Customer journeys include many things that happen before, during, and after the experience of a product or service. Journeys can be long, stretching across multiple channels and touchpoints, and often lasting days, weeks or longer. Brand awareness, converting prospects to customer, providing long-tern value to create loyalty and advocacy are all part of the journey.
This is especially true in the multi-touchpoint, multichannel, always-on, hyper-competitive world we live in today. The explosion of potential interaction points and micro-moments across new channels, devices, applications, and more, makes delivering a consistency great experience a challenge.
The siloed, insular cultures, behaviors, processes, and policies of functional groups within organizations is a part of the challenge. In many cases, these groups are the “owners” of their touchpoints and measure how their group meet the customer’s expectations. Whether because of poorly aligned incentives, management inattention, or simply human nature, these groups, managing their touchpoints, rarely see their company’s holistic customer experience.
Six Actions to Managing Customer Journeys
So how should organizations tackle this issue? McKinsey provides six actions are critical to managing customer-experience journeys:
- Step back and identify the nature of the journeys customers take—from the customer’s point of view.
- Understand how customers navigate across the touchpoints as they move through the journey.
- Anticipate the customer’s needs, expectations, and desires during each part of the journey.
- Build an understanding of what is working and what is not.
- Set priorities for the most important gaps and opportunities to improve the journey.
- Come to grips with fixing root-cause issues and redesigning the journeys for a better end-to-end experience.
In most cases, companies are simply not naturally wired to think about the journeys their customers take. Thinking about the holistic customer journey across channels, devices, touchpoints and the groups that own these micro-moments can require an operational and cultural shift that engages the organization across functions and from top to bottom. For the companies that master it, the reward is higher customer and employee satisfaction, revenue and cost improvements, and an enduring competitive advantage.
Maechler, Nicolas. Neher, Kevin. From touchpoints to journeys: Seeing the world as customers do. McKinsey & Company. March 4, 2016. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/from-touchpoints-to-journeys-seeing-the-world-as-customers-do