Customer Journey Takeaways From 19 Billion Interactions

Every year, Kitewheel reflects on how our clients and the customer journey industry have changed. We call this analysis of customer journey data our State of the Customer Journey report. To build The State of the Customer Journey 2020 report, we analyzed and compared all the interactions orchestrated on our hub in 2019 and contrasted them with previous years to understand how the journey has evolved. We wrote the report based on the nearly 8 billion interactions in 2019, and over 19 billion interactions since 2014. This report shares insight into what industries and departments are leading the charge on customer journey management. By exploring the use cases, types of companies, and channel mix that defined customer journeys in 2019, we hope to provide a great view of what matters as you build out customer journeys in 2020.

Biggest Customer Journey Use Cases Going Into 2020

There are three main use case trends that we noticed while looking at our most recent batch of data. While all three are detailed in the report, we want to focus on just one. Down-funnel use cases. These are use cases that tend to focus on what happens with a customer when they’re already in your database, or potentially have already purchased your product, as opposed to fresh acquisitions.

Our original research found that down-funnel use cases are not only growing but also that they tend to stitch together the most channels, nearly three on average, compared with two for many top of funnel focused clients. When it comes to our engagement and retention use case and customer service in particular, we see a wide range of channels coming into play.  This makes sense. After all, brands have the most customer information accessible when they’re already part of their data ecosystem, rather than when they’re first being acquired. 

Journey Growth Leaders: Enterprise, Marketing, B2C

In our 2019 report, we noted that mid-sized businesses, CX, and B2B players were entering the customer journey race. Our data this year bears out that claim but reveals another trend as well. Year over year, enterprise and B2C interactions shot up 71% and 120%, respectively. Even with significant growth in the mid-sized and B2B space, the real drivers of interactions and customer journey innovation continue to be larger brands, particularly with large marketing budgets. Perhaps that’s why marketing interactions increased by over 50% in 2019, representing 5.2 billion total interactions. Does this signal the decline of CX based journey approaches?

While the report discusses this topic in further detail, the simple answer is that marketing has always been the main operator of journey orchestration, especially to start. Where those marketing teams are seeing the most value is not in handing the keys over to CX, but rather in connecting marketing and cx systems together to give the best possible customer experience. The truth is that breaking the silos between marketing, customer service, sales, and CX teams remains one of the only ways to build cohesive customer journeys. 

Customer Journey Data Reveals An Evolving Channel Mix 

Which channels do you need to be using in 2020? Our data shows that the more channels the better. The fact is that customers use and engage across more channels than ever before – so being able to create cohesive experiences along each of those channels is now a business necessity.

In our research, we found that some channels remain more useful than others in journey orchestration. In The State of the Customer Journey 2020 report, we find that the channel mix differs by industry and by use case. One thing we found is that reports of email’s death have been greatly exaggerated. We’ve found that like many channels, it is evolving to be smarter, more personalized, and better integrated with the customer journey. In fact, email still interacts for 14% of all customer journey interactions. Along with web personalization (38%), email is one of the most powerful tools to deliver great experiences. 

The Evolution of Customer Journeys 

Customer journeys have not stopped their evolution over the past six years since we started collecting journey data. Whether you have never read a state of the Customer Journey report before or you’ve read every one, we’re thrilled to invite you to download The State of the Customer Journey 2020. It’s chock full of great customer journey takeaways, and useful data that you can apply to your own thinking about the customer journey at your business.

The state of the customer journey report - click to download