The Evolution of Customer Experience: From Personalization to Journey Orchestration
Customers see your company as a single entity, not a collection of loosely connected departments, so talking to them in a single voice is vital.
Many companies have taken the first step towards achieving this goal by adding channels and personalizing messaging, but customer expectations have moved beyond you knowing their name and delivering messages on their preferred device. To win the CX battle, companies are enhancing the personalized customer experience by proactively orchestrating customer relationships.
What does that look like?
- Picking up every conversation where the last one left off, so the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves.
- Channel jumping at the whim of the customer without interruption.
- Tailoring messages and offers to customers as individuals, not personas.
- Creating value with every interaction to illustrate you value their time.
- Eliminating friction points before they happen.
- Anticipating the customers’ wants and needs and pivoting when they do the unexpected.
According to Forrester, seventy-five percent of customers today expect businesses to know why they are calling before they make the call. Sound like a tall order? It is, in fact, not too long ago it would have been impossible. Thankfully, we live in the digital age where consumer data streams in at unprecedented rates, each gigabyte delivering valuable customer insights. That data, coupled with the other tools in your communications toolkit, enables you to provide extraordinary customer experience.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the pitfalls to avoid when using these valuable, but disparate tools.
- Personas are useful filters to predict content customers may find relevant but be careful how you automate them. Persona-based targeting used in a vacuum can skim the edges of creepy and turn customers off. In 2018, only twenty-four percent of customers believed the ads they were shown were relevant, and three-fourths considered them “creepy.” Personas on their own generalize your customers; profiles bolstered by data individualizes them.
- Interaction history enables you to determine the best next action to take, but customers have a habit of doing the unexpected, so you need to be prepared to change course. It is important to create alternate paths and journey maps that enable you to adapt and govern to their change in behavior quickly. And it may sound counter-intuitive, but sometimes the best action to take is no action. Sometimes letting the customer make the next move is the most prudent thing to do. Your job is to make it easy for them to do so.
- Data collection is one of your most valuable tools if applied correctly. It allows you to listen to customer behavior and events across multiple channels and interactions. However, if you aren’t listening on all channels, you aren’t getting the full picture which could result in a misstep. It is crucial to monitor all channels (web, mobile, apps, connected devices, billing and payments) in real time to unify data and orchestrate customer journeys. Equally important, once gathered and analyzed, share that valuable information with your entire organization to measure outcomes and drive continuous improvement.
Without automation, this level of personalized customer experience would be beyond our reach. While it’s an essential tool, don’t discount the personal touch. There may be instances where you need to veer off the journey map using exception handling. For example, when a customer is upset, they may require personal attention to regain their trust and loyalty. When this does occur, be sure to record the action and its result to ensure continued excellent CX.
You may have noticed a couple of key themes here: integration, data unification and informed decisioning. Without these vital components, your ability to conduct intelligent, seamless, relevant conversations with your customers will be an uphill battle.
We may have started with personas to inform personalization but to cultivate authentic customer relationships there needs to be a thread that connects every touchpoint, every interaction, every communication. Journey orchestration is that thread:
- It creates conversations specifically crafted to each customer, building trust and reinforcing their decision to engage with your brand.
- It provides you the opportunity to delight and surprise them, which strengthens their loyalty.
- It eliminates friction points that could prompt them to stop and consider alternative solutions.
- It enables you to communicate with them across all touchpoints in one consistent voice.
At the end of the day, people want to be treated as unique individuals; that’s exactly what Journey Orchestration delivers.
To learn more about the role journey orchestration plays in delivering superior customer experience check out CSG Journey Orchestration.