home Customer Experience On the road to journey management

On the road to journey management

Customer journey mapping has been an important tool for CX professionals over the years. Journey maps have helped us to understand when and where customers interact with the organisation. They have also allowed us to design better experiences for our customers. However, traditional customer journey mapping has some significant short falls in revealing the actual experiences of customers and how we manage them.

Traditional journey mapping provides a conceptual understanding of the experiences customers have butare largely based on internal assumptions overlaid with customer feedback to assess transactions at specific touchpoints. In many cases problems and opportunities are assumed. Our understanding of what’s happening at the moment a customer is interacting via a specific touchpoint is limited.

CX teams need to go beyond journey mapping and adopt journey management.  Journey management is a data-driven approach that is based on the actual paths and journeys that customers go through. It stitches together every interaction for every customer and tracks every path customers are taking to achieve specific goals and outcomes.

Why journey management

Journey management removes the guesswork and internal assumptions regarding the experiences our customers are having. A key benefit is the ability to drill-down into detailed customer paths to optimise service design at an operational level while providing strategic insights into the entire customer lifecycle.  It can tell us where customers are getting stuck or experiencing roadblocks, revealing the paths that lead to customer retention or churn.

This can translate into significant business benefits for the organisation. According to the Aberdeen Group, companies that have a customer journey management strategy enjoy a 54% greater annual improvement in return on marketing spend, compared to other companies (24.9% vs.16.2%)

A data-driven approach to customer journeys

Journey management uses all the customer interaction and attitudinal data that already exists within

the businesses. It does not require complete, consistent and perfectly related data sets but by plugging into existing business systems (such as the contact centre logs, online and social channels) marketing and service teams are given a real-time view of how every customer moves through different channels to achieve their goals.

AI and machine learning takes this to the next level where digital engagement can be automated and optimised in real-time. We also know that journeys are better predictors of customer loyalty and retention than satisfaction. Advanced data modelling techniques provide deep insight into what drives customer retention and loyalty, which is simply not possible with traditional journey mapping.

An understanding of successful and unsuccessful customer paths and profiles provide the way for a scientific approach to experience design. Predictive models are also highly effective in predicting churn and providing at-risk indicators to support retention and long-term Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Journey Orchestration

Powered with an understanding of exactly where customers are getting stuck or dropping off, organisations are able to truly orchestrate experiences and engagement. Journey orchestration involves designing and implementing nudges, often digital, that move customers towards desired goals.  Customer journeys that are orchestrated increase retention rates because the drivers of defection are well understood and proactively


Margot Birbeck

Margot Birbek is a Customer Experience (CX) thought leader who has specialised in the Science of Customer Journey Management, working with large enterprises across Australia and New Zealand.