Customer journey management’s key role in successful customer experience

Andrea Haughton | Tuesday, Jun 28th 2022
keys floating on businessman's hands

Today’s business climate is consumer driven. It’s evolving quickly and demanding continuous optimization. Customer experience is no longer table stakes; excellent CX is your organization’s most valuable differentiator.   

In our global consumer market, with customer expectations soaring, it’s the organizations focusing on Customer Experience Management (CXM) strategy that are driving revenues. And, increasingly, good CX strategy leverages a crucial process - customer journey management - to intelligently inform CCM efforts.      

Customer experience is your differentiator     

Customer experience (CX) is “the experience that a consumer has - by whatever channel, or whichever way - when they engage with the brand.” Essentially, it’s the interaction of customers and your services or products. It includes the tactical and emotional experiences that shape customers' perspective of the brand. And it represents your greatest opportunity for differentiation.    

Regardless of where the customer lives, or who they are, they increasingly have the power. Power to research and discover. Power to choose who they engage or contract with. They hold the buying power. And their capability to share their experiences, means that they also have the power of public persuasion.      

This power means that your CX must evolve beyond your competitors to meet each customer’s unique demands. Today's customers expect a business to follow wherever they go, whenever they choose. If you’re equipped to meet them on the moon, but they want to go to Mars - you’ve lost a customer to Tesla.      

How does customer journey management (CJM) fit into successful customer experience? It’s the critical foundation. Customer journey management is the process of orchestrating next best actions at every touchpoint in the customer journey to create a seamless customer experience. Successful CJM leverages AI, machine learning and data to give you deep insights into how your customers interact with your organization and enables real-time adjustments to improve the CX.  

Why is journey mapping important?   

Customers must enjoy their experience with you. They must relate to your brand and require relationship nurturing. If you can’t deliver this, they’ll be your competitor’s buyer.     

This is the value add of a journey map - a consolidated visualization dashboard that connects the emotional aspects of all brand interactions a customer may experience to enable users with  “how and when” tools that resolve pain points and create enjoyable experiences.   

Journey mapping considers deeper questions and touch points that drive consumer behavior. A customer journey map asks:  

  • How well do you know your customers?   

  • How are they interacting with businesses?   

  • Which channels do they expect to communicate on? And when?   

  • What is the journey your customers want to take, and how is this different from the one you offer them?   

  • Are you equipped to meet them there?   

  • Do your employees understand how customers engage your organization?   

Answers to these questions empower you to tailor each customer’s experience, ultimately enticing a customer to continue their journey with your brand. Keep in mind that an effective journey map centers on the customer’s needs and desires - not your organizational structure or specific products. Customization creates experiences that meet or exceed a customer’s wants - and it delights them.     

This is smart business today and it will prove valuable in tomorrow’s markets.    

How customer journey management enhances your omnichannel CX/CCM    

It’s a fact – today's customers engage on multiple channels. The challenge is differentiating your organization by creating a way for customers to self-select how they want to interact with you. That’s the power that a sophisticated CJM solution offers you.   

Since no single channel benefits CX alone, the goal of a robust CJM is integration across every channel (i.e. omnichannel.). The Aberdeen Group says that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.   

An omnichannel journey map enables you to anticipate their needs in real-time, across each and every channel. These insights will inform you when customers expect to switch channels - for example, a customer who starts an interaction on the phone and finishes it online, or via SMS. The result is increased customer engagement and satisfaction that generates profits.    

The value of your time and resource investment in CJM  

Implementing a customer journey management solution can require a significant cultural shift in addition to time and resource allocation. But experts say it’s worth the time and resource investment.   

The future of business is consumer-driven and digitally expansive. CJM tools intelligently inform your CCM efforts to create a seamless, exceptional CXM strategy. As the business communications evolve from CCM to CXM, CJM will deepen its value as a critical process for ensuring excellent customer experience outcomes because it spurs engagement, strengthens relationships and earns loyalty. Organizations that commit to enhancing customer experience now will see greater earning potential and the ability to stand out from competitors.   

The number one question is: does your organization have the capability to understand existing and emerging customer journeys? We’re here to help you get started.  

Essential resources for customer journey management   

This checklist is a starting point for newcomers to the world of customer journey mapping. For those with prior experience, it’s a great health check. As you kickstart your journey mapping efforts, every executive should ask (and answer) these questions for their organization. We’ve also put together a practical guide to getting started with customer journey orchestration and created a quick video explainer.   

Once you know where to meet your customer, it’s time to put it to use. We recommend leveraging the invaluable insight you’ve gained from your CJM under a broader machine-powered customer journey management system that allows you to create, collaborate, connect and act to deliver exceptional, differentiating CX.     

Interested in staying a step ahead of your competitors? Learn more about how Quadient® is enabling companies like yours to connect with people to deliver a great customer experience through meaningful and personalized omni-channel communications.