What does it take for a customer to go from first contact to final sale? A powerful customer journey that leverages every single interaction, no matter how small, to win over customers, whether this is their first purchase or they're a long-time customer.
But designing a customer journey that builds long-term loyalty simply isn’t possible without effective customer journey management.
What is customer journey management?
Customer journey management is the process of optimizing and personalizing every interaction in the customer experience from start to finish to improve the overall experience for customers.
It combines tech and behavioral science in such a way that customers feel seen and enticed to move through your entire sales funnel. It also arms agents with invaluable context to shape the journey.
In many ways, customer journey management is similar to river guiding. A good guide helps passengers to traverse choppy waves and narrow canyons with ease. They foster connection and confidence, making the river more accessible and the experience more enjoyable. They get to know each passenger personally and learn what would make the experience more comfortable for them. At every point of the experience, they’re working to make it rewarding.
As a customer journey manager, you are a kind of guide elevating your customers’ shopping experience. It’s how you differentiate your business and keep your customers coming back.
Customer Journey Management vs. Customer Experience Management
You’ve probably heard both of these terms. Maybe you’ve used them interchangeably, but while customer journey management and customer experience management complement each other, there are key differences between the two.
Customer experience management is a system of brand strategies and technologies used to improve customer satisfaction and increase brand engagement. Customer journey management is a bigger umbrella that focuses on unifying all customer actions and interactions with a brand.
In order to provide customers with great experiences, you need to be aware of all of the touch points in their customer journey and effectively design it to meet their expectations. That’s where customer journey management comes in.
Why does managing the customer journey matter?
To your customers, the quality of interactions across the customer journey matters immensely. In fact, research by Accenture has found that 64% of customers will switch the brands they shop with if they feel that they’ll have a better experience, service, or product from another brand, and quality of interactions is a big piece of that.
Benefits of customer journey management
Just as a good guide knows their passengers’ limitations and needs and shares the boat with them through every segment of the river, effective customer journey management provides support from first glance to order completion and provides valuable context for each customer before they make a purchase, while they’re moving through the sales funnel, and after their purchase is complete.
By managing a customer journey, not just allowing space for a customer journey to happen, businesses are able to achieve better outcomes that are also aligned with their customers’ expectations, such as:
- Improved Customer Service: Access to context across the entire customer journey empowers agents to resolve customer queries in shorter times or with higher quality service, which also cuts down on costs associated with time-absorbing interactions.
- Revenue Growth: Experiences, not advertising or even products in all cases, are what win the hearts of customers in 2022. Customer journey management done right provides personal insights about customers that can be used to enrich their experience, and it also provides invaluable information about friction points that can be eliminated. Action in these areas leads to greater retention and higher conversion.
- Consistency: Customers expect to have a consistently exceptional experience with the brands they interact with. The right tools can help brand leaders create consistency across the entire customer journey so that whether a customer engages in a small interaction or a large interaction with a brand, they can trust the experience will not change.
What does good customer journey management look like?
Effective customer journey management allows brands to hone in on the journeys that matter and design their customer experience around them. It gives them access to valuable customer feedback that can make the customer experience most successful, and it helps them identify and address weak spots and pain points.
There are four main parts of a successful customer journey management framework that every brand should have:
- Journey Mapping
- Data & Analytics
- Intentional Customer Experiences
Customer Journey Mapping
This is perhaps the most well-known piece in the customer journey framework. As with any journey, the customer journey requires a map. Customer journey mapping is the process of outlining what route a customer will take to get from the point of first contact to the point of final sale and every touchpoint they’ll run into in between, including special offer pop ups, chatbots, sale confirmation pages, and requests for feedback.
Mapping gives brand leaders a good sense of their customers’ behavior, and it’s also a great way to identify points of friction or bottlenecks that may be interfering with the customer experience.
Data & Analytics
While mapping gives an idea of customer behavior, data and analytics back it up with facts. Analytics are a critical piece of customer journey management because they give actionable, real-time insights on what customers like, dislike, or need from their experience with your brand. Having the right tools, like UJET’s CCaaS platform , gives you access to rich data that can supplement knowledge gaps that mapping can’t fill on its own.
Analytics can be sourced at any point in the journey, making them powerful retrospectively and in-journey.
An Intentional & Well-Designed Customer Experience
Mapping and analytics are the scaffolding of your customer journey. Design is the window display, so to speak, that draws them through it. A customer experience that is designed well creates seamless, omnichannel experiences that help customers feel like they are important and cared for.
Good design often incorporates storytelling and fosters emotions that customers then attach to a brand. Importantly, a well-designed customer experience is also an easily accessible one.
Customer Journey Optimization
Successful customer journey management isn’t stagnant. It’s proactive and innovative. It takes opportunity into account and evolves along with your customers’ needs.
Proactively monitoring and adjusting your customer journey is an important final piece to maintaining a great experience, and the right CCaaS platform can make optimization easy.