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March 25, 2016

Every successful enterprise must invest in people, strategies and technologies that engender deep, loyal customer relationships. Organizations large and small thrive on this kind of customer loyaltyloyalty that creates repeat business, a willingness to pay more and a bond that thrives even during challenging times.

So how do you build these kinds of unbreakable customer relationships? You need to become a Customer Journey Driven organization.

Becoming customer-journey-driven means you constantly strive to understand your customers better and in a broader context so you can deliver unique, relevant experiences across their end-to-end journeys. And, you need to deliver those differentiated experiences time and time again.

The way many organizations today view the customer journey is too myopic. They often take an inside out view of the customer and analyze customer touchpoints, which are often siloed, disconnected interactions. This approach fails to consider the broader customer journey that happens across departments, industries, ecosystems, and value chains.

Successful customer journey driven enterprises embrace a more expansive definition of the customer experience that engages customers with real-time, contextual interactions across the end-to-end customers journey. The customer journey driven approach fosters a continuous two-way dialog, rather than a one-way monolog, that results in deeper engagement and longer-lasting customer relationships. It calls for organizations to expand their view of their customers connected experience to encompass parts of the journey that may currently be outside their domain or core competency. This could mean partnering with companies and organizations in adjacent industries whose services and products are part of the larger, end-to-end customers journey.

We are on the cusp of great change, and the call to action is loud and clear: those organizations, and even industries, that do not understand become customer journey driven will be risk commoditization, or worse, obsolescence. Successful companies are those that recognize the importance of the overall ecosystem of providers that influence and impact customers choices every day. They are the organizations that shed legacy thinking and define their business strategy and models to support the end to end customer journey. They develop innovative products and experiences by collaborating with other players, no matter the industry, in a new ecosystem to deliver more value based on a deeper understanding of their customers journeys.

Kathleen Holm is Marketing Director of the TCS Digital Software & Solutions (DS&S) Group. She has more than 25 years of experience marketing technology software and services to enterprises worldwide. She leverages her extensive background in enterprise software technology to help organizations develop effective marketing strategies, create targeted messaging and positioning, and implement effective go-to-market plans to improve corporate performance. Prior to joining TCS, Kathleen was a Senior Principal of technical product marketing for Oracle Fusion Middleware where she was responsible for defining the marketing strategy based on industry maturity and customer trends. She also held positions at IBM including Market Manager for WebSphere Developer Programs, Market Manager for Tivoli Integrated Service Management and Tivoli Brand Specialist. Prior to joining IBM, Kathleen worked with four high-tech startups.


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