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Omnichannel Journey Design—Is Your Business Ready?
Your customers want to interact with you when, and how, they choose. Your journey design processes should support them.
For the rest of the August 2017 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Why should organizations seek to design effective omnichannel customer journeys? Many customers demand it. Technology has enabled consumers to use multiple channels to interact at the time, place, and manner of their choosing. To defend or retain market share and to potentially increase top-line growth and cost reductions, businesses are often compelled to respond to these customer demands.

To maintain customer loyalty and win new business along with greater share of customers’ wallets, consumer-facing businesses should consider these objectives: increasing “stickiness” by guiding consumers’ omnichannel journeys toward a path to purchase; attracting buyers to both physical and online stores with improved loyalty programs and experiential engagements; offering unique or highly differentiated product and service offerings while ensuring in-stock inventory levels; and achieving operational excellence in addressing customer service and support requests.

ALIGN THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY TO CUSTOMER PREFERENCES

Many customers seek personalized brand interactions and engagements that businesses could supply by using the right consumer insight in the right place and at the right time. Market campaigns and trade promotions, whether in store, online, or on mobile devices, should strive to be highly relevant and aligned with a customer’s current life cycle.

For example, when a U.S.-based wireless provider with retail subscribers experienced rapid growth, the increase in customer service and support call volume was both costly and overwhelming. To address call volume without hurting service or satisfaction levels, the company decided to perform customer journey analytics on all online support channels to determine the probability of a customer calling in for a certain support issue. Now when a customer calls, the agent proactively knows what issue needs to be resolved, how the subscriber previously tried to address the issue, and how best to deliver an improved customer experience.

After customer journey analytics were operationalized, the time customers spent in the interactive voice response unit (IVR) decreased by 67 percent, which in turn had a positive impact on the provider’s customer satisfaction index (CSAT) and customer effort (CES) scores, customer retention rates, and top-line revenue. With more than 1.35 million subscribers, an increase of just one half of 1 percent in customer churn or retention means an estimated $1.3 billion in losses or revenue for this telecommunications company. In addition, the company reduced call center volumes by 30 percent, which saved $15 per call without hampering service levels.

According to our research, involving 565 global survey respondents, nearly 45 percent cited using customer analytics and insights to enhance profits by optimizing the customer journey. Other top benefits include the creation of forward-looking predictive insights (57.6 percent) for proactive customer engagement and the ability to create customer personas for more personalized engagement (50.5 percent). In short, the businesses surveyed acknowledge that the ability to design proactive, customized, in-moment journeys of engagement is now a top priority.

Not surprisingly, recent research found that many global organizations are successfully employing various analytical techniques to design this type of engagement, using both transactional and interactional customer information. Through the lens of customer engagement, the practical applications of advanced analytical techniques include these:

• Descriptive. Who are your customers?

• Diagnostic. Why are they engaging with your brand?

• Predictive. What are they likely to want?

• Prescriptive. How can your brand best engage with them?

• Cognitive. When customers engage with your brand, does your brand know why, what they likely want, and how best to engage with them based on numerous previous experiences?

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To contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com
Every month, CRM magazine covers the customer relationship management industry and beyond. To subscribe, please visit http://www.destinationCRM.com/subscribe/.
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