The Single Customer Journey - Customer Interface in a Digital Era

By Harry Moseley, Thu 08 June 2017, in category General

Customer Journey

  
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As a global consultancy specialising in data, analytics, and digital for over 20 years, Keyrus constantly needs to respond to the major challenges facing enterprises today. In what is being coined by many as the 4th Industrial Revolution, disruption and change continue to remodel the landscape of the business world. This evolution has forged a dramatic rise in consumer power and service expectations and as a result created an organisational battle for the customer interface - the place where an organization meets it's customers either physically or digitally.

Enhancing this customer interface with actionable insights is a challenge both commonly faced and highly prioritised by an increasing number of Keyrus’ clients and also across the wider world of business. This article provides an overview of the importance of customer journey mapping in this digital era.

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As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands and new digital technologies continually emerge, an environment has been created where one customer can now have a vast multitude of journeys. There are many touch points which generate digital footprints and data: from the more traditional calls, emails, and transactional data to web logs, app usage data, tweets, and social media posts.

And it’s not just the number of touch points and volume of collected data that are key issues to address, but also the variety. Today over 80% of data is held in unstructured formats, including raw text, emails, PDF's, HTML, JSON, XML, and data captured through voice and image recognition technology.

Given this, it’s the companies who are able to use customer insights from that data to improve their customer service and offerings that are the ones disrupting the market. With this expansion of data, the challenge of gaining this complete customer view has significantly grown and become far more complex, meaning that already established businesses are now becoming vulnerable to being left behind by new, more agile competition.

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Gartner predicts that by 2017, 20% of all market leaders will lose their number one position to a company founded after the year 2000 because of a lack of digital business advantage. Market Uberisation serves as testament to this and to the rewards that can be achieved from harnessing disruption, new technologies, and developing industry changing customer interfaces that can cripple competitors.

It is becoming increasingly evident for many organisations and businesses that they not only fail to make use of a large percentage of the data at their finger-tips, but in a number of situations they are overwhelmed by it. Ultimately this impacts the service they can provide as a business.

It’s due to this that information management systems need to quickly adapt, and bring not only internal customer data together into a single platform - both structured and unstructured - but also relevant external data. Such a platform will form a foundation for intuitive, self-service applications that business users can integrate into their daily workflow and decision making processes. Insights gained from such systems empower organisations and relationship managers to enhance their customer interfaces, allowing them to be proactive - as opposed to reactive - in customer engagement. This is pivotal in a world underpinned by data and digital technology.

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Successfully managing this data is just the beginning. Once establishing a basis, you can then progress along the journey of data maturity from descriptive to prescriptive analytics. By partnering such a platform with streaming, cloud, and machine learning technologies, organisations can use this single view of the customer journey to gain insights in real-time and predict customer actions. It is through such means that Uber, Facebook, and Airbnb built highly tailored, customer interfaces that ultimately revolutionised their industries.

As a result, companies can optimise customer engagement and customer segmentation; ultimately increasing sales, decreasing customer churn, and differentiating an organisation. These are critical to staying ahead of the competition in a market that is ever progressing.

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In summary, customers now demand a personalised, unique experience with a regular stream of new, relevant products and services on offer to them. Whilst these increased customer demands and digital footprints have made customer data management more challenging, it shouldn’t be seen as a stumbling block but rather an opportunity. The possibilities for engagement and for an individual customer to create their own experiences are limitless.

For this reason, organisations need to adapt to change and disruption, embracing new technologies to master the customer journey and interface. That, or risk being left behind by those who are transforming.

To learn more about customer journey mapping across the industry, why not join us for a roundtable breakfast at Tower 42, London on July 26th and hear from other senior professionals about their customer journey experiences.