Putting the Pieces Together: Customer Journey, Experience and Data

Last month, two Genesys experts on customer experience, Joe Ciuffo and Tim Friebel, were featured panelists at CX Week Canada. This Q&A highlights some of their discussion on how the customer journey works with customer experience to drive better business outcomes.

How can businesses include rising customer expectations in an overall omnichannel strategy?

Tim Friebel: Think about where your customers are and meet them there, because today, the experience is as important as good products. For example, I recently switched my TV service to the company that provides my internet. The on-boarding experience was terrible: It forced me to communicate in channels I don’t prefer because there was no flexibility in their process. Overall, it was so bad that I spent hours afterward researching other companies known for good service. Within four weeks, I cancelled the bad TV service, largely due to the poor experience. It just wasn’t worth the aggravation. 

Joe Ciuffo: I’d also say that ease of access to information is as important as the information itself. Think of transportation in San Francisco as a channel. The subway is cheaper and going the same direction as an Uber, but for the last mile especially, Uber offers me a much better experience.

How should companies leverage data in their customer journey design strategy?

Friebel: Take both a qualitative and quantitative approach. Voice of the customer data is important, but generally, it skews toward those who are either very upset or very happy. And that doesn’t reflect most customer journeys. I read a recent McKinsey study that reported while about 90% of the digital data ever created has been generated in the past few years, only 1% of that data has been analyzed. Capturing day-to-day behaviors around common experiences is more telling and gives you the full picture. This, in turn, helps you make the customer journey more efficient for customers.

Ciuffo: I agree. Both types of data should be used to refine the experience at a high level by stopping “IVR leaks” — customers hanging up due to frustration or getting dumped out to an agent because they pressed “0” over and over. And personalize the experience at a customer level. Consider auto insurance processes. Historically, a driver would call for a quote or go to an agent; an underwriter analyzes the driver’s risk profile based on age, zip code, vehicle type and past accidents. Then the company provides a quote for an insurance premium. Some companies are now basing rates on actual driving. Customers agree to use an app or plug a monitoring device into their vehicles, which monitors their driving styles and behavior, including fast acceleration or aggressive lane changes. Once the data-collection period is complete, the companies use the data for an insurance quote tailored to the driver.

Where does the customer journey and the data it generates fit in a company’s overall strategy?  

Ciuffo: Lynda.com, the online learning platform, uses customer journey data to drive their strategy. What they’ve found is that access to thousands of courses isn’t helpful for a person, it’s overwhelming. But access to a curated set of courses designed to help achieve their personal goals is significant. So, Lynda.com looks at where there’s customer demand, then analyzes their courses to be sure they meet those demands.

Here’s their approach: They create a unified customer experience by weaving together previously unrelated interactions. This makes it more convenient for customers and it eliminates data reconciliation. It also adds to the data available on individuals. They use this rich data to improve customization and to learn which products or services are most important to the customer. Then, by aggregating information across many customers, they have population-level learning for improving products or services. It’s a very effective way of using data to stay relevant and ahead of their competition.

How do you measure a successful customer journey and how does that change traditional contact center KPIs?

Friebel: Companies can fall into the trap of prioritizing one KPI over another and sacrifice the experience. I’ll use the internet/TV scenario I mentioned earlier. The sales team lured me in. That sale was counted in their revenue numbers, but before I even completed the on-boarding process, I downgraded my service due to a poor experience. Based on what I’ve seen of this company, I can promise you they’re not tracking a “successful on-boarding experience journey” KPI.  That said, the sales team hit their revenue metric, but the company didn’t get a happy customer or increase their overall customer lifetime value.

How does effective journey management help companies grow value in the future?

Friebel: A CEB Customer Contact Council report on the Loyalty Curve found that customers who had a low-effort experience were 31% more likely to make additional purchases and to be a brand promoter. Design the customer journey in a way that helps customers easily accomplish their goals. For example, use predictive routing that drives customers to the resource or person best at handling those questions. That drives first contact resolution and reduces the customer effort.

Ciuffo: And when you extend customer insight to population-level learning, you’ll be able to address more fundamental needs of customers. An educational publisher like McGraw-Hill might learn that a customer wants to learn not just financial accounting but also wants a career on Wall Street. Or Nike shoes might find out that a particular runner is interested not only in keeping fit but also in training to run his or her first marathon. This knowledge can lead to opportunities to create an even wider range of services and to build trusted relationships.

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