Customer Journey: from practice to theory

Harald Pol, Patricia Harris, Gerrita van der Veen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The focus of this chapter is the customer journey, a concept which has emerged from business practice and which now commands the attention of practitioners and academics alike. The customer journey is defined as the sum total of all customer interactions with a product, brand or organization across multiple channels and touchpoints. The customer journey is still primarily a concept from business practice and is an immature field for academics. As a result, we draw upon existing literature streams which are not directly focused on the customer
journey, but which deliver key insights and enable us to build understanding. Specifically, we draw upon multichannel management and services management research and demonstrate how these knowledge streams help to build understanding of the dynamics of the customer as they move along their journey. We present a detailed examination of one specific form of customer journey, the shopper journey, and assess the drivers of shopping channel choice and journey
configuration. The evolution of the shopper journey from single channel, through multichannel, to omnichannel is discussed. The chapter then moves on to discuss the service journey, broadening the journey perspective from the act of shopping to the holistic experience of service consumption. The key role of the customer in co-creating value along the service journey is identified, and we note the importance of personalization and of understanding customers’ relational needs to service journey optimization. Next, we examine the role that customer
journey mapping can play in helping organizations to understand and improve their customers’ current journey configurations, and in informing future service journey design. The challenges inherent in measuring the customer experience along the journey are discussed, and alternative customer journey metrics are evaluated. The chapter concludes with our reflections on the current state of knowledge and we identify future directions for customer journey research and
also future challenges for business practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Strategic Marketing
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter5
Pages1
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781351038669
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • customer journey
  • customer experience
  • buyer journey
  • healthcare

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