The Gist

  • Customer-centricity. Ensure journey orchestration prioritizes customer needs over brand expectations.
  • Business goals. Establish balanced attention to both customer and business objectives in your strategy.
  • Win-win scenario. Create outcomes that benefit both customers and the business, fostering loyalty and growth.

Customer journey orchestration promises improvements to the customer experience by offering brands the ability to tailor the steps, reactions and automations that occur as a consumer makes their way through the buying process and beyond, across all the physical and digital experiences that a brand provides.

However, it can often be approached from the perspective of what the brand wants the customer to do, and not the other way around. While this creates efficiencies for marketers and CX professionals, it doesn’t live up to the full potential of a customer-centric journey that gives the customer what they want, when, how and where they want it.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how to ensure your customer journey orchestration is built on the premise of customer-centricity.

Establish Your Customer and Business Goals

Let’s face it. While customer-centricity and a deeper connection with your customers should be your guiding North Star, your business must also deliver on all of its key performance indicators (KPIs) across the board. Thus, starting with a foundation of what your customer journeys must deliver from both a business and a customer standpoint at the same time can ensure both receive focused and balanced attention.

In addition to your existing business KPIs, strongly consider adding customer lifetime value (CLV) as a shared organizational and customer metric of success. Forward-thinking, customer-centric organizations are embracing this measurement as a way to marry both the needs of the customer and the needs of the business. CLV goes beyond other valuable metrics that measure your brand health and the quality of the customer experience, and enables a stronger connection between your experience management investments and business outcomes.

You can think of CLV and all of these goals as your guiderails throughout the process, keeping both business goals and customer goals in mind throughout. While your customer journey will follow the customer’s needs, you need these business levers in place to ensure a win-win scenario where both parties are successful.

Establishing both customer and business goals from the start means that you don’t need to compromise on either. Your customers will be able to receive the personalized content, offers and experiences they desire, while the business needs are accounted for all along the way.

Related Article: 4 Steps Toward Successful Customer Journey Orchestration

Understand Your Customers’ Unique Needs

Now that we have our ideal outcomes identified, we need to ensure that we can deliver the type of personalized experience that our customers want and expect. There is simply too much competition for our customers’ attention and loyalty to create a one-size-fits-all approach to customer journey orchestration.

Establishing both your business and customer goals is an important step, but now you need to let your customers take control of the journey instead of dictating what the business would like them to do. Thus, your customer journey orchestration should now take on a customer-centric approach, offering flexibility in channels, content and other options, and even offering easy offramps (and onramps to different journeys) that put your customer in the driver’s seat.

When customers receive a more personalized journey, along with the content, offers and experiences it can provide, they will likely feel a deeper connection to the brand. This connection leads to loyalty, retention and the related benefits for the customer (they get what they want, when, where and how they want it), as well as the business (they increase customer retention, share of wallet and lifetime value).

Orchestrating more personalized experiences across the customer journey requires fusing more qualitative approaches to experience design (e.g., personas, journey maps, moments that matter) into a more actionable and data-driven approach. To do this, you need to strengthen both your customer listening capabilities and your ability to manage and act on operational data signals.

For experience (X) data, you will need to get beyond surveys to leverage a more modern approach that creates insights from your much larger volume of unstructured data signals, tapping into what customers are thinking, feeling and saying as part of their interactions with your brand across social media, live chat, messaging and more open-ended questions from your surveys that are tied to moments that matter.

Learning Opportunities

For operational (O) data, you will need to create a 360 degree view of the customer relationship across key touchpoints leveraging investments in marketing technology. 

You can then leverage these data signals in three valuable ways:

  1. Develop the best insights to turn personas into actionable micro-segments.
  2. Leverage technology to optimize the journey orchestration over a series of ongoing experiments.
  3. Measure the congruence of the actual experience with your brand strategy. CLV then allows you to see how experiments that move the needle on X and O data translate into business outcomes.

With the guardrails in place of your desired business and customer outcomes, you can create a truly customer-centric journey orchestration approach, knowing that with your customer in control, you are building greater loyalty and a strong bond with your customers.

Related Article: Will 2023 Be a Breakthrough Year for Customer Journey Orchestration?

Create the Win-Win Customer Scenario

Finally, we tie the elements together to create outcomes in which both the customer and the business are winners. Since you established your guardrails at the beginning, then designed a customer journey orchestration framework that can be customer-led, you have the makings of a win-win scenario.

You can look at this win-win scenario in a few ways:

  • Path to customer loyalty. It helps customers build habits that lead to repeat purchases and greater overall loyalty, building a stronger bond between your customers and your brand. They can depend on your brand to put them in the driver’s seat to achieve what they want and need.
  • Business wins and customer lifetime value wins. It creates and orchestrates a journey that is both customer-centric and core to your business strategy and also creates a greater customer lifetime value (CLV) because customers have the flexibility and personalized elements they want, while the business is able to focus on the areas of growth that it needs.
  • Customer-centric approach. It also helps your internal teams stay customer-focused when creating new journeys, products and services, and related content and campaigns. Building this capability internally is critical so that new initiatives share this customer-centric approach.

This win-win scenario enables business KPIs alongside customer goals to be achieved, and by making customer lifetime value a core KPI, you are ensuring alignment between business and customer needs before, during and after the journey.

As you can see, creating a winning, customer-centric journey orchestration approach requires balancing business needs with customer expectations. When the two work together to provide the flexibility and personalized content, offers and experiences that customers want, you can truly have a win-win.

fa-solid fa-hand-paper Learn how you can join our contributor community.