To advance the customer journey at your business, you need to know how your systems are performing in the present. Especially when things change rapidly, as they did in the first few months of 2020, finding answers to customer journey questions like “What are the paths our customers are taking?” and “Why are they switching channels?” can mean the difference between business success and failure. In our recent webinar – How To Discover, Execute, And Review The Performance Of Your Customer Journeys – we discussed these questions and provided some great frameworks to help you answer them at your business. We will explore a few of these briefly here, but we highly encourage you to view the on-demand webinar.
Core Customer Journey Themes
Kitewheel has identified a few key themes that customer journey analytics can answer. When you are trying to answer questions like the ones above, what your business needs to know is what the customer is doing in real-time. We call these actual customer activities journey steps. Each journey step is a set of interactions that represent a customer activity of import to your business. You can then take those journey steps and build flow diagrams like Sankeys or sunburst charts to visualize how customers flow from one channel to the next, where they are engaging, and where they are dropping off. Especially as we deal with a world of crisis changes and responses, being able to react in real-time is crucial. To act, we need to analyze and understand. You can do this by answering critical customer journey questions.
At one of our clients, we did exactly that. Their business experienced rapid changes. As COVID-19 began to impair their ability to deliver support over the phone, they needed a way to provide a better online experience for customers new to their online systems. This required that they measure and understand their journey in real-time. By using Kitewheel’s powerful customer journey hub, they were able to visually see the difference in how customers behaved and track their satisfaction with the experience. Then they were able to take qualitative data like NPS scores to understand what truly was or wasn’t working. With the call center issue, the brand began to see a switch to email. Then, because they were measuring in real-time they saw that there were more issues over email. This helped them prioritize and triage their customer support to deliver the best possible experience even in a difficult time.
Ask Customer Journey Questions to Be Successful in Any Environment
The best way to be ready for any business environment is to test and optimize. With a constantly shifting landscape, you need to test any initial assumptions you may have. For example, your most successful campaigns and programs may be much less effective when the world experiences a major shift like COVID or market changes. This is why you have to test. Once you have identified the most impactful journeys and trends, however, you must make changes. This means partnering with your customers and integrating their feedback and real experiences into your customer journeys.
We are facing difficult times. The good news is that customers know this, and they’re willing to be patient to a point. To make good on your side of the customer experience, you need to see and acknowledge their struggle. When call lines are backed up and it takes over an hour to reach a real person – your reps should assume they couldn’t solve their problem online. One of the hosts of our webinar, Joshua Berkowitz, relayed an experience that is all-too-familiar for many customers today. He was on the phone with a retailer for much longer than he usually would need to be. The first thing the rep did when they answered was to offer an apology for the wait. That rep showed that he knew the situation and empathized. That is the level of partnership you need in critical times like this, but also during your regular business operation. Customer journey analytics can give you insight into how to change the customer experience at your business.
Future Impact on The Customer Experience
With all of the changes that stem from the COVID crisis, many are asking – will these changes be relevant in 6 months or a year? Interestingly, many brands have already seen the impact of their new customer experiences. Not by choice, they’ve been forced to become more digital-first, and in some cases, customers prefer this, are happier, and more engaged than before. Without a holistic view of the customer journey, it would have been easy to miss this trend. While things have slowed down in the world around us, customers are changing the demands they make of the brands they rely on. If you’re facing uncertainty at your business there is no better time to watch the recording of Kitewheel’s recent webinar. In the webinar, we discuss the power of customer journey analytics and answer tough questions about the future of customer experience.