Channel choice is a hot topic in the contact center world. Consumers want to be able to reach and interact with a brand on their own terms in their preferred channel. NICE’s 2019 benchmark consumer research found that 90% of consumers are more likely to consider doing business with a company that offers multiple ways to communicate, and that notion has not changed. They want options! Whether it be self-service or agent-assisted, digital or traditional, the increasing number of channel options adds complexity to customer journeys which in turn creates a need for customer journey management.
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey is the path a person takes while trying to accomplish a goal with an organization. These goals can include purchasing a product, getting help, and more. Journeys are composed of touchpoints and hand offs between those touchpoints. A touchpoint is any moment when a consumer receives an impression of a business. Some examples of touchpoints include a company’s website, Facebook page, customer service, and marketing emails. You reading this blog post would be a touchpoint.
What is customer journey management?
Customer journey management is a disciplined, ongoing approach to measuring, optimizing, and orchestrating the experiences customers have while trying to accomplish a goal with a business. It seeks to predict what customers need at each stage of the journey and proactively interact with them to fulfill those needs.
What is the contact center’s role in customer journey management?
Contacts centers play a vital role in the overall success of the customer journey management effort. The support journey is critical to the satisfaction of customers and the contact center is the primary touchpoint and owner of hand offs along this path.
A few examples of successful customer journey management in the contact center setting are:
- Seamless omnichannel experiences. Many customers use multiple channels during their resolution journeys, and they need to be able to move seamlessly across channels when they switch. This means that their data needs to travel with them for context so they don’t have to start over whenever they enter a new channel.
- Personalized interactions. Consumers expect and value personalized experiences and can make purchase decisions based on how well a company knows them. This means customer data needs to be available in every support channel and used to tailor interactions.
- Reduced queue times. Just because queues are full does not mean customers will wait up for you. To improve customer journeys, contact centers need to optimize their capacity through accurate forecasting and scheduling, effective self-service, and smart automation. As a result, speed to answer will improve.
How do I manage a customer journey?
Successful customer journey management efforts rely heavily on data, technology, and behavioral science. Customer journey management efforts need to focus on entire, end-to-end journeys, not just individual touchpoints. A primary goal of customer journey management is to coordinate all the moving parts to make it as easy, fast, and enjoyable as possible for customers to achieve their goals. To coordinate those parts, here are some tools and techniques to help you:
- Customer journey mapping. These are visual representations of journeys that include relevant information such as touchpoints, operational data, and customer feedback, goals, and sentiment.
- Customer journey analytics. This technology connects and transforms disparate customer interactions into a single, consolidated journey.
- Customer journey orchestration. For contact centers, this means using individual customer data to predict needs and provide personalized experiences in the right channel at the right time.
How do we measure the success of customer journey management programs?
The best way to measure success is to capture the performance of the end-to-end journey, not the individual touchpoints. An example of a common KPI for customer journey management is calculating the Journey Excellence Score (JES). A JES is designed to measure CX quality from the perspective of the customer journey across multiple channels over time. This can be measured using sophisticated journey analytics software.
Why should businesses manage customer journeys?
With all the touchpoints and possible paths of today’s journeys, customer journey management is a necessity! Disciplined customer journey management allows businesses to create satisfying experiences and therefore, improve the overall customer experience.
CX has become a differentiator, and according to Gartner, more than two-thirds of businesses compete mostly based on customer experience. The focus on CX is driven by customer expectations, similar to the adoption of more channels by brands. Brand experiences impact customer loyalty and spending behavior. For example, PwC found that 32% of consumers would leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.
The result of an effective customer journey management program is not just improved customer experience. Other benefits include:
- Journey optimization. Identify what’s working and what’s not.
- Proactive intervention. Identify indicators of journey success or failure and respond.
- Track journey performance. Always know how different journeys are performing.
- Reduce costs. Smoother journeys with fewer issues reduce customer service volume.
- Improve the quality of interactions. Journey management can provide valuable contextual information to contact center agents.
- Increase revenue. CX influences purchase decisions, so consistently better experiences result in more purchases.
NICE and Wilmac offer a suite of contact center solutions designed to help you improve your customer experience. Customer journey management is a small, yet critical piece of that puzzle. According to an article by BCG, “Customer journey programs can provide improvements of 20 to 40 points in customer advocacy scores, cost reductions of 15% to 25%, and revenue increases of 10% to 20%.” But, it can be difficult to achieve those results.
By partnering with Wilmac, we ensure you understand the full capabilities of your solution and we work together to achieve your goals for customer journey management. Contact Wilmac to schedule your consultation.