The random customer journey

When talking to customers and partners about digital channels, I rarely hear composed expressions like “Oh sure we have those, there is a strategy and a plan, and a complete map of the customer journey, and all is perfect, thanks”.

dontpanic

In fact, the answers I get most of the times are more like “we have no clue on what to do, and our customer journey is completely random”. Which, you guys, is good news! A random customer journey means that your customers are still willing to spend time browsing through your available channels, despite sometimes being stuck somewhere, or getting the wrong answers. They believe in your company, and in the fact that at some point you will see that they are using all of the digital channels (for the engineers, more about naming convention in one of my latest posts), and improve their service following their choices.

Obviously, the target of any company is to drive the journey, and guide customers through it, by completely mastering their jumping from one channel to the other, while measuring impact and effectiveness with smart dashboards and stats. But in real life, there are very few customers at this stage, and also, you need to know that this stage is not final. It is just a step, in a cyclic process of optimization of the CX, that at some point will need to dynamically adapt, according to the many variables that move, in real time, within the company’s and the customers’ fast environments.

If the good news is you have a random journey, or call it a window of opportunity, the bad news is there is a lot of work to do, and usually it has little technology involved (although with the right technology the mapping is a lot easier and faster). Most of the work is, in fact, related to internal and external processes that have an impact on the journey, and to putting together all the departments that are not willing to talk to each other because, historically, they were never related. Today, all your communication-driven processes, internal and external to the company (I would dare to say all of them: is there any part of your business still without communication?) need to be integrated and consistent because this is the image reflected through an omni-channel customer care. So if you have offered multiple channel access to your customers in a random way and still have people browsing through it, it’s time to plan for a thoughtful and thorough assessment and re-design of your CX, before they change their mind and go to the competition’s random journey.

“He had found a Nutri-matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. The way it functioned was very interesting. When the Drink button was pressed, it made an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject’s taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject’s metabolism and then sent tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject’s brain to see what was likely to go down well. However, no one knew quite why it did this, because it invariably delivered a cupful of liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.” (Douglas Adams, The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

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