passingPegasystems Inc., a provider of strategic software solutions for sales, marketing, service and operations, points out the stumbling blocks the customer journey is facing commonplace in practice:

  • Businesses do not have the consistency of different distribution channels and touchpoints. For example, customers often receive different prices and offers online and at the store. However, in the customer journey, customers do not differentiate between the touchpoints: they want to be informed on the Web and buy in the store or vice versa. The cause of such inconsistencies is often a silo-like organizational structure, which in turn stems from obsolete IT systems.
  • Companies only cover specific touchpoints - neglecting possible touchpoints where customers are active - hence the customer journey inevitably becomes incomplete.
  • Businesses must adhere to what they promise at certain touchpoints. If, for example, a call center agent agrees to deliver a spare part within two days, the delivery must be made in that time frame. If this cannot be guaranteed, it is usually because the employee concerned was not properly informed about the storage situation or the problems of the fulfillment partners. In other words, a consistent customer journey requires well-organized processes and internal transparency.
  • Businesses are not yet using their ability to predict the work processes. An efficient customer journey can anticipate a customer's needs, sustaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. For example, telecom companies can be proactive in detecting when customers experience an increased number of abandoned call attempts and respond proactively before those customers jump off.
  • Companies cannot identify their customers adequately. You can only accompany customers in the customer journey if you recognize them at the touchpoints. Since many customers do not want to be identified, they either must be motivated to do so, for example through bonus programs, or methods must be used that combine identification and data protection, for example with anonymous placeholders.
  • Companies neglect the customer's view. Although the concept is called Customer Journey, businesses often try to realize a ‘company journey’ instead by focusing too much on issues such as sales, sales growth, or cost reduction.

Obviously, customer satisfaction or customer experience, which should be in the foreground, cannot get ahead that way.

The core is to bring all different touchpoints together in an integrative approach. Just keep this in mind to be able to guarantee an intriguing customer experience.

By Daniela La Marca