5 Key Steps to Achieve Journey Optimization

Business leaders from marketing to customer experience and IT don’t always know the right next step when it comes to advancing their customer journey maturity. Thankfully, the road to customer journey optimization doesn’t need to be confusing. While there are many ways to look at customer journey maturity, the pyramid model works as a metaphor and guide to help you reach the shimmering capstone of journey optimization.

Lay the Foundation: Data Connection & Identity Resolution

The base of the customer journey maturity pyramid is built with data. Without a strong foundation of data and the ability to dynamically create and update profiles for individual customers and prospects, it is difficult to deliver an engaging customer experience.

Today, many brands struggle with this step due to siloed data that makes it hard to tailor the experience for customers. To solve this, you’ll need to build out a data management framework that allows you to access and use customer data from all parts of your business.

Once you have your data connected, new customer journey possibilities will likely emerge. Instead of data silos preventing quick communication, real-time actions will be the new norm. To advance beyond this step, make sure that you aren’t delaying journey projects in favor of having cleaner data. Data will never be perfect, but it does serve as the starting point for building out the journey and taking the first step towards journey maturity.

Find the Best Ways Forward: Customer Journey Analytics & Discovery

With your data securely in place, you must begin to climb the journey maturity pyramid. This step requires that you perform journey analytics and discovery to achieve a deeper understanding of the current journey at your business. Many journey analytics solutions exist today, but most crucial to understand is that analytics can’t be the end goal of a journey management project, but merely one of the early steps.

To succeed here requires measuring your current customer experience and discovering where there is room for improvement. It’s in this stage that you’ll likely identify your first use cases by finding areas of your customer journey that still need work. Only once you’ve identified what needs to be improved and developed a system of measuring success are you ready to move on to the next step. If you begin your journey project intending to do primarily analytics—this is now an opportunity to add value back into the management process and advance your journey maturity even further.

Prepare The Scaffolding: Journey Orchestration Strategy

Once you’ve measured what needs to improve and identified an initial use case, your business is ready to start planning the next stage, customer journey orchestration. Before you try to move quickly and build journey automation and orchestration processes out, you need to plan out your overall journey orchestration strategy. If you haven’t built a journey map and strategic plan, now is when it becomes crucial to identify the journey steps you will ultimately orchestrate.

Businesses must strategize about how they want the customer journey to reflect either their brand voice or simply to make customers as satisfied as possible. As you approach your journey orchestration strategy, you must decide on the journey metrics that will allow you to measure improvements in the journey identified in the previous step. This will set your business up for success as you begin to automate journey processes.

Scale Up: Activate & Automate Journeys

This is the stage where most businesses truly begin to see the results of the journey management efforts. With automation, you can begin to see results in real-time based on the new experiences you’ve designed.

A word of caution: The only thing worse than not automating, is automating the wrong things. This is why it is so crucial that you not try to jump to this step on the customer journey maturity pyramid. Only by climbing each step prior can you be certain that your business is setting itself up for success, rather than failure. In this stage, your business will be listening to the data, understanding what that data means, deciding how to act, and then pushing out the next best action to the channel of communication. Done correctly, all of this will be in real-time and driving an incredible experience for every customer.

The Summit: Journey Testing & Optimizing

The beauty of the customer journey pyramid is that by improving the base and each level above it, there is no limit to the heights your journey program can reach. While the process never ends, this is finally a place where customer journeys hit their stride, becoming a fully integrated part of the business.

To truly succeed with this stage, you must go back to the beginning, auditing your data and profiles to ensure you have a complete customer view. Then you must analyze again to find out where further improvements can be made. Each step repeats in an endless chain that continually improves your customer experience, letting you strive for the heights of journey optimization.

Are you ready to begin your journey to the top of the customer journey maturity pyramid? Reach out today. We’d be happy to help you evaluate your current maturity and discuss your future projects.