Customer Journey Orchestration: Features, Examples, & Predictions

Prominent providers of customer journey orchestration solutions introduce the latest industry innovation, case studies, and more

Customer Journey Orchestration: Features, Examples, & Predictions
Loyalty ManagementInsights

Published: February 21, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

Orchestration solutions connect customer data and place it within the context of the customer journey, paving the way for real-time, personalized experiences.

Yet, they now go much further. For instance, they monitor numerous CX metrics, allowing companies to track the impact of customer journey alterations.

In addition, the solutions filter relevant customer journey insights to the best-placed stakeholders and leverage predictive analytics to trigger the “next best experience” in real-time.

However, these solutions have grown new arms and legs since the leading vendors made high-profile acquisitions – including CSG’s takeover of Kitewheel and Medallia’s roll-up of Thunderhead.

As such, CX Today contacted five experts in the customer journey orchestration space and invited them to participate in a roundtable. These include:

  • Bob Hale, CEO of Alterian
  • Mark Smith, SVP of Customer Experience at CSG
  • Bill Staikos, SVP & Executive Advisor at Medallia
  • Michele Carlson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at NICE / Alexandria Doucet, Quality Analytics Manager at ONE
  • Brett Weigl, SVP and GM of Digital, AI, and Journey Orchestration at Genesys

Below, each participant responds to a set of questions, sharing their business’s most differentiative platform features, end-user success stories, and market predictions.

Customer Journey Orchestration: The New Features

To uncover the most cutting-edge capabilities entering the customer journey orchestration space, we asked our experts: which feature most differentiates your solution?

Here’s what they had to say.

AI-Driven Customer Journey Analytics

Hale: At the heart of Alterian’s Real-Time CX Platform is advanced customer journey analytics.

The analytics identifies friction points and drop-offs across channels. With this insight, businesses can craft strategies that address customer needs and preferences.

Powering this is a feature that culminates insights gathered from billions of customer interactions.

Yet, it’s not just about reacting to customer behaviors; it’s about predicting their next move and offering them the next-best experience tailored to their needs.

Such real-time personalization ensures that each customer’s journey is unique, enabling them to achieve their goals with ease and satisfaction.

Best Practice Journeys

Smith: CSG provides a library of best practice journeys to help clients get started, embedding AI in its solutions to allow clients to keep innovating.

It also helps clients collect and organize all their data to support the journeys, provides extensive analytics to guide what journeys to create, and delivers real-time communications triggered by journey rules.

Finally, CSG Xponent’s Journey Orchestration solution is agnostic to all the other systems, channels, and data. As such, no rip-and-replace is necessary, which is critical as formerly manageable tech stacks turn into tech mountains.

Data Consolidation

Staikos: Medallia connects and activates structured, unstructured, clickstream data, quant/qualitative, sentiment, voice of the customer (VoC), voice of the employee (VoE), and transactional data types. That transactional data helps understand customer intent and drive relevant, real-time automated omnichannel actions across all journey stages.

An excellent solution here is same-session re-decisioning, which ensures the continuity of knowledge in the moment and across channels by focusing on a customer’s fluid intent.

Yet, back to data consolidation, an organization may leverage the customer journey orchestration platform to analyze journeys and customer data through interactive dashboards. Moreover, they may use drillable journey visualization tools to identify key moments and interaction topics.

Medallia delivers these insights to the correct role within the business to have the greatest impact, providing the right action at the most opportune time.

Conversational Intelligence

Carlson: NICE’s purpose-built AI underpins its conversation-centric cloud platform and is the biggest differentiator in customer journey orchestration.

Its Enlighten AI records and analyzes every customer interaction, delivering rich, actionable insights that CX organizations can use to optimize customer journeys.

Indeed, Enlighten connects the dots for organizations without spending extra time on data analysis. It identifies automation opportunities, enables targeted employee coaching, and optimizes organizations’ knowledge management systems so employees instantly get the answers they need.

Doing so eliminates the friction in customer journeys, making every interaction seamless and effortless.

Real-Time Interaction Data

Weigl: The Genesys Cloud CX platform empowers companies with real-time access to interactions and data so they better orchestrate customer and employee journeys.

