Marketing Automation

5 Steps to Customer Journey Automation and a Single Customer View

December 10, 2020
Author
Inkit Team

Business owners and consumers usually have a different opinion on what is a great customer experience. After surveying 362 firms, Bain & Company has found that 80% of the respondents believe they provide “a superior customer experience”. Guess what? Only 8% of customers think the service of these companies is that good.

Why is there such a wide margin in opinions?

In many cases, the data collected by businesses throughout the customer’s journey doesn’t reflect the real situation. They track some customer experience metrics, manage several data sources, but fail to integrate them into a single customer view. Unrelated indicators cannot show how a customer interacts with your business and reach them accordingly.

That’s why you need customer journey automation to provide a better customer experience. Automation solutions will bring all data sources together for a single customer view and real-time personalized interactions.

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Get step-by-step tips on how to provide a better customer experience and automatically reach customers in our article about:

  • What is a single customer view?
  • Why do you need customer journey automation to achieve a single customer view and provide a better customer experience?
  • Five steps to implement customer journey automation

What Is a Single Customer View?

A single customer view (SCV, also called unified or 360-degree) is an approach to aggregating multiple data sources with information about potential and existing customers. All records can be viewed in a single place to give business owners, marketing, sales, and other teams an understanding of what has happened with a specific lead before. Based on this information, they can provide a better customer experience, personalize their messages, and reach people through their preferred channels.

Customer journey automation is considered a standard way to get a single customer view. Without it, you won’t be able to connect multiple communication channels and record all critical information received through them. Find a more detailed explanation on why customer journey automation is so crucial below.

Why Do You Need Customer Journey Automation to Achieve a Single Customer View and Provide a Better Customer Experience?

By 2022, two-thirds of CX strategies and projects will leverage modern technology. That’s up from 50% back in 2017. To figure out what makes these people adopt customer journey automation, let’s imagine the world without it first.

Single customer view WITHOUT customer journey automation

You run an online store with email and live chat customer support. You also have profiles on social media, including Facebook and Instagram, where you reach people. Apart from that, you try measuring customer activity and engaging people through NPS forms. That’s quite a lot of data to collect. What’s worse, it’s heterogeneous data of different formats and types.

Without automation software, you won’t be able to record and standardize it within one system automatically. As a result, you also won’t be able to respond to user requests on time and make customer support and marketing personalized. People will receive emails when they are more likely to appreciate a postcard, wait too long to get a reply on social media or have their experience spoiled in any other way. Very soon, most of the new leads will churn while word of mouth will repel other potential customers.

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Single customer view WITH customer journey automation

Now, here is the same situation but with the use of customer journey automation software. You have a platform that automatically aggregates user information and reaches customers based on it. The software detects what interactions are preferred by a specific customer in a particular situation and tailors communications accordingly. This enables you to achieve unified views of buyers and provide a better customer experience. Since people are satisfied with how you treat them, they keep using your services and show loyalty.

We believe this comparison is the best explanation of why you need customer journey automation. Technology enables you to learn more about your leads and reach them most conveniently and effectively. It reduces the load on your internal teams and helps them achieve better results with less effort.

Five Steps to Implement Customer Journey Automation

Step #1. Map out a customer journey

Before you start measuring customer experience metrics with automation software, you need to know what steps customers face interacting with your brand. Each lead comes through a sequence of stages with specific touchpoints such as:

  • Awareness. PR, online ads, print, word of mouth
  • Consideration. Viral emails, SEO, landing page, blog, direct mail
  • Purchase. In-store experience, call center, website
  • Service. Customer support, customer feedback collection
  • Loyalty. Customer loyalty program, newsletters

For full automation and better customer experience, it’s necessary to cover all these steps and connect communications and marketing materials across them.

Step #2. Find out what teams are involved at each stage

To make the customer journey smooth and logical, multiple teams and departments have to cooperate. For example, while digital advertising specialists work on online promotions on the product or service, the call center provides customer support. That’s why for effective customer journey automation, you need to know what teams are engaged and what tasks they complete. After that, it would be easier to figure out what processes can be automated to reach customers.

Step #3. Figure out what data you collect

Customer journey automation and a single customer view are mutually reinforcing. Without high data quality, you won’t manage to personalize interactions with leads and run trigger-based marketing campaigns. That’s why you need to determine the main types of data sources and make sure the automation software records and aggregates all of them.

Step #4. Choose customer journey automation software

After completing all the previous steps, you should already understand what processes you need to automate. It’s essential to select the customer journey automation software with the right functionality. We advise you to opt for API platforms like Inkit that include data validation functionality, automatically deliver customer communications, and support multiple integrations with third-party tools. Such capabilities will allow you to have one core software instead of dozens of tools to provide a better customer experience.

Step #5. Complete the integration and tailor every customer experience

Now, it’s time to integrate the chosen software with your system. Connect the platform to your existing tech stack and additional services you plan to use. After that, create unique conversion paths for different groups of customers. All the following messages, offers, and other interactions must depend on the previous actions and happen automatically. For example, you may choose to automatically send a print catalog to customers who have stayed loyal buyers for two years. Those who have just joined the loyalty program will get an email newsletter. This helps to meet customer expectations and provide a better customer experience.

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Inkit for Customer Journey Automation

You can use Inkit’s reach enablement platform to automate data verification, document rendering, online and offline communications at all stages of the customer journey. Our tool easily connects with hundreds of third-party services and continuously expands its integration network. Thanks to this, you will be able to achieve a single customer view and provide a better customer experience for your buyers. With Inkit, customer interactions will become personalized and based on triggers.

Are you interested in testing Inkit for your company? Contact us to get the demo or start a subscription.

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