Brands need to start thinking differently about customer journeys if they are to deliver a better customer experience and increase their prospects for recovery, according to a Forrester executive.

Joana de Quintanilha, VP and principal analyst at the market research firm, addressed this topic at a recent Adobe event where she explained why “orchestration – the use of data in real-time and understanding individual needs – has become an increasing expectation that is crossing all industries as customers interact with brands like Facebook, Apple and Amazon”.

These tech giants are setting the standards which all businesses now have to strive to match.

“Journeys are not a business process. They are not a marketing funnel,” she said. “Each one is unique, and they belong to the customer. It must be viewed from their perspective.”

What’s more, customers may be on multiple journeys for different purposes – and this is where thinking in terms of journey orchestration can be advantageous: “Journey orchestration helps deliver great customer experience,” said de Quintanilha. “It drives differentiation.”

Journey orchestration uses real-time data at an individual customer level to analyse current behaviour, predict future behaviour, and tweak the journey to grow customer lifetime value, as well as drive operational efficiency and business results.

We are talking about real-time experience design

“It can help your firm to understand new customer behaviours as they happen, focus on retaining existing customers and direct customers to happier paths,” she said.

Experiences, she added, are typically designed in advance, which makes this a significant shift as it involves designing experiences as they happen: “We are talking about real-time experience design.”

Companies therefore need to first define the customer experience, then integrate data at an individual level, to adjust the journey in the moment.

This approach is proving to be particularly relevant during the pandemic, she added. “Forrester’s research shows that journey orchestration, which enables real-time decisioning across channels, is critical for crisis preparedness and recovery.”

“Smart firms are bending so they don’t break,” she said. “We all know some companies that have earned our loyalty (during COVID-19) because they have pivoted their businesses to protect, support, and continue to offer products and services that we rely on.”

For more details, read WARC’s report: How brands can orchestrate better experience journeys to win over customers in a pandemic.

Sourced from WARC