You might wonder if your business needs JO. It does! There’s a common misconception that JO is just for customer journey orchestration. But it’s not just for business-to-customer (B2C) enterprises. It’s also for business-to-business (B2B), business-to-business-to-client (B2B2C), and more. If you are part of any business where personalization and ease of use matter, JO is vital. If there is a customer, partner, account, household, agent, broker, advisor, member, patient, etc. who would enjoy a personalized experience interacting with your business, JO is right for you.
Journey orchestration isn’t just for customer experience teams. Remember, that’s the old silo approach. All teams benefit from a journey approach to doing business. If a team owns data and technology and wants to improve the way they interact with customers, JO is right for them. That could include customer experience, digital, marketing, customer success, business teams, and more.
As journeys have gained a foothold, a new operating model has emerged, so complex enterprises can adopt an outside-in, customer-centric approach. The most innovative enterprises are re-evaluating their organizational structure to better respond to how customers want to interact with them and what resources they need to marshall in order to make that as successful as possible.
Journeys are cross-functional and cross-channel. When you open a bank account, you might use the bank’s ATMs, branch services, call center, credit card service, and more. Because just one bad experience in any of these areas might mean losing a customer, companies have started looking for solutions that enable them to orchestrate experiences holistically across their entire service and technology ecosystems.
According to Forrester Research, “Journey orchestration vendors help firms use real-time data at the individual customer level to analyze current behavior (journey discovery) and predict and adjust future behavior in the moment (journey decisioning). These tools provide an integrated, actionable, and real-time view of the customer across marketing, product, and customer service journeys.” In other words, Journey Orchestration Platforms predict what the customer is going to do next and adapts in real time to pave and smooth their path forward.
A good Journey Orchestration Platform has three interactive qualities:
Together, these three capabilities give enterprises greater visibility into the most valuable asset of their business: the customer. Additionally, they improve agility with the ability to test and learn, so you can continually optimize experiences over time. The end outcome for the business is greater profitability, resulting in customer relationships that increase revenue, reduce cost-to-serve, and improve retention.
The keyword when looking at Journey Orchestration Platform’s capabilities is agility. At every step, customers are empowered to cultivate the journey they want, using provided systems that work for the customer on their terms.
There are a number of other disciplines and strategies that bear a passing resemblance to JO. It’s important to draw a clear distinction between JO and these other approaches.
Marketing Automation Campaigns
Marketing automation campaigns come in the form of emails, robocalling, and social media ads. While this and JO are alike in being automated, marketing automation campaigns are business-centric while JO is customer-centric. A marketing automation campaign outlines what the customer should do rather than enable them to accomplish it on their own. In automated marketing, like a TV ad spot, communication is one-way, from the business to the customer. Today’s marketing automation applications are primarily seen in email campaigns that execute on batches of user lists in a time-based sequence.
But marketing automation does not adapt in real time based on events or consumer behavior and does not personalize the customer experience. It is static and inflexible, and it’s limited only to marketing.
Experience Management (XM) was a truly innovative idea when it first debuted. Survey-based tools (e.g. Medallia and Qualtrics) measured and gave voice to customer experiences. XM’s greatest shortcoming is that it’s always backward looking. The process of sending out surveys and waiting for responses is by definition a lagging indicator.
With XM, there is no concept of a journey, no real-time data, and no opportunity to correct an issue while it’s in progress, only apologizing after the fact. What good is knowing that a customer was upset two weeks ago when he or she is already gone for good? Customers expect businesses they patron to intervene before things go wrong and re-route them to prevent bad experiences.
Real-Time Interaction Management
Customer’s online behavior and expectations are different depending on whether they are on their smartphone or laptop, whether they are at work, on the bus ride home, or browsing in bed. Real-Time Interaction Management (RTIM) technology delivers contextually relevant experiences, value, and utility. at the appropriate moment in the customer life cycle via preferred customer touchpoints.
But RTIM is laser focused on the next step, not on the end-to-end customer journey, like JO. Success with RTIM is measured in interactions—opens and clicks in a browser—not churn, revenue growth, digital adoption, and problems resolution, like JO. Journey orchestration knows where the customer has been, is now, and where to go next to achieve positive outcomes. RTIM only can see the next fork in the road. Since RTIM lacks the concept of a ‘customer journey,’ you can't monitor the health of each of your customers. Journey orchestration vendors monitor journeys in real time to show friction points and necessary areas for intervention
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) optimizes internal business processes, not customer journeys or experience. RPA refers to a business process with a wide range of structured—often chained—activities or tasks conducted by people or equipment to produce a specific service or product for a particular user or consumer.
While JO is external and customer-centric, RPA is internal and organization-centric. The goals and targets are different. In addition, RPA needs a hand on the steering wheel, being a company-led and controlled process according to a predefined workflow system. On the other hand, JO is dynamic, non-linear, and unpredictable. JO has the goal of influencing customer behavior and shaping customer experience while RPA influences only internal processes.