How to Fix Your Customer Journey Optimization Strategy
The Top 5 Pitfalls of Customer Journey Orchestration
Customer experience comprises the entire lifecycle of a customer’s relationship with the business—their journey from awareness to acquisition, retention, and loyalty. To ensure that experience is seamless and positive across every touchpoint, brands employ customer journey orchestration (CJO). Customer journey orchestration is the process of understanding and improving a customer’s experience as they interact with a brand. It puts you in your customer’s shoes and enables you to visualize the path they take as they undertake the purchase journey.
By taking an active role in understanding the stages, or touchpoints, a customer goes through and what they do or look for at each stage, you can identify pain points or unmet needs, personalize the experience and find ways to maximize opportunities to increase satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue.
But CJO is sometimes easier said than done. If you don’t do it right, you will not achieve the full benefits and could end up wasting time and money or—equally important—creating a poor customer experience that turns customers away.
Here are five pitfalls to be aware of to help you understand where your customer journey optimization strategy can go wrong and how to fix it.
PITFALL 1: Putting everyone on the same journey
Customer journey optimization works well when you understand that your customers are unique and build journeys that reflect that uniqueness. However, a common mistake often made is to put all customers on the same journey.
To deliver truly personalized experiences, you must tailor each journey to suit the needs of the customer. Each journey combines channels, messages, and content designed to move a customer along the purchase path. The best way to do this is to identify different types of customers, such as new and existing prospects or pre-sales and post-sale customers.
Each type of customer will have different pain points and want to achieve different goals, so once these groups are identified, you can define a journey that provides the right information at the right touchpoints to support their path to purchase.
PITFALL 2: Using the same content for each outreach
Content is a critical component of the customer journey because it provides customers and prospects with the information they need to help them make purchase decisions. But not all content is equal when it comes to each stage or touchpoint. Certain content and content types work best for particular stages.
When you map the customer journey for each segment or customer type, you should identify what content they expect at each stage and ensure that content is available. You can also learn what content works best at each stage using historical analysis.
It’s not only the content you have to map carefully; it’s also the format of the content. For example, customers entering a stage on mobile may prefer shorter text or video content. On the other hand, customers may prefer longer-form content on a desktop computer, such as e-books or white papers, and longer videos.
PITFALL 3: Not creating a testing plan
You will not know if your journey is working if you don’t test and measure it. So, create a test plan before you start your customer journey optimization plan and include the metrics you want to track, including customer engagement, quality of experience, customer satisfaction, and others. <
Determine how many touchpoints you will have, which pieces of content you will use at each stage, how much of your database you will use, and how often you will reach out to your customers during the journey. You should also think about how customers may jump from one journey to another and test how that process works to ensure the switch is seamless.
When testing shows you that a journey isn’t working as expected, you may consider pausing it until you can adjust it to work properly. Leaving a journey running that isn’t achieving expected outcomes can deliver bad experiences that frustrate customers, and you don’t want to do that.
A well-documented test plan helps you understand what is and isn’t working–and enables you to adjust accordingly. Equally important, the data can identify use cases for new journeys or additional stages to apply to an existing journey.
PITFALL 4: Forgetting to segment your audience
Another common pitfall is not segmenting your audience for each journey. Customers have different pain points and goals as they move through the purchase journey. Consider segmenting customers by similar characteristics, such as behavior (pages visited, products viewed, questions asked, etc.), past purchases, previous journeys, or common pain points or goals.
Another way to define segments is by identifying patterns and trends in customer behavior and mapping them to specific segments.
Segmentation allows you to define a more personalized experience at each stage in the journey by offering the best content in the right channels with the right calls to action.
PITFALL 5: Using the wrong channels
There are many ways to engage with your customers and almost as many channels. But, too often, the wrong channels are used at the wrong stage. For example, an email is sent when a customer would prefer a text message. Or you make the wrong offer on social media when you should have made it through an email campaign. It’s also important not to blast the same message across every channel—it’s the quickest way to frustrate your customers.
The key to getting the channels right is understanding where your customer expects to engage with you at each stage of the customer journey and ensuring you meet them there.
But there’s more. Customer journey optimization projects work for more than pre-sales activities. They also benefit other lifecycle stages, including post-sales and loyalty. For example, you can create a journey that helps customers use the product they purchased, or you can define a customer journey that is part of a land and expand initiative. Another example is optimizing the journey to create advocates through loyalty programs.
Getting Started With Your CJO Strategy
There are many great benefits to knowing and orchestrating the customer journey. However, a poorly executed CJO strategy can result in ineffective communication, poor customer experiences, wasted marketing spend, missed opportunities, and limited scalability. So it’s critical to know what you want to accomplish and how you will measure the success of your strategy.
Before you start any CJO strategy, talk to your sales, services, and marketing teams to get the complete picture of the customer and the purchase process, then document and implement your plan. Also, things will change, so creating a plan that builds testing and measurement into the process is critical, allowing you to adapt as necessary.
Ready to learn more about customer journey orchestration? Check out our white paper, How to Create Memorable Connected Customer Experiences Across All Customer Journey Stages.