Journey maps are essential tools in the CX leader’s arsenal that diagnose customer pain points and inspire improvements to marketing, sales, and service experiences. However, traditional journey maps have limited value beyond planning because they are a snapshot in time, and only relevant to one or two segments.
Today’s CX leaders need more data and more actionability. They require deeper insights into their most critical customer journeys based on a variety of data sources. Importantly, they want the ability to change the experience with personalized interactions.
Enter the era of the Journey Management Tools (JMTs).
Traditional journey mapping is obsolete
Traditional journey maps, if they incorporate data at all, only provide a static view of customer behavior. As a result, companies may struggle to understand what is contextually relevant for each customer at any point in time. Another knock on traditional journey maps is actionability, as journey maps are more like strategy guides than roadmaps. Once the initial mapping effort is over, marketing or service teams rarely implement the recommendations. But the good news is that advances in data integration, analytics, and visualization allow companies to overcome the limitations of traditional journey mapping while leveraging new and more powerful capabilities and insights through journey analytics platforms.
JMTs are composed of three core capabilities that create a powerful tool for visualizing, measuring, diagnosing, and building customer experiences:
Customer Data Platform (CDP): CDPs have been around for many years, but have recently become a go-to technology for unifying data from a customer perspective. Customer data is linked via a library of standard APIs to sales, marketing, and service systems. This is then associated with a customer record and time-stamped, enabling the creation of an event stream suitable for journey analytics.
Journey Mapping, Analytics, & Visualization: Organizations still need to do the legwork to identify an organization’s various touchpoints and systems. Once completed, however, the platform allows one to build out each touchpoint in a virtual space and link it to its respective data source. In some cases, an ID is created to knit these data sources together into a virtual customer profile. This allows the decision-maker to track a customer’s actual behavior through sales, marketing, e-commerce, or service interactions.
Here is where the magic of journey analytics comes into play. Rather than guessing at what the “moments of truth” may be, business users can visualize the success or failure of individuals, groups, or segments to achieve the next step in the customer relationship. Does an organization want to know where customers are getting tripped up on their e-commerce site? Just perform a simple query to find the answer. Do they want to diagnose an experience for the strategic or most valuable segments? It’s easy to link analytical models and other customer differentiators for deeper analysis. Analyzing channel performance to find out which are the best feeders into the sales channel, or which ones best lead customers to self-service, is a core use case for journey analytics.
Channel Orchestration: The ability to deliver a consistent experience across different touchpoints (i.e., channel orchestration) is just another game-changing capability furnished by JMTs. Robust linkages to your content, campaign, and service systems allow users to create complex interactions within the same platform. Customers can be micro-targeted by factors including segment, value, and digital behavior patterns so that the next message or offer is optimized for effectiveness.
In other instances, users may want to create a retargeting campaign exclusive to high-net worth customers if they fail to make an online purchase or application. Or they may want to build proactive outbound phone calls after one or more failed attempts at self-service. These campaigns can be highly differentiated, using the various elements of the virtual “persona” created by the system, thus building tailored messaging based on profile, value, and context of the interaction. Testing and learning as one goes can ensure that the best path to resolution or purchase is ongoing and ultimately optimized in future approaches.
The experience doctor is in
What else can be accomplished with a JMT in place? Let’s say someone leads a hospital system and one of his or her primary CX objectives is to guide members to a digital appointment portal. And along the way it turns out the adoption rate is lower than the target and it’s not clear why. With a JMT, a user can perform forensic analysis to identify how many members are using the portal, how they arrived at the portal, and the segments that are having the most trouble. What’s assumed to be an age-related adoption issue could be a flaw in the marketing strategy or content for certain segments. Journey analytics lets users “double click” into any journey or sub-journey to find root causes to thorny CX problems.
While traditional journey maps are good tools for visualizing customer interactions in one place, JMTs take this one step further by offering a dynamic view of touchpoints fed with real-time data. Beyond showing a static snapshot, they can isolate and visualize individual journeys and see how they are performing in real time. Are people using the new chat channel or mobile portal? Where are they coming from, and which are the best performing channels? Is this strategy working for their best customers? All these questions can be answered through journey analysis.
We know that there are as many alternate journeys as there are customers. JMTs are adept at incorporating models and attributes, such as segmentation, customer value, and sentiment to achieve even better insight into a CX performance. What may look like a winner performance on an aggregate basis may be a loser for the most important customers. For example, a wealth management company may design a seemingly successful account review process that inadvertently results in higher attrition for certain high-net worth segments. JMTs make the dream of unifying behavioral data, customer analytics, and VoC data a reality, allowing companies to make informed decisions and manage the full customer experience across segments.
Once an organization finishes building a traditional journey map, the next question most organizations have is, “How can we make this actionable?” Here’s where journey analytics platforms excel. Today’s leading JMTs enable companies to design interventions, campaigns, or treatments that are then executed through the appropriate channel. Having a problem with shopping cart abandonment? Send an email with a special offer, or better yet, a screen pop for a chat session. Has a member with certain health conditions repeatedly tried to access customer care? Schedule an outbound call. Leaders can also build sub-journeys, say for high-value prospects, to receive a different offer or navigation, or be selected for red-carpet treatment.
Who should be interested in journey management tools?
JMTs can be applied to both B2B and B2C organizations that need to optimize experiences based on real prospect or objective, real-time customer data.
Marketers can quickly identify their best-performing channels and diagnose issues with navigation, offers, and functionality. They can build new experiences within the tool, quickly test hypotheses, and then tie into the CMS to trigger personalized messages. Service professionals can likewise find friction points and improve the overall customer experience through proactive messaging and process change. Other use cases include:
- Digital containment—find the channels and campaigns that best route customers to self-service—and improve navigation through analytical insight.
- Trigger chat windows when customers seem to be frustrated, as revealed through digital event data based on both what the consumer did or did not do.
- Introduce custom scripts or offers for certain segments, like insurance or medication prices change.
Digital transformation or innovation teams that need to optimize the full prospect/customer experience can also benefit from JMTs. The platforms serve as a “mission control” or “air traffic control” that blends marketing, sales, service, digital, operational, transactional, survey, and third-party data together in a customer-centric platform.
A journey map, but better
For the first time, there is an analytics and orchestration solution that is both customer-centric and integrates important customer data sources that create a fulsome and actionable profile. Some organizations may start small, so build out the journey visualization in order to diagnose service issues—similar to what a current state journey map would yield. As leaders explore possibilities, adding segmentation, modeling, and new data sources, the JMT will yield insight on an ongoing basis.