To do so, the platform leverages AI and journey data from every channel, source, or system, creating a more personalized interaction based on each customer’s objectives and preferences.

The platform also enables continuous business process optimization and offers an omnichannel suite and advanced journey analytics that go beyond basic journey mapping.

Finally, Genesys Cloud CX surfaces insights with path discovery, intelligent alerts, and root cause analysis to help facilitate real-time CX optimization, leading to increased efficiency, savings, revenue, and customer loyalty.

Customer Journey Orchestration: The Examples

To unearth how businesses successfully leverage customer journey orchestration platforms, we asked participants to share a successful story of a brand that implemented their solution.

Here’s what they had to say.

A US Utilities Company Cuts Costs, Increases CSAT

Hale: A US utilities company identified a business opportunity within their existing customer journey experience to improve the overall customer experience while cutting costs.

By utilizing the power of Alterian’s Real-Time CX platform, they:

  • “Dramatically” reduced call volumes
  • Empowered more customers to use the already available self-service tools
  • Increased customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores and customer lifetime value (CLV)

A US Grocery Giant Creates an “Air Traffic Control” System

Smith: A U.S. grocery giant to serve as an “air traffic control” system for their emails, as they struggled with email engagement.

Using CSG Xponent Customer Journey Management, the brand could identify which email(s) customers should receive, determine if they’d been overcommunicated with that day or week, and analyze the results of email sends to optimize more for the future.

From there, the grocery business could orchestrate, based on that data, to send the right message at the right time to the right person.

With CSG’s help, the grocer has created a more engaged and activated buyer base through email loyalty – with fewer, better-targeted emails.

Indeed, with CSG’s help and real-time decisioning (100 million decisions per day), the brand reduced email volumes by 40 percent and added $2-3 million in monthly revenue.

Bosch Siemens Home Appliance Pinpoints & Addresses Journey Pain Points

Staikos: Medallia partnered with Bosch Siemens Home Appliance (BSH) to identify where and why consumers abandon their journeys.

In doing so, BSH will track more than 100 different experiences and over 2,000 activities.

Informed by this intelligence, BSH detects the most common journey drop-off points, clusters consumers to understand the reason or root cause of those drop-offs, and calculates the probability of return for each customer.

Armed with this understanding of customer experiences, the company took a hard look at its website to better comprehend every customer’s engagement level and personalize it accordingly.

The company has also uncovered the activities that drive conversion and calculates a Customer Engagement Score that measures interest levels in real-time and guides the customer to conversion.

With Medallia, BSH could deliver more meaningful and friction-free experiences, resulting in a 22 percent increase in add-to-cart conversion and a 106 percent improvement in conversion rates.

Open Network Exchange Monitors Game-Changing Agent Bahviors

Doucet: Open Network Exchange (ONE) is a full-service solution provider in the travel industry, with more than 1,000 agents globally.

With NICE Enlighten AI for Customer Satisfaction, ONE mapped the customer journey and correlated agent behaviors with higher customer sentiment ratings. That provided a roadmap for improvement.

ONE started with four specific agent behaviors – demonstrating ownership, active listening, building rapport, and effective questioning – to better understand how those behaviors are tied to customer frustration, sentiment, and silent time during interactions.

The business then leveraged NICE’s Interaction Analytics’ AutoDiscovery feature, which automatically categorizes and identifies topics while visualizing volume, sentiment, handling time, and other trends.

By doing this, ONE uncovered issues that were not on their radar, leading to improved insight into call drivers, more targeted employee coaching, and stronger data analysis.

The Canadian Red Cross (CRC) Visualizes and Optimizes the Donor Journey

Weigl: The Canadian Red Cross (CRC) provides humanitarian services that rely heavily upon public donations. To gain better visibility into the donor journey and maximize its collection efforts, CRC turned to Pointillist by Genesys.

By visualizing the donor journey from end to end, the CRC improved its organic donation efforts, increased analyst throughput by 95%, and optimized donor reactivation activities.

The CRC has numerous independent channels where donation revenue flows, including its website, email, SMS, contact center, and more. With these touchpoints working independently, the organization lacked visibility into the donor journey and couldn’t identify where or why donor fallout was happening.

