey mapping, journey analysis, and customer experience orchestration.

Each approach plays a role in helping organizations understand, create and improve customer experience. These approaches can be combined to improve experience design, optimize journeys, and generate insights.

Below is a brief summary of the three main journey management capabilities and three common ways they can be combined.

  • Journey mapping allows you to visualize and communicate the customer’s experience over multiple touchpoints as they work towards achieving a goal.
  • Journey analytics is the science and art of analyzing customer behavior across touchpoints and over time to determine the impact of customer behavior on business outcomes.
  • Journey orchestration allows you to take advantage of every customer’s experience to personalize and inform interactions. This will make customers happier and help drive desired outcomes.
  • Journey insights are quantitative and qualitative information that helps you understand your customers’ behavior as they try to reach a goal.
  • Journey design refers to designing the customer’s experience as they work towards a goal. It also includes the company’s interactions at each step to encourage progress toward that goal.
  • Journey optimization is an open-loop approach that uses AI and machine learning to enhance the customer experience to reach their goals more efficiently.

How to achieve CX and business goals with customer journey management

Global leaders in customer journey management deliver customer value by improving customer experience and delivering value for both customers and their organization. Prescriptive steps can be taken to align your business with your customers’ journeys.

These are three ways that you can support a journey-management program in your company:

Manage Customer Journey Information

Creating a central source of customer journey information is key to customer journey management. Many organizations drown in customer data in centralized warehouses, isolated databases, or modern platforms for customer data. Still, they lack the integrated time series data that can be used to build a journey management strategy.

Integrated customer journey data allows real-time analysis, modeling, and orchestration based on customer behavior across channels and over time. Analysts no longer have to do complex aggregations and transformations each time they answer a new question.

A customer journey data Hub gives all business departments the information they need to assist each customer in achieving their goals efficiently by providing real-time customer data.

Measure Journeys Across Channels, Over Time

CX teams employ customer journey analysis to improve customer experience. This allows them to evaluate the journey’s performance and identify in-journey indicators that indicate success. A wide range of in-journey metrics, including conversion, NPS, and CSAT, should be evaluated to determine which captures the key moments that predict success for each journey.

Journey scores are used to measure the success of a journey. They are calculated based on various end-of-journey metrics such as satisfaction, completion rates, and cost. To measure, monitor, and assess customer journey performance, more CX leaders are now using customer experience analytics software.

Optimize Journeys to Help Customers Reach Their Goals Efficiently

Traditional enterprises have focused on improving customer interactions at specific touchpoints. This ignores the journey customers take over channels and time. Customer Journey Orchestration allows you to take advantage of each customer’s experience to personalize interactions and improve customer experience.

It is crucial to know the history and goals of each customer. Customer journey optimization uses AI and machine learning to enhance customer experience and reach their goals more efficiently. CX and marketing professionals prefer customer experience orchestration software to optimize journey optimization.

Combining journey data with customer experience measurement allows CX and marketing teams to prioritize actions that will significantly impact your business goals and customer experiences.

These three components together form the customer journey management framework. They will allow you to make customers happy and help your company achieve desired business results.

Five Steps to Success with Customer Journey Management

The top is the most crucial thing in making a company journey-centric. Leaders need to prioritize their customers and organize the company around them and the journeys they are on. The real work begins once the company leadership has committed to this. Effective customer journey management starts with re-aligning roles around customer goals, identifying the most essential journeys to customers, and mapping success metrics to critical business outcomes.

Align Your Whole Organization around Your Customers and Their Experiences

Every company strives to be customer-centric and customer-obsessed. But, the key to customer centricity is keeping your organization focused on what matters: your customers.

Companies often approach customer experience through a narrow lens. They implement improvements to improve internal metrics that are specific to their functions. Marketing prioritizes conversions, CX prioritizes customer satisfaction, and the contact center prioritizes FCR.

Your customer doesn’t care about conversion rates or FCR rates. Your customer wants a straightforward, easy way to achieve their goals.

Your entire business can be aligned around the customer’s journey to reach them. This will allow you to better understand customer behavior and make informed decisions about CX. It is easier to provide the personalized, frictionless, and connected experiences that your customers want when everyone in the company is on the same page.

More companies are adopting customer-journey management to align their employees around the journeys. Most (68%) high-performing organizations have a dedicated role or team for journey management, while 31% of low-performers do not. Overall, 53% have a team or role dedicated to journey management. 10% have plans to add one, and 19% have aligned their existing roles/teams with a Journey-based approach.

Make sure everyone uses the exact definition of the customer journey

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand what “customer journey” means. Customer journeys are the steps a customer takes to reach a goal that benefits them and their business.

Despite the best efforts by hundreds of software vendors, consultants and other professionals, a customer journey does not go according to plan.

  • Marketing campaign
  • One interaction, such as placing a support request or making a purchase.
  • A series of sequential clicks includes opening an email, clicking on a link, viewing the page and then submitting a form.
  • A company-created internal process for customers

Customer journeys shouldn’t be defined solely by length or channels. They can vary depending on the customer’s goals.

This post will discuss seven types of customer journeys every company should monitor, manage and improve.

Identify the Journeys That Matter to Your Customer

Customers may have different behaviors and follow different routes across your omnichannel touchpoints. It is essential to determine the goals that your customers want to achieve and to align them with your company’s goals.

