Gerry Brown
Gerry Brown (CX Research Director)

Customer journey management is a hot topic in management – particularly within the context of digital transformation and customer experience. Leading enterprises today compete on digital customer experiences. Traditional differentiation on product and price is replaced by end-to-end customer journey experiences designed to delight the customer and build brand loyalty.

But customer journey management is proving to be not quite as easy as first thought. IDC research reveals that over 30% of European organisations have problems with ‘turning customer journey maps into business processes and systems’ (38%) and ‘overcoming departmental boundaries or internal product silos’ (32%). We decided to put this hypothesis to the test at the IDC Digital Summit in Malaga in June 2018.

There were 21 top executives in the workshop room who roughly broke down into 7 CMOs, 7 CDOs, and 7 CIOs. All 21 were in the process of implementing end-to-end customer journey management within their organisations. In the 5-stage IDC maturity model, none we at the lowest level of ‘ad hoc’, and none were at the highest level of ‘optimised’. So customer journey management is ‘work in progress’ in Europe.

In Marketing, IDC research shows that 45% of European marketers are ‘opportunistic’ in their approach towards customer acquisition journey management. Our workshop CMOs saw their main challenge as remaining relevant to their customers to maintain customer engagement. Managing omni-channel experiences, leveraging customer data to personalise customer journeys, and ensure compelling high-quality content available at every stage of customer journeys were key.

For our CDOs, the key Customer Service and customer retention requirement was to provide agents with a single version of the real-time customer ‘data truth’ on a single unified desktop interface. Internal responsibilities, accountabilities and escalations to deliver customer satisfaction needed to be driven and aligned to this data truth. Empowering customer service agents and showing trust in their data-driven and emotionally intelligent judgements in customer-facing situations were also of importance.

Our CIOs wanted to collaborate more with CMOs to support new marketing technology investments with more agile digital working practices. But CIOs appreciate that legacy systems are an important central component of an end-to-end customer journey management solution. The key customer journey challenges for CIOs include overcoming fragmented data and systems, the need for speed, and regulatory compliance – especially around GDPR.

So customer journey management in Europe is now in full flight and is starting to get the management attention and investment it deserves. The race is now on ‘crack the code’ and win over the customer with an optimal customer journey solution that feels to the customer like it is as natural as living and breathing.

If you want to learn more about this topic or have any questions, please contact Gerry Brown.

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