As such, the CRC leveraged journey analytics capabilities to identify and reengage with donors who abandoned their carts during the donation process.

By combining prospect and repeat donor engagement data into a single platform, CRC understood which journeys led to successful revenue conversion while also understanding failed efforts.

Customer Journey Orchestration: The Predictions

To gauge the direction of innovation in the space, we asked our experts: how will customer journey orchestration solutions evolve in the next five years?

Here’s what they had to say.

Orchestration Will Pull Service and Marketing Closer

Hale: The industry is poised for closer integration with contact centers and marketing domains as key players aim for a more detailed and journey-centric view of the customer.

Bob Hale
Bob Hale

This evolution will be driven by AI and machine learning (ML), focusing on leveraging data to enhance customer interaction and experience.

Investment is being channeled into AI – including general AI – and ML to simplify the user experience and harness new possibilities within customer journey analytics.

The goal is to innovate and enhance the functionality of software solutions, making them more intuitive and effective in handling customer data.

IT Teams Change Their Tact

Smith: The IT department will take over parts of the MarTech stack as businesses tap IT professionals to help eliminate silos in the tech stack.

Historically, IT has passively fixed issues, but they will soon take a more active role in marketing leadership to unify, organize, and analyze customer data.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith

That doesn’t mean IT will fully take over the marketing or CX departments. Yet, it does mean the CX industry is entering a new era where a highly technical skillset has greater value in marketing, and newfound cooperation between departments results from powerful data analytics.

This will happen for a few reasons: marketing teams realize they are not using their tech stack to its fullest potential, data is increasingly fragmented, and siloed data causes friction, repetition, and clunkiness in the customer journey.

Hyper-Personalization Comes At-Scale

Staikos: Predictive/adaptive AI decisioning and generative AI will combine to deliver hyper-personalized experiences at scale.

Yet that’s not all. Consider the following predictions:

Bill Staikos
Bill Staikos
  • Feedback-Driven Transformation: The importance of feedback mechanisms in shaping the customer experience is gaining prominence. Organizations are continually incorporating feedback as part of their ‘muscle memory’ to refine and assess the effectiveness of their personalization programs.
  • Importance of Unstructured Text in Journeys: Contextual understanding and real-time adaptation of customer interactions, especially in speech, chat, and unstructured text (Text Analytics), are pivotal for customer journey orchestration today. Adding topics and themes generated from unstructured text feed analytics models provides another layer of feature discovery to drive autonomous orchestration.
  • Convergence of AI and Personalization: Integrating AI technologies with advanced personalization capabilities is a significant trend. This synergy enables solutions to automate processes, facilitate adaptive orchestration, and provide valuable insights, ultimately enhancing brand productivity and customer engagement.

Proactive Customer Outreach Gains Ground

Michele Carlson
Michele Carlson

Carlson: As more organizations use purpose-built CX AI and an interaction-centric platform to effectively manage customer journeys, they will begin to look at what else they can do to offer a better overall experience for customers.

For instance, they will likely start investing more in proactive AI-powered CX. After all, better managing customer journeys allows organizations to consider proactive outreach.

An efficient organization will know when a renewal is coming up for a customer and reach out before a customer queries.

That opens the door for massive upsell opportunities and allows an organization to show they truly care about every individual customer through this more personalized outreach.

Advanced AI Unlocks Deeper Insights

Weigl: The next five years will witness a transformative evolution in Customer Journey Orchestration Solutions driven by advanced AI integration. For instance:

Brett Weigl
Brett Weigl
  • Predictive AI will unlock deeper insights into customer behavior
  • Conversational AI will enable more natural language interactions, enriching customer engagement experiences
  • Generative AI will automate various content tasks, including extraction and summarization, enhancing operational efficiency
  • Large Language Models will empower sophisticated language processing across diverse channels, including image recognition

Yet, despite the proliferation of channels, businesses will streamline management tools and services, improving productivity and facilitating a more comprehensive understanding of customer journeys. This consolidation will ensure timely and relevant interactions across a multitude of customer experience channels.

Miss our previous roundtable? If so, check it out here: Contact Center Generative AI: Use Cases, Risks, & Predictions


Digital TransformationOmni-channelUser Experience

Brands mentioned in this article.


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