The digital age has forever changed customer expectations — and how customers interact with brands. Today, customers are communicating across different channels, but without a clear view of their goals and the entire customer experience, it’s tough to connect with them in the moments that matter and deliver the outcomes they expect.
Organizations must shift from a channel-specific focus on performance to the entire customer journey. The enterprises that thrive tomorrow will be those who have shed channel-centric goals and adopted a journey-centric approach to customer engagement. Let’s take a look at how to optimize the customer journey in a customer-centric world.
Traditionally, marketing departments and product owners have owned channel performance, focused on increasing metrics like open rates and time spent in-app, but this strategy neglects the customer’s perspective. The reality is, customers aren’t trying to spend as much time as possible in your mobile app. They set out to accomplish their goal with as little friction as possible, whether they’re opening a bank account, redeeming airline miles, or setting up auto-bill pay.
Brands aren’t meeting those expectations. In fact, 94% of consumers are frustrated with inconsistent experiences or needing to repeat themselves across channels. To make matters trickier for companies, personalization cannot be siloed by channel. For example, what good is it to email Jeremy an account update with his name branded in the subject line, when he has to remind three live chat agents that he’s been a loyal customer for six years when trying to modify said account?
Delivering seamless interactions is no longer the gold standard of customer experience — it’s imperative. Consider the customer’s viewpoint as you start to shift from a channel focus to a journey focus. The enterprises that thrive in the future will know exactly where customers are in their journey and proactively guide them to drive radically improved business and customer results.
The customer journey rarely follows a linear path. So why are you focusing on individual touchpoints? Let’s say a potential customer signs up for a checking account but never completes account set-up. Maybe they landed on your website directly from a marketing email or they called into the call center for support. More than likely, their experience spanned several different interactions and touchpoints before they can successfully use their bank account.
Simply put, Individual customer actions across individual channels only tell part of the story. A holistic view of the customer journey is the only way to optimize and maximize the journey across every interaction.
However, 49% of organizations say their biggest concern was a lack of 360-degree view of their customers that keeps them providing a unified omnichannel experience. What’s more, insufficient data and disconnected systems make it challenging for businesses to know enough about their customers to personalize the customer service experience.
An outside-in approach puts the journey back at the heart of the way you interact with customers. By thinking in the context of journeys, enterprises can measure performance and view for points of friction across every touchpoint. More importantly, optimizing for journeys instead of channels creates customer relationships with higher lifetime value, greater loyalty, and lower cost-to-serve.