Leading marketers pursue a holistic view of the customer journey that radically shifts the customer experience
We're living through a disruptive time in commerce. We've gone digital, focused on mobile, and now we're omnichannel. At every juncture, we've tried to do a better job of what the analysts tell us is critical to customer loyalty and to our bottom line -- improve the customer experience.
And it's working, to some extent. We've made peace with the fact that the customer journey is not a simple customer funnel anymore, but rather, we need to focus on a complex and growing set of touchpoints over multiple channels over time. We know we need to satisfy – no, delight! -- customers at every touch. The actual doing is the hard part.
As we enter 2017, it may be time to admit that our Band-Aid approach to understanding the customer journey and improving customer experience may not be enough. If we're going to significantly move the needle on the quality of customers' experiences, what is needed is a holistic approach, bringing together all the resources of our brand.
See through the customer's eyes
Organizations that are most successful at customer experience start by trying to deeply learn about the customer journey, about the behavior of users who interact with them. It's a shift in mindset outward.
Behavior is an indicator of feelings, and the valuable information is – are our customers feeling good about their interactions with us? At every step, we need to reevaluate our digital presence from the experience of the customer – does she feel like she's wasting her time, can't accomplish her goals, frustrated with too many steps, or just feels like the process of dealing with your company is harder than it should be.
Embrace a corporate customer experience strategy
Leader companies understand that they need to make their quest for radically improved customer experience part of their overall digital strategy.
A holistic customer experience strategy starts at the top of the organization and filters all the way through. It involves not just marketing or IT but all business units – billing, shipping, customer service; both front-end and back-end departments need to work hard to make customers happy. The organization must identify the journeys in which they need to excel, understand how they are currently performing in each, build cross-functional processes to redesign and support those journeys, and institute cultural change and continuous improvement to sustain the initiatives at scale.
But not only action – collaboration
• Company-widecustomerfocus&collaboration:Customerexperienceisdeterminednotonlybymarketing,salesand customer care. Customer experience is affected by the joint efforts of everybody within the company. The various business departments therefore have to collaborate effectively to deliver a superior customer experience across all touchpoints.
Access to customer data
Integratedanalytics&accesstocustomerdata:Theamountofdatathatcanbeusedtoanalyzecustomerbehaviorand preferences is exploding in the digital age. Companies have to make intelligent use of this data across the entire
Integrate into one single IT solution – invest in analytics, esp customer data integration – remove data siloes
Integratedcustomerinteractionchannels:Asthenumberofdigitalchannelsforinteractingwithcustomerskeeps increasing, it is pivotal for companies to efficiently use these channels and to provide a seamless and integrated customer experience. organization. This, however, requires integrated analytics solutions as well as access to customer data across all touchpoints for various functions within the company.
Integrated analytics solution – interrelated set of projects across your organization
In our research and consulting on customer journeys, we've found that organizations able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards: enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction. They also discover more-effective ways to collaborate across functions and levels, a process that delivers gains throughout the company.
the reinvention of their brand as one that values the customer journey begins by bringing the whole organization together to reinvent the experience for the customer.
...(download the rest of the essay above)