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Customer Journey – or: How data helps turn customers into true fans


The customer journey is literally the journey or cycles of a (potential) customer from the first to the last contact with a company. It also includes all touchpoints, both online and offline. This can be the purchase of a product or another defined action, such as registration, regardless of whether it is a B2B or B2C environment. The goal for the company is to satisfy the customer in all phases during the entire customer journey. Or even better: to inspire them, to exceed their expectations.

The design of the customer journey therefore plays a central role in successfully dealing with customers and has a direct influence on sales. Professional customer experience management is therefore oriented to this customer journey in order to minimize the effort for the customer across all contact points and to make the experience as pleasant as possible, in the sense of staying with the customer and even buying again.

But often the reality looks different. Everyone has certainly experienced one or two bad examples in this or a similar way:


Worst Case Scenario 1: Failed Customer Support

A customer has just purchased a new product and now needs technical support in using it. He describes the problem to the service chatbot. The chatbot does not understand the problem and refers the customer to the telephone service hotline. The customer explains his case to the friendly support employee. The support agent can't solve the problem himself and wants to connect the caller to a technical employee. However, he does not pick up the phone and the call is disconnected. The customer has to call the hotline again and repeat his explanation. He gives his customer and invoice number. The service agent asks for the required information on the ordered product and passes it on to the customer. The customer tries and finds out that the supposed solution does not help. In the meantime, the support agent's working hours are over. The customer is left perplexed and annoyed. He will not buy any more products from this provider.


Worst Case Scenario 2: Miss Unrecognized

A well-known influencer, brand ambassador of a cosmetics company, wants to buy products of this brand in a store. She has contractually agreed special conditions for them. When she gives her name at the checkout, she does not recognize the sales assistant, nor are the special conditions available in the system. The saleswoman insists on the normal price, which is why the influencer leaves the products unpaid. She shares her bad experience in real time via video on her wide-reach social media channels. The target group then boycotts the brand.


Worst Case Scenario 3: Patience Game Form Fields

A customer wants to take out liability and household insurance. This can be done digitally and conveniently on a home PC. Compiling the insurance components is intuitive and user-friendly. The customer then has to register and enter his contact and address data field by field. Spontaneously, he still wants to change something about the selected product and goes back to the selection. Only to then have to re-enter the contact and address data for each form field. Now he wants to select the second insurance policy. And although he has already registered, he has to enter all the data again. This is too much effort for him, and he cancels the contract.

Every moment that the preferably digital "customer journey" does not run smoothly carries the risk that a transaction will not take place. If the customer dialog is neither easy nor fast, the customer will opt for a provider that gives them a consistently positive experience right off the bat. Sales are lost. Lasting damage is done when bad reviews also damage the company's reputation. There is no second chance for the first positive impression.

Customers expect not only first-class products and services, but also consistently high service performance and quality. They expect personalization, and want to be recognized and appreciated at every point of contact. All situationally relevant information must be available quickly to enable smooth interaction - no matter on which channel, at which time, in which place, and with which content. And they want to be sure that their data is being handled appropriately in accordance with data protection regulations and in compliance with the protection goals of information security. The phenomenon is also known as 'Seamless Customer Interaction'. The basic prerequisite is a consistently high level of user-friendliness.


Customer centricity: Always focusing on the customer's needs

In order to positively shape the customer journey, it is crucial to precisely know and understand the needs and expectations of customers at every point. This preferably works on the basis of data. This is because, in order to build up the necessary understanding of the customer in order to achieve customer-centric personalization, companies must record, consolidate and evaluate or interpret all the information from all the interactions within the customer journey. This is possible with the aid of the Uniserv Customer Data Hub (CDH): it brings together data from all source systems centrally; with the aid of various data quality tools such as address validation and identity resolution, the data is optimized to an appropriate quality level. 

From the consolidated data, the Customer Data Hub forms the so-called Golden Records, as comprehensive customer data sets that combine all relevant information from all channels into a so-called 'single point of truth'. These Golden Records are fed back to each touchpoint with its source system. This makes old, incorrect, incomplete or redundant data records a thing of the past throughout the company. Each individual customer can be clearly and completely identified at any time. Lengthy searches are a thing of the past. This means that the necessary information is available at every point of the customer journey, not only to meet customer expectations, but to exceed them. Customers thus feel that they are the focus of the company's attention throughout their entire customer journey. 


Satisfaction and retention prefer data-based

If you know exactly what your customers want and expect, or are perhaps even able to work out a next-best-action or next-best-offer, if you are able to recognize correlations and patterns, you can align your product and service portfolio accordingly and thus significantly increase customer satisfaction. Cross-selling and upselling potentials can be fully exploited. Marketing can also focus and address a customer-specific issue in real time. This avoids the expensive wastage from blanket mass campaigns and thus saves costs. Lasting customer loyalty is almost inevitable as a result, especially when you keep reading about so-called 'isolated cases' where all sorts of things have gone wrong. But let's be honest: the multitude of individual cases is quite a lot.

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