Written by: Eraj Mehmood & Ammar Afzal (Data & AI Competency)
June 23, 2021
Organizations often find it hard to completely understand their customers’ journeys due to the lack of detailed insights regarding their preferences. The customer journey has transformed significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of pre-purchase research has increased, whereas the buying power of certain segments has also reduced. Moving the needle towards customer satisfaction requires more effort today. To turn visitors into loyal customers, it’s now necessary for organizations to adopt newer strategies to craft a memorable customer experience.
The paradigm shift of the customer journey
The ever-changing consumer and technological landscape has reshaped the market and its competitiveness more than ever before. Today, customers expect more relevant content concerning what they’re doing anytime, anywhere. Therefore, traditional organizations need an interactive customer journey strategy for successful market penetration.
Leveraging the customer experience
To cater to the evolving customer demands, organizations must deliver unmatched customer experiences by introducing new customer-journey strategies or modernizing the existing ones. We’ve highlighted three of the most significant areas that organizations must re-evaluate to meet growing customer demands.
1. Omnichannel strategy improvements
To optimize the customer journey, organizations need omnichannel transformation and restructuring according to the rapidly changing marketing landscape. To adopt successful omnichannel transformation, companies should follow a sequential process composed of three essential elements.
Strategy, design & principles
To hit the right balance, organizations have to redesign their customer interaction strategy. The right customer interaction strategy will ensure the organization’s focus on the entire service journey rather than individual touchpoints like chat, voice, and digital response.
Map the most important journeys first
According to shifting conditions, organizations will get greater visibility into customer personas if they redesign and review the end-to-end customer journey strategies. However, organizations must first identify the most valuable journeys in terms of cost, complexity, and importance to customers.
Companies can apply a test and learn approach in which a thinking and ideation session with customers occurs. Then, based on the knowledge of customers, strategic decisions can be made.
Robust technological infrastructure
To deliver a seamless customer experience, it’s necessary to have the modern technology enablers, including the right tools and infrastructure. In addition, advanced analytics and technologies such as Big Data and Customer 360 can provide predictive feedback about the customer journey with extensive data volumes. Similarly, the induction of artificial intelligence and machine learning can make way for “wow moments”.
2. Utilizing the data
According to research from McKinsey, “Analysis shows that a company acting on journey insights has seen 15-20% reduction in cost to serve, 10-20% boost in cross-selling, and 10-25% drop in churn”. Of course, fixing and measuring the individual touchpoints is not the exact solution, rather the entire customer journey should be uplifted.
Corporations need to focus on three areas to turn their data insights into strategic decisions to improve the overall customer experience.
Start with basic touchpoints – Build on them with further interactions
Many organizations think that they need deeper information about the customer from every touchpoint, but organizations don’t have to focus on every bit and byte right from the start. Only the first few interactions are enough to understand customer preferences, such as onboarding the customer and problem resolution. Initial data collected from these interactions is enough to predict customer behaviour as a starting point.
Some organizations avoid taking prompt action because they believe that the available data isn’t enough or are waiting for structured data. While that might be true in some cases, future-ready organizations don’t wait for the data to be perfect—instead, they commence with the data they already have and start putting things together.
Uplifting the analytical skills
Customer touchpoints’ data availability is only the starting point for using data analytics for tracking a customer’s journey; drawing insightful information from these touchpoints is the challenge. Organizations are often focused on generating huge reports from the available data, but the real value comes from accurate analytical skills.
Organizations must instil the right analytical skills in their resources to harness actionable insights from the available data. Companies that are utilizing data analytics effectively are already inculcating analytical skills in their teams throughout the organizations.
For organizations to drive a successful customer experience, technological options are plentiful. For example, interactive technologies like Customer Data Platforms (CDP) such as Customer 360 allow organizations to achieve greater visibility into their target consumers’ decision-making. In addition, other technologies such as cloud-based solutions, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence help organizations tailor the overall customer experience more rapidly.
3. Customer care transformation
In an omnichannel world where customer expectations are increasing, superior customer care becomes essential and plays a vital role in mapping the customer journey. According to research from Salesforce, “91% of customers say they’re more likely to make another purchase after a great service experience.”
As a significant contributor to customer satisfaction, customer care is always the first point of interaction with customers through live chat, social media, helpline interactions, and other self-service channels. Here are two key areas, which must be re-evaluated:
Ownership of customer experience
Customer care holds imperative value in mapping information about the customer journey because the information can be fetched immediately from customers. Therefore, to create a seamless customer experience, the role of customer care through any medium should be monitored closely.
Continuous training & development
Improvement plans for superior customer care should always be the top priority for any organization because customer care is one of the initial touchpoints in most cases and the first interaction with customer care leaves a lasting impression.
Whenever any issue arises, customer care agents have to take rapid action to resolve problems. In addition, customer care should also have the capability to understand the overall purchase experience from the customer’s perspective.
The necessity of customer journey transformation has increased dramatically in recent years. A successful customer journey demands top-of-the-line organizational strategies. Furthermore, with the proper data analysis techniques and technological enablers, organizations can deliver seamless experiences throughout the entire customer journey.
Get in touch with our data experts to know how we can empower you to create unforgettable customer experiences with the power of data analytics.