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TransformationJun 28, 2022

The Road Beyond Journey Maps: 3 Steps to Customer Experience Orchestration

Christy Oliver, Mitch McFarland, and Ryan Hustana

Nearly everyone in the business world has not only heard of a customer journey map but they have an opinion on them—be it good or bad. Done correctly, customer journeys are an effective way of framing the experiences a company is trying to provide their target customers. Done poorly, they become a very expensive picture collecting dust on a wall.

Organizations often start customer journey projects in the hopes they will turn their company into one customers love. They bring in teams of consultants, researchers, and employees to work for months to create a completed journey map. The project is heralded as a success, until a few months later when it’s been forgotten and everything has gone back to business as usual.

The idea of a customer journey solving all an organization’s problems and leading everyone to the promised land by creating a one-of-a-kind customer experience is long gone. While customer journeys are still a key part of customer experience transformation, they are only a small part of a much larger picture which we call customer experience orchestration.

Customer Experience Orchestration Defined

Customer experience orchestration (CXO) goes beyond the standard steps of creating personas and journey maps. In customer experience orchestration, personas and customer journey maps are two small pieces in the much larger puzzle of delivering best-in-class customer experiences.

Think of a company you really like. A hotel that seems to know your preferences every time you arrive. An airline that texts you to remind you to check-in on time. A grocery store whose employees always make you feel taken care of. An online retailer with one-day shipping. Chances are, they have implemented customer experience orchestration. Each of these examples showcases a unique part of a customer’s journey, with different omnichannel solutions to accomplish the same result: a customer who feels seen and valued.

So if it involves more than just a journey map or a few personas, what does it take for a company to implement customer experience orchestration? To accomplish this end-to-end experience, an entire organization must be aligned around a customer experience. We approach this transformation by breaking it into three stages:

Credera’s Customer Experience Orchestration Approach

Stage 1: Strategy

To be a successful customer experience organization, you must first set the groundwork. This includes identifying your target customers, defining your customer’s journey phases (“moments that matter”), and understanding their challenges and emotions throughout their experience with your brand. Once you have built this foundation, you can identify and prioritize the opportunities that will create a more complete customer experience.

This task may seem like a large undertaking, but we generally complete this phase in a matter of weeks when partnering with clients. The key to solid customer experience orchestration is to be agile, to get started quickly and iterate frequently. The best way to find out if something works is to put it to the test in the real world, which is why we find this quick-fire approach to be so effective.

Stage 2: Enablement

Once the foundation is laid, it’s time for the rubber to meet the road. To validate the work done in the strategy stage, we need to implement identified initiatives, start measuring results, and collecting feedback. Creating small, action-oriented, cross-functional teams to tackle the initiatives identified in the strategy phase is one of the best ways to get results quickly.

By partnering with leadership to prioritize initiatives, these teams can be agile and implement use cases quickly. As mentioned above, these teams should be cross-functional, with access to the technology, data, and teams needed to deliver value quickly. We took this approach when addressing a technology adoption issue at a major real estate brand. Based on the strategy phase, we determined that new real estate agents were eager to learn about technology that could help them with their careers. To leverage this audience, we implemented technology-specific virtual onboarding that was delivered to every new agent that joined the brand. As a result, agents who participated in the onboarding were two times more likely to use the technology offerings.

Stage 3: Optimization

The final step of implementing CXO is to measure success and iterate on what you learned. By setting the strategy and spinning up initiatives quickly, assumptions can be validated and improvement areas identified for continued customer experience growth. During our implementation of the technology onboarding program from the example above, we quickly found that our flagship technology was buried too far into the onboarding course, resulting in fewer sign ups. From this lesson, we pivoted the experience and highlighted the new technology early and often. As a result, we saw sign ups jump and engagement surpass our goals.

Looking Beyond Customer Journey Maps

Aligning around customer journeys is important to any customer experience transformation, but it is just the beginning. By approaching customer experience transformations as an orchestration of activities (from strategy through optimization), organizations can create the type of service that customers are looking for—rather than one-off, siloed experiences. Customer experience orchestration is as much a business imperative as it is simply common sense. Every organization should be prioritizing their customers’ needs and those who don’t will find it increasingly harder to stay successful and relevant.

If your organization is looking to move beyond journey maps and transform how it delivers experiences to customers across the board, Credera’s customer experience orchestration capability may be just what you are looking for. To get in touch with Mitch McFarland or another Credera CXO leader, reach out directly at findoutmore@credera.com or learn more here.

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