Customer journey management has “arrived” as a standard practice in large businesses.
This is the view of Kitewheel’s recent State of the Customer Journey 2019 report, which suggests that analysing and effectively optimising customer journeys has become a major focus for big brands.
Kitewheel assessed close to 5 billion brand interactions to establish whether they adhered to advanced customer journey management practices.
It discovered that many customer journey interactions were now part of multi-faceted and focused campaigns, often included real-time exchanges and orchestrated by a combination of departments, including IT and marketing.
The report analysis also emphasises a marked increase in the number of brands now adopting more of an end-to-end approach to customer journey management.
“When marketers first began focusing on the customer journey, the primary goal was to map it for the purposes of devising campaigns or creating content that fit its various stages,” the report states.
“The idea that one could not only map the journey, but actually follow and influence individual customers as they moved through the journey, was little more than an emergent possibility.
“The market has moved well beyond simply mapping customer journeys and running programs against it, hoping for the best.
“Instead, thanks to the steady rise of journey analytics, along with journey integration, and optimisation capabilities…companies now recognise the power of real-time customer journey orchestration. This real-time mindset leads to companies engaging customers based on what those customers are doing right now, and since today’s customer is “always on,” customer journey efforts have to be “always on” as well.”
Customer journey mapping
Despite the advances being made by some brands, a 2018 research report from MyCustomer suggests that the fundamentals of customer journey management are being ignored by others. The customer journey mapping research report 2018 highlights there is a third of businesses not yet performing rudimentary journey mapping exercises; despite 90% of those stating it was having a positive effect.
A quarter of respondents in the research noted that they are lacking senior buy-in to do so, whilst 36% highlighted a lack of appropriate skills and a lack of project ownership.
Elsewhere, a third of respondents also reported that they have been hampered by a lack of technology/tools.
The common technologies used for advancing custome journey practices included customer feedback solutions (used by 54% of respondents), user profiling and/ or segmentation tools (used by 53% of respondents) and journey visualisation tools (used by 42% of respondents).
Some organisations have also taken to hiring new positions to make better sense of customer journeys.
Amongst those that have become increasingly common over the last five years are ‘chief customer officer’, ‘head of customer experience’ and ‘customer success manager’. However there is also a recent rise in the prominence of the ‘journey manager’ role.
Kerry Bodine, CEO at CX consultants Bodine & Co, has been one of the early promoters of having bespoke roles to help brands advance their customer journey management capabilities.
Speaking with MyCustomer for a recent series on the subject, she noted: “Journey managers have the potential to reinvent their organisations, bringing together colleagues from across departments and those unavoidable silos to ensure that customers have a smooth experience, no matter what part of the end-to-end journey they’re currently in.”