Value Creation in an Omnichannel World: Understanding the Customer Journey

Through the proliferation of channels both online and offline, customers today have more options to interact with firms and to individualize their customer journeys. This paper investigates customers’ interaction choices to better understand customer decision making in a multi-option environment. Using the soft laddering technique in 40 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with customers of motor insurance products, the authors find that customer journeys are inherently complex and individualistic.  Results show that customers choose channels and means of interaction according to their orientations and goals as well as in dependence of situational factors and patterns across all phases of their respective journeys. Due to the relevance and stability of customer orientations and goals, the authors propose to use these dimensions to segment customers. In aggregate, a conceptual model for customers’ interaction choices is derived based on which implications for practitioners’ customer insight processes and future research directions are suggested. Through the proliferation of channels both online and offline, customers today have more options to interact with firms and to individualize their customer journeys. This paper investigates customers’ interaction choices to better understand customer decision making in a multi-option environment. Using the soft laddering technique in 40 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with customers of motor insurance products, the authors find that customer journeys are inherently complex and individualistic. Results show that customers choose channels and means of interaction according to their orientations and goals as well as in dependence of situational factors and patterns across all phases of their respective journeys. Due to the relevance and stability of customer orientations and goals, the authors propose to use these dimensions to segment customers. In aggregate, a conceptual model for customers’ interaction choices is derived based on which implications for practitioners’ customer insight processes and future research directions are suggested.

Publication: 
Conference Paper from University of St. Gallen
Author: 
BARWITZ, Niklas; MAAS, Peter
Document Type: 
Research
Paywall: 
Free

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