Customer Journey Analytics leads every organization to classify and label customer interactions. Businesses can refocus, and even restructure, on individual activities: paying a bill, activating a product, or opening a new account. But it’s a critical mistake to consider these tasks as independent.
Restructuring around Journeys
When first starting on the path to Customer Journey Analytics, an organization often begins with simple cross-channel metrics. The first visibility into the number of customers who interact on two channels in rapid succession, or even simultaneously, is eye-opening.
As the business becomes more comfortable with sequenced data, analysts begin to label possible customer journeys: bill payment, marketing for upsell opportunities, weeks after activation, weeks before attrition, etc. With these labels, the organization will initiate new analytic objectives to optimize the customer experience and costs of each of these journeys. It’s also not uncommon to see the business restructure – rather than organization owning each channel (web vs. call center), organizations will now be responsible for key performance metrics on an assigned journey.
These organizations that were previously operating independently on their own interaction channels will now operate on independent journeys. It would be nice if customer journeys were independent, but this ideal is rarely true.
A Case Against Independent Customer Journeys
A journey analyst at a large financial institution helped her marketing organization analyze and improve upsell journeys. After implementing changes, the bank found that the returns on the change were lower than estimated, gaining only half of the expected new card activations.
While having lunch with another journey analyst in the bill payment organization, she heard her peer complaining of a recent uptick in closed accounts following bill payment failures. As they discussed details, the two analysts found that the closed accounts began increasing at roughly the same time the upsell journey team had implemented their changes to target new card activations. Coincidence? Definitely not!
Working together, the two analysts identified that when a customer is facing bill payment challenges – failed payments on the web, for example – an ad for a new card triggered negative reactions and often resulted in the customer closing their account entirely. By attempting to increase sales without evaluating other concurrent journeys, the upsell team had inadvertently lost the on-going business of valuable customers.
Journeys or Channels, Silos are Still Silos
Organizations that choose to restructure around journeys often find that they’ve traded their single-channel, uninformed silos for new, more complicated, and equally uninformed silos. The analytic teams within the organization must still be aware of and evaluate their impacts on one another.
Unfortunately, this independent behavior is encouraged by many voices in the customer journey software market. The customer experience industry is flooded with tools that focus on only the marketing or sales journeys without any consideration for interdependency between these journeys. Without the right perspective, without a full 360-degree view of the customer experiences before, during and after the sales process, marketers don’t gain visibility into the lasting effects of their efforts on other key business drivers.
Journey Analysis teams must evaluate their changes from the perspective of the customer. And the customer does not separate their emotional responses; frustration is frustration, no matter the channel or activity that drove it.