Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous quote “life is a journey, not a destination” serves as a valuable reminder for all of us that life is about much more than getting from point A to point B. In the case of today’s digital customers, the journey, from first interaction through the entire customer lifecycle, should also be the focus. To achieve successful outcomes, it’s no longer enough to engage customers one interaction or channel at a time. Successful customer journeys are optimized across touchpoints over time as customers move forward using their preferred channels.
The Challenge of Channel Switching
Yet, customer journeys have become exponentially more complex with the rapid adoption of digital assisted-service and self-service channels. Channel switching is the norm, and customers expect to be able to use the channel that suits them at any moment in time. With an outdated, voice-centric contact center system, there’s a lack of visibility into journeys across channels. The result is a fragmented engagement that prevents the ability to create the seamless, personalized experience that customers now expect.
Despite customers rising expectations, most companies fall short when it comes to moving beyond random interactions. In fact, less than 30% track their customers’ channel preferences, according to the Genesys State of Customer Experience report. And, keeping pace with customer expectations by simply adding more channels to an aging system only compounds the problem. With the addition of each new digital channel, the need grows for a customer engagement solution that orchestrates omnichannel customer journeys.
Putting the Customer Front and Center
Companies leading the way in customer experience examine and optimize journeys through journey mapping. This requires the ability to understand every aspect of the customer’s buying cycle. By documenting customer needs, perceptions and touchpoints, customer-centric processes can be designed that ultimately optimize the customer experience. Journey mapping not only helps to find flaws, weaknesses and opportunities in existing processes, it also increases alignment and consistency across the enterprise.
Successful journeys are designed to shape customer behavior, reduce customer effort and improve efficiency. However, they need to be orchestrated, monitored and continuously optimized to deliver measurable results. This requires an open, stable and proven customer experience platform that supports all channels and touchpoints with true omnichannel routing.
By overcoming the limitations of an outdated contact center system, context, including customer profiles and interaction history, can be leveraged to drive successful journeys while eliminating the hurdles that hinder customers.
Creating Seamless and Smooth Customer Journeys
The next “big thing” in driving optimal customer journeys is predictive routing which identifies key moments of truth. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, predictive routing mines data and creates the best customer-to-destination match. By balancing real-time environment conditions, such as service levels and agent occupancy, with the predictive models for a successful business outcome, predictive routing targets the best match of customer and agent in the moment.
And, as more interactions are processed, the system analyzes historical data and context to predict outcomes automatically. This results in new opportunities to prove brand value, acquire new customers and grow relationships with existing customers while optimizing operations. The result is continuously improving customer satisfaction and loyalty along with increased operational efficiency.
Adapting to the New Reality
Complex cross-channel customer journeys are here to stay. With so many communication options, customers want to use the channel that suits them at any moment in time. And, they expect a seamless, personalized experience. Adapting to this reality is essential for staying competitive and differentiating yourself in the marketplace. This requires having the capability to map, orchestrate, monitor and optimize customer journeys.
Learn more about creating data-driven customer journeys in our new executive brief Moving Beyond Random Interactions to Thoughtfully Designed Journeys.