Supporting the customer journey with digital experiences: Insights from Carsten Krause
- Organizations must map out the customer journey and understand the needs and pain points of the target group to effectively support the task with digital experiences.
- AI, AR, and digital experience platforms are becoming more important to plan customer journeys in real time.
- Continuous improvement using design thinking coupled with agile methodologies are essential components in customer journey mapping.
In the first webinar of the Shockoe Thought Leadership series, Carsten Krause, founder and chief digital officer of the CDO Times, joined host Dan Cui to discuss how organizations can support their customer journeys with digital experiences. For his readers, Krause provided valuable insights into the importance of data and the role of emerging and immersive technologies in creating lasting customer engagements.
Mapping the customer journey
Organizations need to map out the customer journey and understand the needs and pain points of their target group to effectively support the task with digital experiences. Krause noted that artificial intelligence (AI) and digital experience platforms are becoming increasingly important for leveraging data and planning customer journeys in real time. These technologies enable businesses to provide customized experiences tailored to individual preferences and needs.
In addition to leveraging emerging technologies, Krause emphasized the importance of collecting a wide range of customer data, including demographics, personal preferences, and behavioral patterns across both online and physical interactions.
Krause stated, “Performing customer journey mapping sessions allows to you leverage agile methodologies to continuously improve and get early feedback on whether what you’re delivering meets customers’ expectations. Because in the end, it’s all about your company’s objectives and delivering great [customer] experiences.”
By gathering early feedback and using customer insights to inform development, businesses can ensure their digital experiences meet expectations and deliver lasting value.
Continuous improvement through design thinking and agile methodology
Krause highlighted the importance of continuous improvement using design thinking coupled with agile methodologies, such as lean enterprise approaches and MVP targeting, which can help organizations continuously evolve and learn from their mistakes. To effectively manage data, organizations must analyze success against specific metrics they are trying to achieve. Every scenario may not be covered, but by leveraging data and insights, organizations can make data-driven decisions to improve the customer experience and drive business growth.
Managing data in the customer journey
To effectively manage and utilize data in the customer journey, organizations need to identify high-value scenarios where they can make a difference. This involves understanding the needs of the target group. Sometimes, this may require going beyond technology and engaging with customers directly to gather feedback and insights that can be used to improve the customer experience. The customer journey is not a one-time event, but a continuous process that requires constant evaluation and improvement, with a digital culture in place that embraces these tenets.
Wendy’s customer journey mapping experience
Krause shared his recent experience working on customer journey mapping for Wendy’s, a fast-food chain restaurant. He stated, “The goal was to map out the customer experience both internally and externally, from the customer’s drive-through contact to the experience of the general manager and staff in the restaurant.”
The team examined the devices used, how data was tracked, and how people felt during these interactions.
By having conversations with both internal experts and in-store customers, Krause noted, “the team uncovered pain points and opportunities to address them. We were also able to step back and gain a new perspective on the customer journey, identifying new opportunities they had not seen before.”
Through this mapping exercise, Wendy’s was able to gain insights into how to better serve its customers and improve their overall experience.
Strategies for unifying the customer journey
Krause emphasized the importance of bringing together different digital experiences to support the unification of the customer journey. He said that companies must understand their focus and their customers’ needs and capabilities, which requires building an in-house skillset for digital and product strategy, user experience design, data analytics, and technology development.
Krause sees augmented reality and AI as emerging technologies that can engage customers in exciting ways. He also recognizes the need for cryptocurrency, blockchain, and immersive user experience.
The future of digital experiences and driving digital transformation and the role of AI and web three
Krause discussed how brands are engaging customers through loyalty programs, gamification, and virtual events using web three concepts of decentralization. He emphasized that digital transformation is not just about technology but also about understanding business goals, customer needs, and key performance indicators (KPIs). He also highlighted the importance of leadership buy-in, data analytics, and being agile and flexible in digital innovation projects.
Krause predicted that hyper-personalization, driven by data insights, will become the standard in the future. Companies will be able to tailor messaging and services to individualized needs, enhancing the customer experience.
“This is a positive for the customer,” Krause said, “to have companies that understand you and your needs to personalize your experience.”
He also noted that he envisions the integration of AI into immersive experiences, making them more personalized and frictionless. Augmented reality (AR) and AI present opportunities for building smart systems and providing personalized data.
Rules and regulations must ensure the responsible use of AI and automation. Krause called for data privacy, interoperability, and micro-investing in real-world assets to be considered in the development of web three concepts and the metaverse.
Supporting the customer journey with digital experiences
This task requires a holistic approach. Organizations should leverage emerging technologies, collect and analyze data, and continuously improve through design thinking and agile methodology. Customer journey mapping plays a vital role in understanding and enhancing the buyer’s experience.
The future of digital experiences will be characterized by hyper-personalization, AI integration, and the responsible use of emerging technologies. By embracing these strategies and driving digital transformation, organizations can create lasting customer engagements and drive business growth in the digital age.
Join Shockoe’s Next Webinar If you missed the last webinar from Shockoe be sure to register now for the next, taking place on June 8th. In it, Shockoe’s Phil Kramer will be joined by Chad Solomonson, Chief Customer Office at RDA to discuss the potential for AI to reshape the grocery industry. Throughout the webinar they’ll dive in to the possible use cases for AI to improve the customer experience while increasing revenue and streamlining the supply chain. Register now to attend.