Customer journey mapping transforms marketing at Verizon

Caption: 
Anthony Recine, SVP and CMO, Verizon Enterprise Solutions

Marketing at Verizon Enterprise Solutions is undergoing a major shift. The technology solution provider is looking to help its customers to create, connect, delight, manage and protect better. To achieve this, it knew it needed to shift from an operational mindset to a customer-centric one.

“In the past, we launched operational improvements that were functional nature. It may have made us more efficient, but it was difficult to understand what the real benefit was for the customer,” Anthony Recine, SVP and CMO, Verizon Enterprise Solutions said.

Recine implemented a strong CX framework around customer journey mapping and integrated an extensive tracking mechanism at each part of this journey. He also worked closely with the transformation team to build it.

“Where we see the value is improving in-between the seams of the operational phases. So, we look at how we can improve the customer journey from end to end,” Michael Zirkle, executive director, Transformation at Verizon.

Integrating feedback into journeys

From the onset, Recine had to address complexity. He knew that he had to work with several customer personas, not just one, to gain a complete view of the customer journey.

“We can’t just ask for the sentiment of the IT manager. It really has to be everybody if you are going to deliver exceptional experience across the entire customer journey,” he said.

Recine also needed a granular view of services that were doing well—and those were not. The former framework did not cater for this level of granularity or transparency.

“We have a broad service catalogue and so we did not get the level of details needed to make [the insights] actionable,” he said.

Instead, Verizon Enterprise Solution rolled out the Voice of the Customer 2.0 framework that went beyond Net Promoter Score (NPS) metrics, and integrated it with the CX framework. The framework added “listening posts” to gain feedback and data from every customer engagement and touchpoint.

“For example, we now do surveys during our business review meetings, which we do around 600 every quarter. We have also initiated a closed loop process so that once the customer finished a survey, we would get back to the customer,” Recine said.

Mindset challenges

A big hurdle to these changes in strategy and approach was mindset. To address it, the staff underwent extensive agile development, customer experience, journey mapping and design thinking training.

In fact, both Recine and Zirkle saw the need for journey mapping and design thinking to be an integrated process.

“It is more important for the newer products we launch. For example, the customer portal was built using [design thinking]—not in the feature functionality but in the usability and ergonomics,” Recine said.

“The way we have merged agile and design thinking together in a single flow has helped us the most,” Zirkle added.

The extensive training worked. Recine noted that it helped Verizon Enterprise Solutions to shift its culture from one about “checking the box” to really understanding what the customer needed.

In addition, it helped the staff to become more resourceful and problem solvers. “The other key mindset change is [realizing that] nobody is going to come over the top and save you,” said Recine. 

Equally important is buy-in by all stakeholders before marketing initiatives or campaigns are launched.

“For example, marketing does not do campaigns unless the sales leaders have bought into it,” he said.

Be flexible to changes

So how does Verizon Enterprise Solutions future proof their customer journey mapping. For Recine, being open to new ideas and using social listening tools helped.

He also advised CMOs to be flexible and ready to kill initiatives if they are no longer delivering results.

For example, Recine reduced his focus on paid search, put more effort into search engine optimization (SEO), and is currently relooking at events as he saw them as more designed “for brand impressions and not customer engagements.”

 “You have to be open to killing [initiatives] when they are not working, let metrics help you decide and be flexible to start new tactics,” Recine concluded.

Further reading:

Marketers take note: when data is smarter than it looks

Why the old ad model is dead

Travel CMOs get personal with data analytics

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