From Customer Journey Mapping to Connected Journey Management

Customer Journeys have now grown into the ultimate connectors, rectifiers and silo breakers in organizations. After all, designing the ideal customer journey by definition involves multiple silos that are aligned from one and the same vision of the customer experience. But as long as the underlying applications that the various silos use are not connected, an ideal customer journey cannot actually be set up (properly). The future therefore belongs to tools that make Connected Journey Management possible.

The Customer Journey has now been embraced by numerous commercial and non-commercial organizations. Customer Journeys offer organizations the opportunity to look at their own services from the customer’s perspective and to improve and innovate in a targeted manner.

Customer Journeys are the ultimate connectors, rectifiers and silo breakers in organizations. After all, designing the ideal customer journey by definition involves multiple silos. For example, an energy supplier that wants to offer a potential new customer an ideal customer journey from ‘orientation’ to ‘becoming a regular customer’ must align the following organizational components based on one and the same CX vision:

  • marketing (orientation phase);
  • sales (in the phase of becoming a customer);
  • administration/invoicing (in the phase of becoming a customer and being a customer);
  • customer service/contact center (CC) (in the phase of becoming a customer and being a customer).

In a Customer Journey, a customer often goes through a number of processes with underlying systems. However, if you want to manage, improve or monitor a Customer Journey, you will soon encounter the problem that various applications each support/facilitate certain touchpoints in the Customer Journey. Many Customer Journey Management (CJM) tools are often only able to record the Journey, and show (some of) the results of the customer measurements made in this journey (for example NPS scores). They cannot provide insight into what actually happens in the underlying processes. For example, are the scores bad because the website is down? Or because the contact center is understaffed? Both could be the case.

Connected Journey Management

Insight into what actually happens in the underlying processes requires a Customer Journey Management tool or technology that, as an ‘open’ platform, can be quickly and easily linked to and integrated with existing systems, applications and data sources. This makes Customer Journey Management truly data-driven. In our terminology: a CJM tool or technology that enables Connected Journey Management. The reality is that the most commonly used CJM tooling in the market does not currently offer that option. They are separate tools that do not ‘talk’ (bottom-up) with the underlying applications.

This will therefore have to change in the future, because in our view, designing the ideal customer journey is not possible without having (almost) real-time input on the touchpoints in your Journey. A simple illustration of this is the customer who contacts the contact center (= touchpoint), only to be put on hold for fifteen minutes. That waiting time certainly does not contribute to the ideal customer journey – and that is precisely why, as a CX person, you would want to be able to see real-time data about waiting times from the contact center software directly in the Journey, so that you can take action if necessary.

Prioritize better

Connected Journey Management also has another advantage that should not be underestimated. Because many organizations sometimes have dozens of Journeys running side by side and struggle with the overview and (especially) prioritization. Tooling that communicates one-on-one with the various application silos offers many more databased insights into which customer journeys cause ‘problems’ that have a negative impact on the customer experience, so that you can also better prioritize which Journeys in the context of your Customer Journey Management should receive attention first.

In addition to mapping your Customer Journeys in a good framework and a well-designed matching measurement house, Connected Journey Management also requires a number of additional matters. To start with, insight into which process or performance data from the underlying processes, in addition to the customer scores, provide insight into the progress of the Journey – or can even be predictors for the customer experience (for example first time fix in contact centers, or the chance of a seat in the public transport). Sometimes it is good to develop a service blueprint for this. Once it is clear what you need from the underlying processes/systems, set up data links and then completely integrate this data into your CJM tool so that the responsible Journey Management Team always has all relevant information available to assess, monitor and improve the performance of the customer journey.

Want to know more about the future of CJM tooling? Please feel free to contact any of the authors of this article. We are happy to facilitate your future!

Rob Vogelsangs and Stijn Giesberts, Eclipse Group

Stephan van Slooten, Altuïtion