The Single Customer Journey – Customer Interface in a Digital Era

As a global consultancy specializing in data, analytics and digital for over 20 years, Keyrus constantly need to respond to the major challenges facing enterprises today. In what is today being coined by many as the 4th Industrial Revolution, disruption and change continue to remodel the landscape of the business world. This evolution has forged a dramatic rise in consumer power and service expectations and as a result created an organizational battle for the customer interface. Enhancing this customer interface to gain actionable insights is a challenge both commonly faced and highly prioritized by an increasing number of Keyrus’s clients and also across the wider world of business, this article provides an overview of the importance of customer journey mapping in this digital era.  

As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands and new digital technologies continually emerge, an environment has been created where one customer can now have a multitude of journeys. There are now new touch points which generate digital footprints and data. Given this, it’s the companies who are able to gain customer insights from that data to improve their customer service and offerings that are the ones disrupting the market. With this expansion of data, the challenge of gaining this complete customer view has significantly grown and become far more complexed meaning that already established businesses are now becoming vulnerable to being left behind by new, more agile competition.

Gartner predicts that by 2017, 20% of all market leaders will lose their number one position to a company founded after the year 2000 because of a lack of digital business advantage. Market “Uberisation” serves as testament to this and to the rewards that can be achieved from harnessing disruption and new technology, developing industry changing customer interfaces that would cripple its competitors. It’s with this, that information management systems now need to adapt, bringing not only internal customer data together into a single dashboard but also relevant external data. This will empower organizations and relationship managers to enhance their customer interface to gain insights allowing them to be proactive in customer engagement as opposed to reactive, pivotal in this world underpinned by data and digital technology.

And it’s not just the volume of data that’s key to address but also the variety. Today over 80% of data is held in unstructured formats from emails, documents, PDF’s and social media to data that is now captured through voice and image recognition technology. It is becoming increasingly evident for many organizations and businesses to not only fail to make use of this large percentage of data at their finger-tips but also in a number of situations be overwhelmed by it, thus impacting the service they as a business can provide.

To overcome this, an agile system is required with the ability to bring all data; internal, external, structured and unstructured into a single dashboard, allowing visualizations that business users can actually act upon.  Partner this with the adoption of intuitive machine learning cloud technologies, organizations can use this single view of the customer journey to gain insights in real-time and predict customer actions with some certainty. And as a result, all of this can optimize customer engagement and customer segmentation, ultimately increasing sales, decreasing customer churn and differentiate an organization; critical to staying ahead of the competition and market that is today ever progressing.  

However, partnered with this drive to optimize the use of customer data and gain a complete view lies a fundamental hurdle; GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU data protection law, set to be imposed on the 25th May 2018. The aim of this regulation is to unify and simplify the protection and privacy of personal data and how it is handled by companies within the European Union, essentially demanding that all personal data processed by an organization is done with the explicit consent of the customer. As personal data lies at the heart of all customer data, becoming GDPR compliant is an essential component in the journey towards gaining a 360 customer view. For this reason, rather than a problem that needs to be solved GDPR should be seen as an opportunity to transform, using this transformation as a basis to then go on to maximise the use of your customer data Read more on GDPR here.

In summary, customers now demand a personalized, unique experience with a regular stream of new, relevant products and services on offer to them. Whilst these increased customer demands and digital footprints have made customer data management more challenging, it shouldn’t be seen as a stumbling block but rather an opportunity. The possibilities for engagement and for the individual customer to create their own experiences are limitless.  Successfully managing this data is just the beginning! Once establishing this basis you can then progress along that journey of maturity, using this footprint to enhance your customer interface and gain insights as Uber, Facebook and Airbnb did to improve their customer service and ultimately revolutionize an industry. For this reason, organizations need to adapt to change and disruption, embracing new technologies to master the customer journey and interface or risk being left behind by those who are transforming.

Over the coming months we will be sharing a sequence of informative articles, hosting webinars and events surrounding the topic of single customer journey and also the impact of GDPR and how to best prepare. Kicking this sequence off, we’d be delighted for you to join us for a Roundtable Breakfast discussion at T42 on 26th July in which senior professionals from across the industry will be sharing their customer journey experiences.