What You Need To Know About Customer Journey Orchestration Software for 2019

Learn Why Strategy And Action Define Customer Journey Orchestration Success

As more and more businesses prioritize customer journey management, it’s crucial to know what factors build great customer experiences. In this blog, we will cover the technical capabilities required for great journey management through strategic, omnichannel orchestration and touch on why these customer journey orchestration software tools and strategy are critical to delivering an improved experience for your customers.

The truth is that while many businesses can benefit from customer journey orchestration software, not all are ready to do so today even if they had the right customer journey tool. In other words, you can’t begin this incredibly valuable process of orchestration if you’re not confident in what journeys to take your customers through.  To develop this confidence, your business needs to run some customer journey analytics and evaluate where customers fall off in the process, where their frustrations build up, and when they decide to not be customers anymore. All of these insights can come from managing your customer through analytics and orchestrated journey planning and design.A visual metaphor for Kitewheel, a leading Customer Journey Orchestration Software platform

Before we dig in further, it may be useful to download the newly released Forrester Wave Report in full. If you’re not looking for a long read, we’re sharing the highlights about what Forrester quantifies as the criteria to look at within a Customer Journey Orchestration Software.

We know that having the leading customer journey orchestration software as part of your stack is not necessarily enough. It’s also about having the right set of strategies, processes, and interactions that allow you as a brand to deliver great experiences. In this article, we will cover each of the four core capabilities that Forrester focuses on in the Journey Orchestration Wave, what are the key takeaways from the report, and what it means to make your businesses more successful in 2019.

How can we define Customer Journey Orchestration?

Forrester scores the top Customer Journey Orchestration tools using the following four critera (among others):

  • Data Fusion
  • Journey Design and Planning
  • Journey Testing and Optimization
  • Journey Automation and Orchestration

So how does Kitewheel’s product serve you compared to this list of product attributes? Let’s review:

Data Fusion

A screen from kitewheel, detailing our data fusion capabilities as a Journey Orchestration PlatformThe first capability from Forrester’s list is data fusion. While it is true, to look at the entire customer, you have to look at all of the data that they’ve generated, Forrester defines data fusion as the ability to “connect data sources across steps in a journey and entire journeys to create a unified view of a customer.“  The best tools have some capabilities in this space, but this Forrester category also scores tools on the quality of their data visualization capabilities as well as purely the ability to pull together the data.

There can be no doubt that data fusion is important, but it’s what you do with your connected data that truly matters. And even with access to this data, only the minority can react to online customer interactions immediately. Marketers have more data than ever – but aren’t sure how to measure it or what to do when they have it. You need to take the data you’ve connected and then put it into designing and orchestrating a journey to see real value from your analytics efforts.

Journey Design and Planning

Forrester Names Kitewheel a leader in customer journey planning and design - Giving us the highest scores compared to any other customer journey orchestration software

When it comes to journey design and planning, companies today need a way to map customer journeys. But they need more than a static customer journey map. Specifically, they need to visualize the way people interact with the business across all channels and through time. Forrester says “[creating] a repository of data-driven journey maps for analysis to model future behaviors and measure interactions.”

There are two critical pieces that we believe are most relevant to this requirement:

1. the ability to create a repository of maps and
2. to measure interactions.

Ideally, these two capabilities combine to allow full lifecycle strategies to empower present and future journeys.

Top brands use these capabilities to create journeys that don’t just map out the business’ vision but also allow them to act and react to the customer’s interests to deliver the best next experience in the moment. The best tools for this, like the Strategy Layer in the Kitewheel Hub, allow you to look at the entire journey or even multiple journeys and see useful information across and between them.  We find that this capability is perhaps the number one requirement for businesses moving beyond data collection and starting real journey orchestration activities.

Journey Testing and Optimization

A data view of the customer journey analytics capabilities Kitewheel has expanded in our customer journey analytics software.There are two things that make Journey Testing and Optimization critical. Journeys never finish and they generate loads of data. This is why it’s critical to not only use data to design journeys but also create a data-driven feedback loop when doing customer journey analysis.

Forrester says that customer journey testing and optimization requires that brands have the tools they need to “test journey hypotheses, measure results, and optimize future interactions across journeys.” Without continuous testing, brand’s can’t deliver great experiences over time. Leading Customer Journey Orchestration software offers the ability to test continually and optimize in near-real time.

A Sankey Diagram, used to show customer journey flows as customers interact with journeys orchestrated by Kitewheel softwareUltimately, optimizing customer’s paths to ensure a great experience is only possible by using something critical – Journey Discovery.

If you’re interested in learning more about this exciting new capability within the journey analytics space, check out our upcoming webinar with guest Forrester Principal Analyst Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha and myself, President of Kitewheel Mark Smith. We will explore how companies progress from selecting the right use cases to prove the value of journey orchestration fast, to operationalizing journeys at scale by enriching, automating and adopting sound journey-based measurement.

Journey Automation and Orchestration

A view of decisioning and logic possible within the forrester leading kitewheel hub.Dozens of vendors have software that can do analytics across several dimensions. A few leading customer journey software offerings even offer the “predictive and prescriptive analytics capabilities for automating interactions in near real time” that Forrester cites as in its definition of Journey Automation and Orchestration. What Forrester measures on this dimension is ultimately the ability to create these actionable insights. To get real value from these insights, you need to turn “actionable” into action. To help businesses do this, Kitewheel released our Customer Journey Maturity Model – a great place to start for getting your business in shape to deliver great experiences! Once you’ve looked over the Forrester Report, it’s a powerful tool to turn the insights from the report into real next steps to implement at your business.

Final Thoughts

The Forrester Wave Report remains one of the most authoritative guides for evaluating the Customer Journey Orchestration software marketplace. It’s definitely worth a read. If you haven’t already downloaded the report – we highly encourage it.
If you’d like to discuss the findings in the Forrester Wave Report, we would be more than happy to break down the report for you in greater detail, discuss how your current systems and processes might be improved from a customer journey approach, and talk about the customer journey orchestration space.

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