“The idea of a western route to Asia first occurred to Columbus after his arrival in the West Indies, not before his departure from Spain; it formed no part of his agreement.”
J. H. Parry, Die Entdeckung des Meeres
Customers’ decision-making and purchasing processes are becoming increasingly difficult to predict. This is due to rapid socio-cultural cycles, technological and political disruptions, strong market dynamics or even global financial or health crises affecting every area of life. At the same time, high transparency, intense competition and falling switching costs lead to reduced pricing leeway. In this challenging situation, companies have to meet ever higher requirements in terms of quality, service level and individualisation while reacting quickly and flexibly to market signals. Critical for this is an intimate knowledge of the customer perspective and the systematic customer-centricity of the marketing and communication processes.
The Customer Journey approach of WYZE Projects is the key to mastering these conflicting priorities. The starting point is the general goals, needs, values, challenges, and behaviour of the customer as well as external conditions. This starting position must be made transparent through a mix of methods, described consistently, and made operational through quantitative and qualitative indicators. This creates a detailed map where both the current and the target position of the customer are clearly located. This map forms the basis for the planning of individual journeys, the positioning of the company’s own service along the possible routes as well as the technological, process-related, and content-related configuration of the necessary touchpoints. We rely on a three-stage approach.
Step 1: Understanding
The starting point for the formulation of a customer journey is a comprehensive analysis of customers and their strategic and operational objectives. On the one hand, the social, technological, economic, and industry-specific trends that are relevant to the business model and strategic-cognitive decision-making behaviour must be taken into account. On the other hand, it is important to understand the most significant emotional triggers, behavioural routines, intuitive selection and decision-making behaviour. And finally, the interaction and communication history with the customer, the existing touchpoints and the previous break points and pain points of the customer journey must be analysed and considered as a premise for planning. These factors create transparency about the start and end point of the customer journey and ensure an effective and precise modelling.
In this step, we focus on the following topics:
- Quantitative and qualitative description of the relevant target groups, the environment, and the relevant overarching trends
- Analysis of the previous interaction history with your own company and/or with competitors
- Description of start and end points of possible journey routes, alternative routes, as well as critical milestones and pain points
- Identification of the potential for positioning your own service along the customer journey
Step 2: Modelling
In the first step, an exact map was created to describe both customers and the start and end point of their journey. However, maps can be designed in several different ways. For the modelling of a concrete customer journey, it is therefore crucial to determine the route along which your own resources, experience, structures, and technologies can be particularly effective. A prerequisite for choosing and maintaining the prioritised route is a clear and strong guiding principle. This structures the individual communication measures, synchronises the positioning and design of the touchpoints and prevents the customer journey from being interrupted prematurely.
In addition, the modelling of the customer journey also acts as an assessment of the organisation from the customer-centricity perspective. In particular, the following questions need to be answered: Are the existing competencies, structures, processes, and technologies sufficiently focused and agile to effectively accompany the customer’s journey and design the relevant touchpoints? Does the strategy offer convincing answers to key customer challenges? Can a supporting storyline be created that aligns the added value for customers with their own business model? Have changes in the market environment been identified, and their effects on the initial situation and the customer’s objectives been understood?
WYZE Projects focuses on the following priorities when modelling the customer journey:
- Development of storylines and guiding principles for relevant target customer groups and definition of optimal conversion routes
- Analysis of potentially critical processes/pain points and design of relevant content and formats for cross-channel touchpoints
- Review of communicative, procedural, and instrumental skills and resources from the customer-centricity perspective
- Design of agile and customer-centric processes and structures for effective management of the customer journey
Step 3: Implementation
The model developed in the second step forms the basis for the concrete design of the customer journey. On the one hand, the focus is on the production of concrete content and formats and the design of cross-channel touchpoints (e.g. website and landing pages, direct marketing, social media presence, newsletters, public relations, or multimedia events). On the other hand, effective instruments for control and ongoing adaptation must be available – especially monitoring and planning solutions, SEO and SEA tools, clearly defined and meaningful KPIs and User Experience (UX) methods. Furthermore, the sustainability of customer journey processes must be guaranteed – especially with regard to compliance with the EU GDPR requirements, scalability of the technology and cost and quality control. It is essential to continuously review the entire customer journey architecture and optimise it based on the knowledge gained.
WYZE Projects supports the implementation of the customer journey strategy with the following services:
- Agile project and programme management and coordination of participating units and teams
- Creation of multimedia content, formats, and design guidelines for all relevant touchpoints
- Design, production, and maintenance of websites, landing pages, social media platforms, event formats and corporate publishing instruments
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEA) in cooperation with specialised partners