Multichannel customer journeys 'a struggle'

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 21, 2015

Companies are struggling to join up the customer journey because of the growing number of touchpoints across the digital and physical worlds, according to research by Econsultancy and ResponseTap.

The report reveals that the complexity and number of touchpoints is perceived to be the most significant obstacle to a better understanding of the customer journey, with over a third (35%) citing it as a top barrier.

The research also found that only a minority of organisations are using a variety of methods for joining up online and offline customer journeys, including loyalty schemes and point-of-sale data collection.

Less than half of companies with call centres are using telephone call tracking as a way of connecting online and offline, revealing missed opportunities for improving the customer experience and increased sales.

The study, based on a global survey of almost 2,000 marketers and ecommerce professionals, highlights the importance of data as a critical aspect of the customer journey jigsaw, with survey respondents rating this as a higher priority than people, culture, processes and organisational structure.

The study, entitled 'Understanding the Customer Journey: More Than Just Online', found that 12% of companies rated themselves at 'advanced' at understanding the customer journey, compared to 51% who said they were 'intermediate' and 32% who classed themselves as 'beginner'. Worryingly, 6% described their understanding as 'non-existent'.

The study also found that there has been little improvement in the integration of channels within organisations since a Multichannel Customer Experience survey carried out by Econsultancy four years ago. As was the case in 2011, 38% of responding companies say that the 'customer journey is understood but with little management across touchpoints'.

"After seeing the results, we have to understand why marketers stagnated for four years: were they biased by digital strategies, or are there other reasons? Is digital stealing the show, in detriment of the traditional other channels? If so, with 66% of the companies identifying the call centres as the most relevant offline channel for their business, it is becoming essential to make the link between all the businesses' activities: it's now, or never." explained Bhavesh Vaghela, Chief Marketing Officer at ResponseTap.

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, concluded: "The huge response we had to this research highlights what an important topic this for businesses who are struggling to come to terms with the complexity of customer interactions. This is increasingly essential in a multichannel age but many organisations are failing to take a joined-up approach which can help them bridge what is all too often a digital and offline chasm."

Other key findings included:

  • 23% of US companies rate themselves as 'advanced' when it comes to understanding the customer journey, compared to only 9% in the UK and 10% in Asia.
  • The majority (86%) of companies said that profitability and increased revenue were a 'major benefit' of understanding the customer journey. A similar proportion (83%) said that identifying pain points and reducing customer struggle were a significant benefit, while 80% cited improved marketing effectiveness as the upside.
  • Almost half of responding companies (47%) say that the digital part of the business is driving customer journey initiatives, twice the proportion of companies saying that 'traditional marketing or other offline parts of the business' (23%) drive this.
  • The research found that the call centres was the most frequently cited offline channel for businesses (by 66% of responding companies). However, only 28% of companies are using telephone call tracking to map website visitors and customers who are engaging both online and offline.

For additional information:
·  Visit Econsultancy at
·  Visit ResponseTap at

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