There are several challenges businesses and brands face when they approach customer journey orchestration. As with all business initiatives, a healthy understanding of the pain-points others encountered while implementing customer journey orchestration can help you avoid potential pitfalls that can slow or even derail the process entirely.

Culture

A collaborative culture is necessary as various departments across the organization are involved in delivering the journey you’re trying to orchestrate. If your culture is not one of collaboration or one that’s customer-centric, those siloes will be a hindrance to this work. Operational, functionally based silos within a company actively prohibit collaboration among team members. Ninety-seven percent of executives surveyed by the American Management Association agree that silos have a negative effect within their company and must be broken down.

Legacy Systems

Disparate and legacy systems (data platforms, transactional platforms, etc.) the ability to orchestrate the customer journey. Purpose-built journey orchestration technology is needed to overcome this problem. Without the proper systems in place businesses can’t correctly analyze the multiple journeys and micro-journeys customers may take, which prevents them from enabling the optimization of their customer experience.

Data Issues

Data is at the heart of designing and delivering a great customer experience. Customer journey analytics is vital to understanding the present and future ways customer interface with a business or brand. In order to orchestrate the journey, businesses must have data that is accessible, complete, and accurate. Those data requirements are hard to meet, which only further places data and its quality as a big obstacle to achieving your orchestration goals. Orchestration will only be as good as the data. Mary Catherine Plunkett, Director of Customer Success Strategy & Programs at Autodesk, stated that you have to assume that you have only about 50% of the data that you’ll need, and then build out the orchestration based on knowing that

Cost

For some, the sheer cost of the orchestration work required as a result of the effort and inefficiency caused by the first three items in this list has caused it to stall. While purpose-built platforms can help businesses push through some of this, businesses will need everything else to be aligned, as well. In the sports world, cost-benefit ratios are often described colloquially as no risk it, no biscuit which essentially means if you never risk the cost of failure, you’ll never reap the rewards of success. The level of the cost valued against the potential benefit is different for every business, but it shouldn’t be the sole reason for not succeeding at something as important as the customer experience. Especially when commercial benefits like a reduced cost to serve come from the analytics that improved customer journey orchestration can provide.

Value

Perhaps the hardest element of succeeding at customer journey orchestration is convincing decision makers of its inherent value. Mary Catherine Plunkett noted that the concept is amazing but proving out the value can be a challenge. How is it really adding value – for the business and, especially, for the customer? Obviously, this is important to be able to do in order to get commitment and resources from executives to proceed. With that, you’ll have a much greater chance of success because, after all, the goal is to deliver a seamless and consistent experience for customers – and the only way to achieve “consistent” is to have every department onboard.

There are many obstacles along the road to successful customer journey orchestration. Those businesses that are aware of them prior to starting the process are clearly more likely to succeed. The complexity of customer journeys and the value improving them provides is not only ever-changing, but ever-increasing. This means while it may be hard to calculate that financial benefit at the outset, there is no version where improved customer experiences don’t increase overall revenue in the long term.

The willingness to understand that customer journey orchestration isn’t a result - it’s a process - is crucial. Journey orchestration is a large, enterprise-wide undertaking, it must begin with executive understanding, financial commitment, and cross-team alignment. Read our free practical guide to Customer Journey Orchestration to further learn about how to implement it successfully. 

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