The concept of the customer journey is very demanding, since it requires a consistent orientation to the digital transformation, both in terms of the processes depicted and the organizational structures. Furthermore, a powerful technical foundation is essential, or if the solution is to run in the cloud, the alignment of IT to cloud computing – e.g. with integrated virtualization.
Many companies are finding it difficult to set up a customer journey for their customers. Often, the different distribution channels and touchpoints are not yet integrated, so that customers, for instance, find different offers depending on the channel. In most cases, only certain touchpoints are detected - and these are usually not the ones that can achieve the greatest effect, but those that require the least technical effort. Often, companies do not even manage to recognize their customers properly. Certainly, the anticipation of customer behavior, which is once again a prerequisite for optimizing the customer journey, is hardly possible that way.
In fact, so far only a few companies exploit the possibilities of the customer journey to its fullest. Due to insufficient technical conditions, a low degree of digitization, or simply a misunderstanding about the basic idea of the customer journey it isn’t possible, since it is all about the implementation of a consistent customer view.
In today’s digitally connected age the determining factors shaping the customer experiences are constantly multiplying: if in the past, we had to look only at face-to-face contacts, interactions across several channels, customer service, products and solutions, the brand as such and other attributes for guaranteeing a good customer experience, it is now defined by much more than that. The fact is that the customer experience is and will never be ‘in control’ because customers are individuals and the core element in the customer experience equation is highly emotional, personal, contextual and diverse.
Given the many dimensions and elements in the overall customer experience, it does require management, transformation and process optimization, involving the customer on various levels, making intensive use of actionable data and information, and removing obstacles and silo effects.
It can’t be emphasized often enough that it is crucial to deploy increasingly connected technologies and important to involve the customer. So, if you haven’t done so yet, put yourself in the shoes of your customer to get the whole picture.
The customer journey deliberately avoids marketing aspects that revolve around sales and costs and focuses on customer satisfaction or customer experience. But since customer-centric companies must also make money, a new way of thinking is required - like a lot of things in the era of digitization. So, start broadening your horizon!
By Daniela La Marca