Disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic have brought businesses back to appreciating existing customers, and customer journey orchestration (CJO) tools to help guide and enhance the journey.
Marketers pay special attention to the later stages of the journey, with an eye toward cultivating relationships that generate recurring revenue. CJO tools are designed to include touchpoints, such as interactions with customer success representatives, who often provide experiences that support these long-term relationships.
Read next: What is Customer Journey Analysis? End-to-end customer journey
More broadly, businesses recognize that adequate customer experience is becoming the bet, making it harder to achieve the differentiation that drives business success. However, few marketers are successful in satisfying customers at all stages of their relationship.
31% of marketers surveyed by Gartner say they end their journey map with a purchase, lead acquisition, initial transaction, or delivery of a product or service.
“A journey map that focuses solely on the purchase funnel rather than the entire end-to-end customer journey is not a CX journey map,” said Augie Ray, vice president and analyst, Gartner Marketing Practice. “These types of journey maps may help build awareness, inbound traffic, and acquisition, but they fail to uncover opportunities to impact customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term advocacy.”
Gartner A description of the customer journey.
Increased risk of the customer journey during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic increased risk. Before the pandemic, most customers—whether consumers or business buyers—had been interacting online for years, meaning they had a wealth of experience to draw from when evaluating new interactions.
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They know the net Checkout should look like this; they’ve researched commercial purchases; they’ve gone through the process of signing up for a new bank account online, etc. So just enough experience is not enough to differentiate a brand.
During the pandemic, more people are getting used to conveniences like buying online for in-store pickup or curbside delivery from restaurants and retail stores. Salesforce reports on the Connected Customer Status in Salesforce.
Forrester Research in a report titled “Huge, Fast and Ruthless,” warns brands that “customers won’t give you a break anytime soon.”
Consumers expect the ‘new normal’ use of digital technology to continue to be ‘post-pandemic.’
To break through and generate customer loyalty, businesses must have a deep understanding of the customer journey, and the motivations and values that drive their engagement. Crucially, the customer journey doesn’t end with a purchase, so a user’s experience with a product and customer service interaction impacts that customer’s lifetime value.
It is these later stages that marketers are focusing on as they move to existing customers during the pandemic and beyond.
: Enterprise Customer Journey Orchestration Platforms: A Marketing Guide Download the full MarTech Intelligence report
Customer Journey Analysis: Snapshot
what is it. Customer journey analytics software lets marketers connect real-time data from points across channels, touchpoints and systems, enabling users to gain insights into the customer journey over time. This allows marketers to use data to explore the customer journey.
Why is it so hot today. Businesses know they need to be customer-centric in every aspect of their marketing operations. As a first step, brands need to understand how consumers find them. Whether through search, advertising, or word of mouth, the medium used sets the trajectory for their next journey.
Meanwhile, the average person uses many devices to access the Internet, and Cisco predicts that by 2023, the number of devices connected to IP networks will more than triple the global population. With so many devices, people move back and forth depending on the task at hand and the current environment. Consumers and business buyers use an average of nine channels to browse product inventory, seek advice and make purchases.
Capturing their post-discovery interactions, such as a communication with a call center or a visit to a retail store, helps brands understand which of their assets are helping them along their path. What’s more, brands need to know what those converts do after making a purchase—information that helps companies win repeat customers and encourage customer adoption. Customer journey analysis tools do just that.
What these tools do. Most vendors offer one or more of the following capabilities to allow marketers to understand the customer journey: data collection from various channels and touchpoints; analytics using artificial intelligence and machine learning, and customer journey visualization .
Many vendors also offer Customer Journey Orchestration (CJO) capabilities that allow users to act on insights and actually deliver the next real-time customer journey.
Why we care. Customers want a consistent experience at every touchpoint. They want personalization, which is a growing trend. Tools like customer journey analytics software enable brands to gain insights and take action from their audiences.
Digging deeper: What is customer journey analysis and how can these tools help marketers?
About the author
Pamela Parker is Third Research Director at Door Media Content Studio, where she works with Search Engine Land and MarTech to produce MarTech intelligence reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers. Prior to this role at TDM, she served as content manager, senior editor and executive features editor. Parker is a well-regarded authority on digital marketing, covering and writing on the subject since the beginning. She is the former editor-in-chief of ClickZ and has also worked in business, helping independent publishers monetize Federated Media Publishing’s sites. Parker received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.