More than half (59%) of Americans will stop interacting with a brand they love after a few negative experiences; 17% after just one bad experience. Positive customer experience is the key to brand loyalty, customer retention and greater lifetime customer value. To improve customer experience, you need to make it convenient and simple for customers to interact with your brand at every stage of their journey—from researching products/services to paying for and using them. You can do this through omnichannel communications and journey management—using artificial intelligence to analyze real-time customer data, predict behavior, determine the next best action and guide customers toward that action.
Follow these five key steps to develop and implement an effective journey management program.
1. Assemble a CX Team
To be effective, journey management needs to be enterprise wide. Start by assembling a cross-functional customer engagement team that includes people at different seniority levels from many departments (e.g., sales, marketing, customer service and billing). These departments (and their software systems) need to be integrated to provide rapid, coordinated support to customers throughout their journeys. The team leader doesn’t have to be a C-suite person, but it helps to have buy-in and support from senior executives who have the authority and connections to promote new initiatives.
2. Choose the First Journey To Manage
Start by focusing on one customer journey to achieve a “quick win” (i.e., greater customer satisfaction and positive return on investment). Consider the feasibility, desirability and profitability of improving CX in that journey. Choose a journey that is feasible to orchestrate and will make the biggest impact in meeting your business goals. Desirability refers to whether the interaction would improve the customer experience, while profitability addresses whether it will generate revenue.
Medical appointment and payment reminders are good examples of customer journeys that immediately benefit patients/customers and businesses. Patients avoid no-show fees or late charges, while healthcare organizations/businesses get paid more—and sooner.
Consider orchestrating these industry-specific journeys:
- Retail: Sales notifications, shopping cart abandonment and picking up purchased products
- Telecommunications: Payment reminders, upsell offers and promo roll-off
- Healthcare: Patient online registration, appointment reminders and prescription notifications
- Financial Services: Mortgage loan approval status updates, fraud alerts, and receiving overdraft limits or financial health reviews.
Once you’ve chosen a journey to manage, you need to measure the value delivered.
3. Select Journey Metrics
Use key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure the success of your first journey. If you’re unable to demonstrate a positive impact on customer satisfaction, retention and/or sales, it will be nearly impossible to get the board’s approval. Unfortunately, traditional KPIs are often channel specific. KPIs like website visitors, call center volumes and ad views do not measure the full impact of an end-to-end customer journey.
Instead, consider true customer journey KPIs that evaluate the specific journey being orchestrated. For example, look at shopping cart abandonment rates, medical appointment no-show rates, percentage of completed loan applications, and number of upgrade packages sold.
4. Evaluate Your Tech Stack Capabilities
After you have those first three pieces in place—a solid CX team, a journey to orchestrate and metrics to measure success—it’s time to consider what tools you already have in place to build a connected journey. Omnichannel communications are the foundation of journey management, so start there.
Can your notification platform:
- Harness customer data from across your enterprise? You need a full view of customers, including their needs and activity. A customer data platform gathers and consolidates data from different departments (e.g., sales/marketing, billing, customer service) and communication channels (e.g., email, phone, SMS, MMS) to create a 360-degree customer profile.
- Make decisions in real time? Using business rules and logic, the solution needs to intelligently automate which messages to send to which customers, at what times and over which channels. Journey analytics uses artificial intelligence to analyze customer data, predict customers’ needs and determine what their next best action should be. Journey orchestration tools then guide customers toward that best action by automatically sending the right message at the right time via the customer’s preferred channel.
Related Resource: CSG Xponent Ignite Datasheet
5. Implement an Industry-Specific Journey Management Solution
Take advantage of CSG Xponent Ignite’s industry-specific, prebuilt journeys for retail, financial services, telecommunications and healthcare industries. It’s powered by an award-winning customer engagement platform, CSG Xponent, which manages billions of interactions across the globe. CSG Xponent Ignite is your quick start to better business outcomes. Let us help you evaluate your current CX program, identify areas for improvement, and choose the right journeys to take to the next level.
Contact us to get started.