More Than Journey Analytics
Journey Management and Optimization is a requirement for today’s successful enterprise businesses. We know that data integrations aren’t enough. Many organizations have difficulty aligning their orchestration and strategic planning of how to best pass customers through branded experiences. It’s important to ensure the solution you choose allows for improvements and optimization as your business continues to scale those journeys into the future.
While you may have heard that we’re leaders in the Forrester Wave for Customer Journey Analytics Orchestration, in this year’s comparative analysis, we’ve earned a perfect 100% score on the Strategy section. This success has been built on years of hard work by the Kitewheel Dev Team, but I’m here to share why we’ve made these improvements to the product capabilities and vision that aligned us as a strategic leader this year.
Josh Berkowitz in Brief
For a bit of context, my background is primarily in enterprise software, specifically around SaaS, information architecture and analytics. My career has been an exciting one, built on delivering incredible user experiences. It’s something I’m passionate about. At Kitewheel, I apply that passion to helping our customers bring that to their customers.
The truth is that the problem Kitewheel solves for is challenging. The existing team built a strong and sustainable business on top of a powerful technology, launched a new product that evolved from the initial offering, and has continually innovated since then. When I joined, there was a need to transform that powerful technology into a larger platform, to grow the team and then accomplish that objective. So how do we break down what’s most relevant within the Kitewheel platform for orchestrating great experiences? Without further ado, let’s get into the details.
Our tagline is Orchestrate Great Experiences. Ultimately the goal of the product is to enable that tagline. What does that mean?
It means listening to an individual across all channels, intelligently deciding the best next action in real time and triggering the right customer interaction, taking into account content, cadence and channel. This is far beyond the experiences most brands deliver today. Most businesses do leverage basic user actions to categorize them into segments, so they can be targeted by specific campaigns, but do not go further. We built our suite of tools to take current activities and transform them into best-in-class customer journeys, just as we’ve done for Gerber, Volkswagen, and Allianz.
The product vision provides a suite of tools that enable organizations to leverage their existing software and data to optimize their customer experiences. This means not only the technical tools to do the actual orchestration and decisioning, but also provides that toolbox to enable all the other key functions. Which gives us a fully fleshed out platform for better journey management. Specifically:
- A set of analytical capabilities for analytics teams to understand where customer pain points are and to enable the reporting needs
- A set of strategy capabilities for business managers to create and manage your journey maps to communicate strategy and process
- A set of measurement and optimization capabilities for business managers and executives to maximize journey performance and to communicate results
Inside the Kitewheel Platform
Analyze The Existing Journey
This capability set is largely what has earned us our position as Leaders in the Customer Journey Analytics Orchestration Wave. Analytics has always been a part of our product, and the ability to track journeys, metrics, and activity to identify strong and weak parts of the journey has been baked in from the beginning. Even so, we have recently begun to further expand our product capabilities in this critical space.
The newest member of the Kitewheel family is our Journey Discovery tool with our Journey Step based data model. This recently added offering is designed to help jumpstart journey analytics and uncover key pain points in the process.
Discovery Throughout Journeys
The key to our Journey Discovery offering is the Journey Step model, which uses Kitewheel decisioning to determine key customer steps. Customers make millions of interactions, but knowing which ones are important is often difficult and the shear volume of interaction data can be overwhelming. The journey step model solves this by basing the data around key steps or combination of steps are and recording those to better understand customer intent and behavior.
Additionally, our newest Journey Discovery tool offers a cross channel view. This is critical, as existing tools like Web Analytics, Campaign Analytics, etc only provide siloed view of the customer journey. To better understand customer behavior it is critical to see how customers flow from one channel to another and where and when they hit roadblocks
Lastly, to better understand customer pain points, it is often necessary to look beyond the aggregate behavior to gather individualized information on intent. It is critical that one is able to drill down and see the exact actions a specific customers is taking so that you can understand why they are getting the result they are getting.
Once you’ve discovered those pain points and journeys are up and running, the next step is to integrate the data model into existing BI tools so any analytics teams can leverage the rich journey data Kitewheel is collecting.
Kitewheel has long been a proponent of journey mapping and to support that Kitewheel offers a Strategy mapping layer as well as a professional services team to help our customers build out their customer journey strategies. Our Journey Editor replaces PowerPoint and process maps with a purpose-built interface for marketing, CX, and business strategists to design and plan customer journeys. With just one click, our templated journey jumpstarts will get you started. These maps support the integration of metrics as well as the ability to export and share with members of your team.
To further build on that strong foundation, we plan to add tools streamline journey map creation by allowing you to automatically create journey maps based on current behavior. Furthermore, we plan to strengthen the link between journey maps and orchestration with workflow tools to enable stronger communication between the business and the team implementing the journeys.
Create and Connect
Kitewheel’s main differentiator is our unparalleled ability to connect to any system in real-time, retrieve critical data, apply a set of decisions to that data and then reach out to the same or different systems to take action. We’ve made a number of exciting enhancements in this area over the past year, such as centralized business logic, templates, and upgrades to overall usability. Data fusion and system connectivity give Kitewheel a unique ability to not just listen, but also to proactively act and react to customer needs. Given that 71% of customers demand a consistent experience regardless of channel, it’s more critical than ever for businesses to make these connections.
Going forward, we want to make our orchestration feature even easier to use by making it easier to copy and move graphs, building out an additional error handling feature set and further building out our library of connectors. These additions will streamline the process of creating journeys and allow customers to realize value from customer journey orchestration even faster.
Once a journey is in place, it is critical that it be monitored and adjusted as needed. The truth is, even the most sound strategy and flawlessly implemented journey can miss critical steps. To support this need, Kitewheel offers you a critical toolset. All Journeys have a built in set of metrics that are automatically tracked. In addition, this can be easily augmented to support customer metrics that are critical to your business. To help you optimize your process in unknown situations, we’ve recently upgraded our machine learning tools to support adaptive machine learning, predictive models as well as third-party solutions.
To enhance this capability, we plan to add options for holdout groups so teams can easily test their hypothesis against a control group. This not only enables a clear understanding of the test’s effectiveness but also powers forecasting once the new process is implemented.
Additionally, we plan to introduce an insights layer to our machine learning offering so that users can understand what behavior led the algorithm to pick a specific path.
How this helps your journey
We’ve worked hard to make the Kitewheel Customer Journey Hub into a fully realized suite of tools designed to put the power of Customer Journeys in your hands. When we were named leaders in Customer Journey Orchestration Analytics by Forrester last year, we knew that we had to earn the right to keep that place. We’re proud that we have, and we’re ready to push hard for next year as well. That drive and our commitment to always provide the best product to our customers is why we’ve doubled down on these development efforts.
Interested In Learning More?
Join our webinar, hosted by Mark Smith from Kitewheel and Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha from Forrester on the operationalizing and scaling of customer journeys throughout enterprise businesses.