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Feb 3, 2023

Simplify Complex Customer Journeys with a Single Point of Control

Imagine for a moment that you decided to escape the mid-winder doldrums with a cycling tour through the south of France. You begin to investigate travel options, make a few visits to the website and even sign up for a promotional newsletter. Six months out, you book your all-inclusive adventure through a travel company. From your perspective, your journey through the countryside is still somewhat far off. For the travel brand, however, your customer journey is at full speed.

There are cross-sell and upsell opportunities – are you interested in a room upgrade in Nice? A hot air balloon excursion over the Pyrenees? There are notifications to send – flight changes, itinerary confirmations, reminders, and helpful information such as packing lists and exercise tips. Ideally, a brand helping to guide you on this dynamic, complex customer journey will interact with you at the right cadence and on the right channel, optimizing timeliness and frequency based on not just your departure date, but also factoring in your responses and receptiveness to the various messages.

A complex customer journey, as this example shows, is often dynamic, non-linear, non-sequential and multi-channel, consisting of a myriad of inbound and outbound touchpoints taking an individual from unknown to prospect to customer and beyond. In a complex journey, a purchase may happen in the beginning, middle or end – or not at all. The inherent vagaries of a complex customer journey that will likely entail multiple touchpoints over an extended period of time raises several challenges for brands interested in delivering a relevant, personalized omnichannel experience despite all of this unpredictability.

Master Complex Journeys, Meet Customer Expectations

To appreciate how customer expectations have evolved in terms of not settling for anything less than a personalized, omnichannel experience, let’s think about the cycling excursion and how you’d expect a brand to engage with you as a customer.

Wouldn’t you expect, as a matter of course, a series of digital-first engagements to keep you apprised of the status of the trip? If a travel company were to instead “go dark,” you’d probably think you fell victim to a scam. And instead of a disparate string of random communications, you would likely also expect that every email, SMS, mailer, call and website visit to be coordinated – to have the same information about you, and to treat you as the same person, with the same agenda.

The complexity of the journey, in other words, has no bearing on the type of experience customers expect – from any industry. In retail, finance, healthcare – every industry with a customer-brand dynamic – consumers assume that a brand will possess a personal understanding, and use it to deliver a hyper-personalized experience.

In a recent Dynana survey, 78 percent of consumers said that it is frustrating when a brand’s communications and marketing messages are inconsistent depending on the channel they visit (in-store, online, social, call center, mobile app, etc.). In addition, 80 percent said they are more likely to purchase from brands that demonstrate a personal understanding by sending relevant, personalized offers.

Tame Complex Journeys with Consistency

Orchestrating a personalized experience across a complex, omnichannel journey presents several challenges. In many cases, delivering a relevant customer experience requires cross-channel awareness. A shopping cart abandonment strategy – often cited as a prime example of a complex customer journey – will necessitate an integration between email and a brand’s website, as one example. A seamless curbside pickup experience will likewise require coordination between the purchase channel, notifications (SMS/email), the mobile app and the pickup location’s inventory and fulfillment system.

Supporting cross-channel awareness in orchestrating a seamless, omnichannel experience requires integrating data that supports each of the various touchpoints. In addition, executing a complex journey strategy must include a single point of operational control where there is essentially one brain orchestrating engagement across channels – one centralized repository of engagement history and strategy (inbound and outbound).

Technology of course plays a major role, where it is first and foremost essential that a robust customer data platform (CDP) have the capability to not only build an accurate and up-to-date unified customer profile, but to leverage a unified profile to drive real-time decisions in the precise cadence of an omnichannel journey.

But people and processes are just as important for executing a successful complex journey. As one example, it is virtually impossible to orchestrate a complex journey requiring cross-channel awareness if, say, operations are siloed across systems, such as where different teams manage strategy and execution for email and the website. But for a company that organizes marketing campaigns on a channel basis, those kinds of data siloes are common. Any data sharing is likely via batch uploads, which will often lack the timeliness and/or contextual understanding to engage a customer with relevance.

A unified customer record, known as the Golden Record within Redpoint rg1, is the foundation for aligning people and processes with technology to orchestrate real-time decisions with a single point of control. That’s because the Golden Record, in addition to containing a resolved customer ID across all identifiers, devices, etc., also incorporates a complete record of every engagement across those identifiers. That Golden Record provides the foundation for operating with one consistent voice across an omnichannel customer journey.

A complex journey may make it more challenging for a brand to demonstrate a personal understanding across channels, but customers have made it clear that they expect nothing less, and they will reward the brands that make the effort.

Related Redpoint Orchard Blogs

Use a Golden Record to Enhance Customer Experience (CX)

The Role of a Golden Record in Providing a Consistently Relevant, Personalized CX

Multichannel vs. Omnichannel Marketing and Keeping Up with a Customer Journey

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Steve Zisk 2022 Scaled

Vin DelGuercio

Vice President Platform Best Practice Redpoint Global

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