customers getting lost or defecting? Is it lack of relevant information or sales and service offers or poor guidance given to the customer? Is it a limitation of the particular interaction channel for the customer's goal? Is it loss of context in a cross-channel transition? Is it inconsistent answers across channels or even agents in the same channel? Is it search dead-ends for the customer or the service agent? Is it sales or service policy?
5. Parallelize. Customer journeys have parallel enterprise journeys—engagement by the enterprise creates experiences for the customer. For example, "research, buy, use, and love" maps to "educate, acquire, serve, and nurture." The customer experience also maps to the agent experience, when assisted service is involved in a journey. Are agents fumbling for answers? Are they finding different answers in separate knowledge bases? Are they at a loss for what and how to resolve or sell? Are there breaks in context and workflows across the enterprise journey? Moreover, creating a transformation road map with an engagement maturity model will provide structure to your enterprise journey toward a better customer experience.
6. Build on a hub. Consumers adopt and abandon new interaction channels and access devices at warp speed. Today's Facebook might become tomorrow's MySpace, and today's iPhone might be tomorrow's BlackBerry. How can you keep up with consumers by supporting these channels and devices as they adopt and abandon them, and how do you do it without creating new silos? The answer is to implement a customer engagement hub. A concept advocated by Gartner, a customer engagement hub is a platform that consolidates all interactions, rules, knowledge, workflow, analytics, and administration in one place, while enabling innovation and differentiation through apps built on that platform.
7. Take a holistic approach. Businesses need to take a holistic approach to customer engagement in order to grease the skids for customer journeys with context, knowledge, and insight, fronted by rich collaboration:
- Context: A 360-degree view of the current customer journey, as well as past interactions and transactions
- Insight: Multichannel analytic insights across their journeys
- Knowledge: Contextual content as well as interactive guidance to move the journey forward
These should be fronted by rich, modern interaction tools such as phone-aided cobrowse, video chat, etc. This approach helps create memorable customer experiences, while accelerating sales and service.
8. Iterate. Once you design journeys, have your personas test-drive them by "mystery shopping." Test driving will reveal possible points of journey disconnects so that they can be addressed before eventual deployment to customers. Once deployed, iterate journey design with analytics on an ongoing basis.
Multichannel customer journeys can make or break today's business. Taking a step-by-step approach to journey transformation with associated milestones will ensure success.
Anand Subramaniam is the vice president of worldwide marketing for eGain, a provider of cloud-based solutions for knowledge-powered, omnichannel customer engagement."