Complex customer journeys the biggest barrier to CX success, say marketers

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New research reveals that customer journeys are viewed as the biggest obstacle to delivering a consistently good customer experience. 

While customer journeys have been growing in complexity for many years, they now represent a sufficiently significant challenge that a third of marketers believe it is the chief barrier to customer experience management.

MyCustomer summarised some of the issues that were emerging five years ago, when Bruce Temkin, managing partner at Temkin Group, noted: “When customer journeys had fewer interactions with companies and they were more centred around distinct channels, businesses could have a deeper insight around those customers, with analytics and feedback that were focused on an individual channel. There were still flaws in this approach, but at least in the past if you tracked what people were doing in the contact centre, for instance, then you’d have a good idea about your customers because there were a bunch of them that did things with your call centre.

“But as the world is getting more complicated, with a lot more channels and people interacting with companies in multiple ways at multiple times, there is another level of complexity. And it means that it is more difficult to have insights from a single channel that are really reflective of what customers are thinking and doing.”

And new research from Williams Lea Tag and the DMA demonstrates the impact this is having on attempts to understand and manage customer experiences.

In a survey of 150 UK marketers over a third said they believe that today’s complex customer journey landscape is the single biggest barrier to delivering a consistently good customer experience.

Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, says: “Not all that long ago, brands and their agencies could comfortably push their marketing messages through a limited number of established media channels, confident in the predictability of the customer’s journey from each channel through to engaging and potentially purchasing from the brand. Then the internet came along and completely changed the world in which we all live and work.

“Despite the challenges in keeping pace with this change, what’s most important is that these are all within an organisation’s own power to resolve. By putting the customer first, organisations can focus on experience and journeys they want, aligning their digital futures to these.”

While the complex customer journey landscape is the biggest barrier to customer experience, only 28% of marketers feel it is one of the biggest challenges they face today. Instead limited internal resource (56%), inefficient processes (46%), limited budget (44%), lack of internal digital integration (35%) and a lack of talent or skills within their organisation (35%) are the five biggest challenges most frequently chosen by marketers today. 

However, brands are responding to the needs of marketers and over half of those surveyed revealed their firms were creating more digitally led products and services (58%), assessing the impact of digital on their customers (55%), transforming IT to become more agile (54%) and researching brand new digital initiatives (53%).

Jonathan Simpson-Dent, EMEA CEO of Williams Lea Tag, adds: “Managing the different customer touch points on the path to purchase is front of mind for marketers but internal barriers are often getting in their way. Successful brands are showing the way by utilising digitisation to be able to better manage online and offline experience in truly integrated marketing campaigns.”

Further insights can be found in the joint Williams Lea Tag and DMA ‘Evolving the customer journey’ whitepaper.

About Neil Davey

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Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.

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18th Feb 2019 10:24

These findings aren’t surprising - consumers are increasingly time-poor and they value an experience that is simple, straightforward and values their time. That’s why it is imperative that brands understand what customers want to do and remove roadblocks along the journey - there’s more on how to achieve this in our blog post https://www.eptica.com/blog/building-strong-customer-focused-service-cul...

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