The Customer Journey Matters, Every Step of the Way

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office continues to be a source of customer problems, although many companies do not track or analyze these issues.) Speech and text analytics is another source of customer feedback; direct customer input must be structured so that it can be analyzed. Feedback from customer surveys should also be incorporated into the analysis. Although quality assurance programs typically take an internal view of the customer experience, it's still helpful to know if the organization and agent are doing what they are supposed to do. It's also essential to use desktop analytics to look into enterprise sales, service, or marketing applications to incorporate these customer activities and actions into the customer journey analysis and obtain a more complete view of how a customer was treated.

Customer Journey Analytics Solutions

An important output from customer journey analytics is the measurement of customer effort. This is essentially a measurement of how difficult it is to do business with an organization and/or accomplish what the customer needs/wants. The ability to measure customer effort may be an even more elusive goal than capturing the actual customer journey, given that there are a finite number of channels, yet virtually an unlimited number of customer servicing variables throughout the customer life cycle. Further, organizations must be able to convert the customer effort into a quantifiable metric (how long it took, how many interactions, how many follow-up inquiries, etc.) in order to appreciate its impact on the customer experience and the resulting customer behavior. Customer effort is not limited to customer requests and actions, but also encompasses all activities and actions initiated or taken by the organization on behalf of the customer. A case in point that is all too familiar are loyalty or reward programs that are so rules-restrictive or require so much jumping through hoops that they actually alienate customers.

The Next Stage of the Journey

The concepts behind customer journey analytics have been in the market for years, manifested in the form of customer relationship management, customer experience analytics, and in many other approaches. What's different about customer journey analytics is that the underlying technology and functionality needed to capture, analyze, and evaluate all aspects of every customer's journey and experience are now available. We're at the beginning of a very exciting time in the market; the journey has just begun.

DMG expects to see vendors from a few contact center and enterprise IT sectors actively pursue customer journey analytics, as it's closely related to what many of these vendors have been trying to do for years. Prospects should carefully assess the solutions and appreciate that they are new and still need much work. However, please keep in mind that, as is often the case, addressing the technology aspects of customer journey analytics will likely be the easy part. The greater challenge will be getting various internal departments to set aside their own parochial interests for the betterment of their customers and the company's bottom line.

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Posted February 20, 2015