To succeed as a telecom provider, customers must take the proper steps to renew or upgrade their service. This is crucial to ensuring they are loyal customers and maximizing lifetime value. A financial institution trying to lower the cost of collecting past-due payments might find it crucial to initiate automatic loan payments.

Once you have identified the most important goals for your customer and business, identify the key steps that will help you reach those goals. A mortgage journey, for example, involves many milestones. These include assessing the options, applying, and finally paying the first bill.

Set Success Metrics For Your Customers And Your Business

Your customer is the most important thing to measure success. Define what success looks like from their point of view. A health insurance member may define this as the official insurance of a dependent (e.g., a spouse or a newborn). A wireless customer might define success as the ability to restore internet service after an outage.

First, identify your KPIs. These indicators or signals along the journey can predict whether customers will achieve their goals. Examples include abandonment rate, number of repeat steps, and digital leakage rates.

Next, determine what success looks like in your customer’s eyes and for your company. Here are some internal metrics that can be used to help you leverage these metrics, such as the completion rate, FCR (first contact rate), cost-to-serve, and others. These metrics should capture the customer’s journey and company goals. They can also help you to measure customer behavior and link CX indicators to the most important outcomes for your business.

Journey Scores to Align Customer Objectives and Business Outcomes

You can measure your company’s success at every level by identifying your top priorities. This will allow you to define success for your customer journey management program.

Consider your customer’s goals and the success metrics that you have defined. Then map these to your business outcome. Think about the key outcomes that will make your enterprise successful. These include average revenue per user (ARPU), assets under management (AUM), retention rates, and service cost. It’s easy to see how these journeys affect not only CX metrics but also the key outcomes that your enterprise is measured against.

A CCM program can help health insurance members start a supportive treatment plan. However, this journey can impact digital containment rates, service costs, and Star ratings.

The goal of disputing a credit card bill is to have the charge removed from the statement. However, their support journey directly affects more than just digital containment rates or contact center metrics like First-Contact Resolution – the impact on a financial institution’s retention rates and costs.

Customizable journey scores are best for integrating customer and business metrics. This will ensure that business outcomes align with customer goals. Journey scores can be used to evaluate and track each journey’s impact and identify and prioritize those that need improvement.

7 Customer Journeys Every Business Can Measure and Optimize

You can start a customer journey management plan by identifying seven essential customer journeys you can manage, monitor, and improve. Each customer journey will have its own milestones and success metrics. This is dependent on the customers you serve and your business.

These are the seven most essential journeys:

Shop, Learn, and Buy

The journey of a customer begins before they become customers.

Consumers are constantly bombarded with information about products they like and claim lower prices. According to a recent study, 74% of people would switch brands if the buying process is too complicated.

Enterprises must provide seamless acquisition experiences consistent with the best consumer buying experience to meet their internal goals, such as net-new customers or cost per acquisition.

Setup

Your customers expect to be able to use your product or services quickly after they have completed a purchase. Your customers’ needs and goals must drive your onboarding experience, whether activating a new smartphone, setting up automatic bank transfers, or understanding their insurance options.

Your customers’ success and that of your business depend on your ability to onboard them successfully. Inefficient or inconsistent onboarding can have a significant impact on revenue and retention. Over 64% of banks reported losing revenue last year due to problems with their onboarding processes.

Too often, however, onboarding journeys are driven more by internal processes, timelines, and metrics than the goals that your customers desire to achieve.

It should not be difficult to make a monthly payment or set up automatic payments. Not paying bills on time or making late payments can severely impact your cash flow. However, customers can be negatively affected by difficult payment experiences.

Customers can lose their loyalty and satisfaction if they are constantly faced with problems. It is crucial to provide a smooth, easy-to-use payment experience.

Use

Customers will enjoy the benefits of your product or service when they use it. Use journeys can cover many customer goals, including renewing prescriptions, transferring funds, and watching Netflix while commuting.

Engagement with your company and using your product or service significantly impact engagement, usage, satisfaction, and retention metrics.

No matter your customer’s goals or how they get there, it is crucial to measure your essential Use Journeys to improve CX and achieve desired business outcomes.

Support

Although it can be frustrating to encounter problems, your ability to help customers solve their problems will significantly impact their satisfaction. Customers appreciate excellent customer service.

American customers will pay 17% more if they choose a company with an excellent reputation.

This is the moment of truth. Service journeys are crucial in determining customers’ perceptions of your brand, satisfaction, and decision to remain or churn.

You can upgrade or downgrade a service or switch products or reward choices. You can make these changes by changing your lifestyle, like moving from an apartment or house to one that is larger, or getting married or having children.

Your business can offer additional value to customers who have changed their products or services. It also shows that you are able and willing to show them that your business is knowledgeable. It’s often a chance to generate additional revenue.

Leave

In all industries, churn rates range from 20-25%. A slight drop in churn could save you valuable revenue.

You can identify the customer journeys that lead customers to leave your company and use this information to help retain customers exhibiting soft churn.

It is essential to make your customers’ journeys as simple as possible when they are ready to go. Customers can recall the effort it took to cut the cord. Companies that make the journey simple are more likely to win back customers in the future.

A reliable approach to CX and business success

Each enterprise wants to provide exceptional customer experiences. However, many fail to realize the full potential of their efforts.

Analytics and data are crucial pieces of the puzzle. The reality is that companies today have more data than insights and more insight than actions. The customer journey management approach brings together the pieces of data management, journey measurement, and optimization.

 

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About the Author

Justin is a local marketing expert with over 15 years of experience creating brand recognition around digital strategies.

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