Total CX: Mastering the Complexity of the Customer Journey(s)

A good Customer Experience strategy should reflect the holistic journey of all existing and potential customers, resulting in a Total Omnichannel CX. Learn more about the development and implementation of complex Customer Journeys

“Customer Experience Manager” or “Chief Customer Experience Officer”—more and more often these job roles appear in job advertisements. Business journals report about wellknown brands setting up CX departments and announcing that they want to focus on increasing the recommendation rate or customer satisfaction. Customer Centricity has become increasingly prominent in the consciousness of companies in recent years. However, there is often a lack of an effective strategy for responding adequately to dynamic technological developments and the resulting change of customer expectations.

After all, consumer habits have long since ceased to be influenced primarily by the product or service. The subjective perception of the customer, their emotions at every contact with the brand are decisive for the conversion. The task of CX management is to positively influence this perception across all channels and touchpoints. For many traditional business models, this means disruption. The pressure is mounting: To remain competitive, these companies must swiftly develop a solid CX strategy.



This is important and correct for two reasons. First, consistently focusing on the customer and optimizing CX has been proven to increase business success and to have a lasting positive impact on the entire company. Second, the complexity of customer—company interactions has increased dramatically, which also leads to more diverse Customer Journeys. Existing patterns of experience design have to be adapted to this—in other words, redesigned.

Mastering the complexity of the Customer Journey

Designing a holistic CX strategy is a major challenge. More and more touchpoints and channels–both physical and digital–need to be considered when designing a holistic CX. The idea of so-called Total CX (TCX) takes an omnichannel approach. In doing so, companies must understand the emotional dynamics that touchpoints trigger. They need to understand how customers feel, think, and ultimately act at every touchpoint of the Customer Journey.


To understand this, CX performance must be measured and monitored, which in turn requires companies to have high CX performance and maturity.


The complexity of analyzing and developing CX along the Customer Journey becomes clear when you consider the following: Every single touchpoint can be classified as an interaction point—from face-to-face contact and any physical or digital perception of the product, service, or communication with the company to spatial perception in stationary stores, for example.





Each touchpoint can be perceived differently depending on individual customer types or the respective phase of the Customer Journey and can trigger different (re)actions.


In a holistic end-to-end Customer Journey, the transitions between different channels and the phases, such as pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase, happen with a low level of friction.


Companies must act at every touchpoint of the Customer Journey.






It is challenging to implement a successful CX strategy under these conditions, but it is possible if companies commit to understanding the needs of their customers and if they know in which direction they want to further develop the CX.


The following questions highlight how organizations should think about their core CX approach when designing their future CX strategy:


  • What are the customers’ needs and are they meet by the current experience? Where is the biggest gap and how can the organization solve this problem?
  • What is working well in the current Customer Journey and what is not? Where are the friction points and how can they be resolved?
  • What is the organization currently measuring along the Customer Journey? What data does the company currently not have?
  • Where do customers drop out along the Customer Journey?
  • How effective is the current CX approach?


CX differentiators and approaches of organizations

As part of our analysis and in several successfully completed projects, BCG Platinion has developed a framework based on seven core differentiators from which organizations usually define the leading elements of their CX strategy.


Each differentiator represents a core CX strategy identified through an iterative process of analyzing the current CX engagement of companies in a wide range of industries.

No company belongs to just one cluster. Overlaps, even multiple ones, are normal. Nevertheless, there is always a strong tendency toward one of these cores. The other differentiators are also important, but they are not at the center of the respective CX DNA.

Developing a successful strategy step by step

For the development of a CX strategy, these core differentiators form a solid foundation, and they provide inspiration.


Nevertheless, solving the above challenges is not trivial. It requires a deep understanding of customers and their current needs.


A TCX strategy should therefore be implemented step by step—starting with the understanding of the current CX landscape, followed by the redesign and ultimately the application of the optimized CX strategy.

Discover the rest of our series on Customer Experience:

  • Digital & Tech | Article

    The Next Frontier of Customer Experience

    Companies can gain an edge by developing an overarching CX strategy and management

    Learn More
  • Digital & Tech | Article

    All or Nothing: Designing Holistic Customer Experiences

    The first article of our series dives deep into why using frameworks helps in building a new CX strategy and reducing the complexity of the process

    Learn More
  • Digital & Tech | Article

    Stand out from the Crowd: Defining the Core CX Differentiators

    The second article in our CX series shares how to define the CX differentiators based on strengths and objectives

    Learn More

    About the Authors

    Dr. Iana Kouris

    Managing Director
    Frankfurt, Germany

    Iana is a Managing Director at BCG Platinion in Frankfurt, heading Design & Engineering Team in Berlin. Iana leads projects across industries focused on Customer Experience Strategy, Customer Journey Redesign, Design Thinking enablement and Digital, Agile and Human-Centered Transformations. Iana joined BCG Platinion from Nokia & Nokia Bell Labs, where she was leading Transformation by Design and before that was driving Business Operations & Executive Customer Engagement. Prior to that, Iana spent 7 years in management consulting at McKinsey & Company Inc. Connecting different disciplines was always Iana’s passion, which is reflected in her multidisciplinary studies, including a Dr. degree in Business Administration from RWTH Aachen University, Dipl. in Mathematics, BA in Philosophy & Economics, and further qualifications in Design, Fine Arts and Music.

    Dr. Martin Böckle

    Lead Strategic Designer
    London, United Kingdom

    Martin has a strong focus on designing human-centered digital experiences within the practice areas of BCG Platinion solving strategic design challenges through the application of qualitative and quantitative research. He is a strong advocate for behavioral design concepts like gamification and contributes to the emerging research stream of human-centered artificial intelligence (HCAI). Furthermore, he focuses on other topics such as design due diligence (DDD), design leadership and design strategy for Metaverse applications.

    Robert Thorpe

    Senior Strategic Designer
    Berlin, Germany

    Robert is a Senior Strategic Designer in the Berlin office of BCG Platinion. His core proficiencies include large scale qualitative and quantitative research practices, customer experience journey mapping, technological design flow management, as well as UX/UI best practices and benchmarking.