Customer Experience Tools
Explore more insights from Bain's 2020 Customer Experience Tools and Trends survey: Let No Tool Stand Alone.
As companies increasingly focus on the customer experience, many have adopted a new unit of measurement and management, the customer episode. Companies use episode maps, sometimes called journey maps, to visualize each potential interaction and decision point in an episode. The episode begins when a customer expresses a need and ends when the customer considers the need fulfilled—for example, paying a bill or buying a new phone. Episodes often consist of multiple touchpoints across a variety of channels.
Our insights share how the right CX tools make customers’ lives richer and more fulfilling and strengthen a company’s economics by holding down costs and securing new revenue streams.
Episode maps allow visualization of each potential interaction and decision point. Most companies are going beyond maps into episode analytics, monitoring and orchestration. Analytics tools collect large amounts of data from different systems, across channels and touchpoints within an episode, and use that data to create a holistic view down to the individual customer.
Episode monitoring provides the ability to understand in near-real time how customers move through specific episodes, as well as the ability to set alerts based on certain key performance indicator thresholds.
Orchestration can uncover insights across episodes and allow real-time intervention and decisions using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, helping businesses improve the customer experience and manage costs.
The vendor landscape is constantly evolving, with players spanning the spectrum of mapping, analytics, monitoring and orchestration.
How companies use customer journey analytics tools
- Structural changes
- Performing retroactive diagnostics. Advanced analytics can flag points of failure and friction in the episode, as well as identify potential solutions.
- Prioritizing investments in the experience. Evaluating the end-to-end performance of episodes helps companies invest more in the ones that matter most.
- Real-time support
- Providing a view of customers to frontline employees. The tools give more customer information to frontline teams, allowing them to see the interaction that likely prompted a service call.
- Predicting Net Promoter System℠ feedback. Feedback from customers who followed similar channel paths or behavior patterns can help companies predict their Net Promoter Score℠, allowing them to adjust their service or process and create more valuable promoters among customers.
- Anticipating customer needs. Understanding how customers behave allows companies to anticipate and intervene on behalf of customers proactively, optimizing service costs.
- Improved customer-centricity
- Delivering great experiences. The episode tools help identify “moments of truth” or make-or-break episodes for customers. These are typically complex and require cross-functional teams to deliver. For instance, obtaining a new mortgage often is a moment of truth for customers that has a high likelihood of failure. Yet this episode has a huge potential to delight customers when delivered right the first time, without hassles.
- Episode orchestration. Episode orchestration tools can drive real-time actions and interventions that resonate best with customers and create better or personalized experiences.
- Transparency and accountability. Use these journey mapping tools to create companywide transparency and clear accountabilities for customer episode performance. This includes performance across physical and digital channels and over time, as well as relative competitive positioning using certified benchmarks, such as NPS Prism®.
- Ongoing improvement of customer economics. Connect customer episode insights with customer lifetime value and loyalty economics to facilitate trade-offs, decisions and prioritization.
- Real-time actions and decisions. Deploy episode orchestration tools to fuel cross-functional teams with real-time insights about the onstage experience; backstage capabilities and supporting processes; cross-channel flows; and key metrics on the customer, costs and revenues.
- Customer experience strategy and outcomes. Any implementation of such tools must be informed by a comprehensive experience strategy, including defined goals, key performance indicators and a roadmap. Set target outcomes and empower teams to take action to continuously improve episodes.
- Continuous innovation and learning. Embed feedback systems to allow teams to experiment, learn and address incremental as well as structural changes. Tie the tools to a continuous test-for-results approach and closed-loop customer feedback.
Net Promoter®, NPS® and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.