As per our 2022 trends prediction, customer journey management has been a key focus this year. And for good reason. Customer journey management – the oversight and orchestration of all the journeys your customers go on – can have a hugely positive impact on CX ROI.
But too often, brands get lost in the journey management side and lose sight of the customer side. Instead of homing in on what a customer wants to do, brands centre themselves and engineer entire journeys around what they think a customer should do. And that leads to suboptimal experiences and added effort.
In this blog, we’ll look at ways of avoiding that pitfall and keeping the customer at the heart of your journey management approach.
1. Remember it’s the customer’s journey
If you remember nothing else from this blog, remember this: it doesn’t matter how well-managed your predetermined path is – if it’s not what a customer wants to do, they won’t follow it.
We know no two customers are the same. So even if your journeys are meticulously shaped, customers aren’t always going to behave the way we want or expect. Instead, you need to meet customers where they are – and craft experiences that are flexible and can be adapted based on wants and needs in any given moment.
2. Real-time data is your best friend
To create flexible and hyper-personalised journeys, you need access to real-time data from various sources. That means connecting your order management system, phone/IVR system, CRM, call centre and Chatbot, so you know the customer spending 30 minutes on the phone to your agents trying to resolve a technical issue has already tried various troubleshooting options via web chat.
Real-time insights let you present customers with the right journey in the moment, and don’t rely on guesswork. It’s the key to the efficiency and personalisation that impress customers.
3. Journeys aren’t linear or simple
Customer journey maps tend to focus on the ‘happy’ path where everything goes to plan and customers behave exactly the way data predicts. But that’s rarely the reality.
The reality is that customers get side-tracked partway through a journey and resume it later, on a different device. Or they contact customer service because they have a technical fault, only to realise they need to upgrade.
Simple is great – but don’t over-simplify your journeys at the expense of your actual customer needs.
4. One brand, one voice
We’ve established that customer journeys are non-linear, with customers jumping from platform to platform and touchpoint to touchpoint. But it shouldn’t feel disjointed.
Whoever your customers are speaking to, whatever platform they’re using, your brand’s tone of voice and level of service should be consistent. Otherwise, your customers will be left feeling confused or frustrated.
5. Create value at every step
Every touchpoint is a chance to add value for your customer. And every time you fail to add value, you increase the likelihood they’ll ‘drop off’. Customers should be in the driving seat of their journeys, but you should make sure the sights they see along the way are worth their time.
6. Scale up the experiences
Part of this involves switching up processes and adjusting metrics to revolve around entire journeys, not just individual channels or touchpoints. Another part involves software that sits across and taps into your siloed data and solutions. That way, you can look holistically at the customer experience and use automation to drive the right next best actions, offers and experiences.
When it comes to customer journey management, it’s no longer enough to map out a linear journey and create a pre-planned workflow. To truly deliver valuable, customer-centric experiences, you need to tailor your approach to individuals based on real-time data and adapt as their needs and drivers change.
Brands that optimise journeys to create end-to-end personalised experiences will be those driving customer-led growth. They’ll ultimately generate more revenue, improve satisfaction and increase customer lifetime value.
For support on rethinking your approach to customer experience, get in touch today.