Customer Journey, and the Billy Goat in the Machine

Customer Journey, and the Billy Goat in the Machine

With Customer Journey Optimization, Customer Satisfaction Will Never Be 108 Years Away

Like many baseball fans, I was completely captivated by the 2016 World Series. It was a true “battle of the underdogs,” pitting the Cleveland Indians (who hadn’t won a Championship since 1948) against the Chicago Cubs (who hadn’t done so since 1908, when Mark Twain was enjoying his golden years and manned flight was in its infancy). For the Cubs, the specter of the so-called “Curse of the Billy Goat” loomed large right up until the moment Kris Bryant flipped the ball to Anthony Rizzo, to finally shut down Cleveland in the tenth inning of a wild Game 7—some are claiming it was among the most exciting of all baseball games, ever—and secure the North Side’s first title in more than a century.

While some may call this a “Hollywood ending” to a romanticized story of perennial “lovable losers” finally being rewarded, after generations of loyal fans were subjected to decades upon decades of pain and heartbreak for their efforts, I might suggest this whole “curse” business was simply a matter of poor customer experience yielding less-than-desirable business results.

Allow me to explain, in CX terms:

  • There is a customer journey: In 1945, a paying customer, Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis, brought his pet goat to Game 4 of the World Series, believing it to be a token of good luck.
  • There is a customer touchpoint: When other fans complained about the animal’s smell, Sianis was forced out of the ballpark.
  • The customer is unsatisfied with his experience, resulting in poor CSAT and low NPS®: Indignant, he declared, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more!”
  • The brand fell short of its CX objectives: The Cubs did not even reach, let alone win, another World Series for the next 71 years.

Had they been using customer journey optimization, which seeks to maximize customer retention and improve the customer experience across all touchpoints, the Cubs might’ve engendered more good will with Mr. Sianis, and thus Hall of Famers like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, and Andre Dawson might’ve had their opportunity to compete in the Fall Classic.

While it’s unlikely you’ll face a customer service request that involves accommodating a smelly pet goat, you’d surely agree it’s helpful to know how your customers are interacting with your brand—what works and what doesn’t, where pain points exist, what’s constricting CSAT and NPS®, what could be made more effective or efficient, and so on. If there’s a potential “billy goat” lurking in your customer journeys, you want to know about it.

Here’s how customer journey optimization helps you do just that:

  • Executive Dashboards ‒ Follow up on major cross-channel KPIs and trends, including those journeys that most impact customer experience.
  • Journey Visualization ‒ See the complete cross-channel customer journey, highlighting useful insights, trends, and various areas of focus.
  • Business Scenarios Analysis‒ Drill down into specific business scenarios to uncover customer behavior patterns and investigate the root cause.
  • Cross-Channel Contact Reasoning ‒ Determine customer intent at all touchpoints.
  • Quick Insights Analytics - Quickly define and compare customer populations using predictive power algorithm.
What you can measure, you can improve. Looks like this brand could use some IVR optimization.

With journey visualization, you can automatically visualize and map the most common customer journeys across multiple touchpoints, at both individual and aggregate levels, to highlight areas for improvement:

If there’s a “billy goat” lurking in your customer journeys, preventing your organization from achieving CX excellence, customer journey optimization will help you find it, and deal with it. For more than 100 years, faithful Cubs fans always stuck to their mantra of “Next year!” Well, “Next year!” just came this year. And if you have the tools necessary to comprehend what your fans experience, expect, and need, it could be “Next year!” for your organization every year.

Join Forrester and NICE on Thursday, November 17, for “The Dawn of Anticipatory CX.” In this webinar, you’ll learn how to manage customer expectations as early as possible and sustain positive emotional momentum throughout the customer’s journey.