Why Businesses Fail at Customer Journey Orchestration


Every business thinks they know their customers. But do they really? Do they know what customers are looking for when they visit different channels, how they make purchases, what drives them away? When interacting with a brand, customers generally know what they want, and the journey it takes them to get there gives businesses insights into how to best meet customers where they are.

There was a lot of speculation about how the COVID-19 pandemic would change buyer behavior, but CEO of Alterian Bob Hale doesn’t think the pandemic affected behaviors as much as people might have expected. “At the end of the day, we as consumers have our ways of researching, purchasing and championing the things we buy. What the pandemic affected was the pace of change,” Hale said. “Which wasn’t a problem for those businesses who already have a digital presence. But those businesses who are slower to innovate — who might have had a five-year digital transformation plan in place — had to greatly accelerate their timelines.”

What has changed is how much familiarity customers now have with stellar customer experiences. And their expectations will only accelerate. The businesses that adapted early were able to make mistakes, but that’s no longer the case. The pressure is on businesses to enable great journeys, the first time and every time thereafter. This can be achieved by delivering the individualized experience customers demand using customer journey orchestration.

For an in-depth discussion about customer journey orchestration and where businesses go wrong, CMSWire spoke with Hale about what needs to happen internally to successfully implement customer journey orchestration technology.

Instead of Forcing Journeys, Treat Customers as Individuals

Delivering great customer journeys means not treating all customers the same. “One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not approaching every customer from their own unique perspective and experience,” Hale said. “Too often, businesses try to force customers into specific journeys or channels. That didn’t work in the past and it doesn’t work now.”

Customer journey orchestration is about looking for the breaks, the roadblocks and the friction points where customers drop out of a journey and taking steps to alleviate those pain points. “Stop trying to optimize the channel and start trying to optimize the experience — because your customers are going to jump channels in ways you didn’t prepare for,” Hale said.

Don’t Sacrifice Experience on the Altar of Efficiency

Making the journey efficient instead of focusing on the experience is another area where businesses fall down when trying to improve customer journeys. “Businesses might try and automate specific processes, but while they could reduce costs they run the risk of delivering bad customer experience, and getting negative CSAT scores as a result,” Hale said. “Improving the experience through efficiency is inside-out thinking, and doesn’t take into account that customers often want experiences more than they want efficient journeys, which could come off as feeling impersonal and not unique to them at all.”

To avoid this common mistake, Hale recommends using cross-functional teams to work through journey orchestration challenges together. “Operations are great at finding efficient solutions, but those might not always be the best from a CSAT perspective,” Hale said. “While marketing excels at personalization, it might be focused on customer acquisition and lack insight into other channels where your customers can be found. It’s best when CX groups are combined. You need marketing’s understanding of the customer and the IT/operations understanding of all the touch points in your ecosystem to reach all customers with the right message at the right time.”


Source link