customer journeyWhen it comes to customer-centricity, Customer Journeys are the melting pot of all disciplines and perspectives. Evidently, the enterprise around the customer journey in the daily business routine is initiated and managed by individual departments, such as marketing, sales, IT or service. As a result, despite considerable initial success, the creation of positive customer experiences, or winning of more new customers, often falter due to insufficient internal support of such projects. So, how can that be prevented?

We recommend to:

Promote inter-divisional cooperation: In order to create positive customer experiences, companies must shape the customer journey holistically. This means, in addition to purely technical elements, content, procedural and organizational aspects must be coordinated as well. That customer journey management can only really succeed if employees work together across all departments and hierarchy levels goes without saying, since silo-thinking stands as usual in the way of success. Concurrently, an active engagement of the senior management accelerates the whole process and motivates the employees.

Define the organization framework: Often, the confusion already starts with the terminology within the company, regarding touchpoints and customer journeys. For instance, IT works with personas for the digital journey, marketing addresses different types of advertising target groups, and product development works by segmenting the industry association. Every department pursues a different strategy and uses a variety of different approaches, such as customer experience management or marketing automation. That way, it is easy to forget that all departments actually interact with the same customers - or at least should try that. Tasks, competencies and responsibilities must therefore be regulated in the company. For the development of customer journeys, for example, it should be clarified in advance for which market development processes and / or target groups the customer journeys need to be created; where the customer journeys should begin and where to end, or which off- and online touchpoints are included.

Provide a basis for decision-making: A measurable touchpoint management with a 360-degree view of (potential) customers objectifies is crucial to constantly improve and have confidence in making decisions. At the same time, it increases the chances of approval in case of changing decisions. Accordingly, it should be clarified, among other things, who is responsible for a valid, holistic mapping of the customer journeys in the company; and with what kind of performance goals, performance indicators and methods the success control is intended to be implemented.

Develop a common customer understanding: We all know that the internal company view isn’t necessarily the same as the customers’ view and gut feeling doesn’t mean necessarily expertise. What I mean to say, comparing the company’s view (inside-out) with the customer's view (outside-in) is often sobering. According to studies, at an average only six out of ten most important touchpoints for customers are correctly guessed and the order is quasi never correct. Not to mention that the views vary greatly, depending on the area or department.

What must be clear is the fact that the control of the customer journey in recent years has become a strategic management task and therefore a top priority. So, you might want to consider, among others, the following advices: establish a uniform understanding of the customer in the company based on validated customer journeys; determine with which touchpoints the customer journey should be optimally covered, identify positive or negative customer interactions, and define and prioritize concrete fields of action.

By Daniela La Marca