Customer Journey Maps
Before you can set about improving your customers’ experience of your company/brand, you need to understand how they interact with you throughout their entire ‘journey’ with you. This spans from before they recognise a need for what you do all the way through to when they finally no longer require your product/service and leave you.
Journey mapping is about experiencing your company through the eyes of the customer. Its about focussing on each point of contact they have with you from their perspective. These touchpoints could be anything from advertising to a facebook page to a contact centre IVR to online forms to field staff to cancellation processes. Journey maps are about walking a mile in your customers’ shoes.
Below is a list of 8 high level points you need to keep in mind when plotting your customer journey maps.
- Know what you stand for. What is your brand promise that you are trying to infuse in your customers at every interaction? Ensure that at each and every touchpoint you are reinforcing your brand and delivering on the brand promise.
- Have a plan. What is the ideal journey you’d like a customer to take? Work with key internal stakeholders to define the perfect experience for your customers. This will give you a broader perspective and ensures their buy-in to the final plan.
- Segment your customer population into personas. Each persona needs to be a realistic representation of a customer segment. Each will have different attitudes, needs, motivations, behaviours, and expectations and its quite likely that each persona will take a different journey with your company as well.
- Plot the journey. For each persona, plot the journey they take from initial awareness, through information gathering, decision to purchase, fulfilment and post sales support. For high involvement purchase decisions for products such as computers, bank accounts and cars there will be many steps in the process.
- Understand the deltas. At each touchpoint, what are the customer’s expectations versus what you are delivering? To understand the customer’s expectations you need to understand their emotions, influences and the choices they have available to them. Customer feedback is critical. Collect, collate and analyse it. The deltas between expectation and reality are your opportunities for improvement.
- Causal factors. At each touchpoint, determine the factors that are causing the deltas between expectation and experience. Is it the people you have working for you? The processes that support them? The systems you have in place? Or maybe it’s the tools your people are using? On the other side of the coin, maybe your customer’s expectations are just too high. What’s causing this? What do you need to do to manage it?
- Moments of Truth. Keep in mind that not every touchpoint is as important as every other. Some touchpoints are more critical than others in terms of their relevancy to your success and these are called Moments of Truth. Prioritise the elimination of the deltas at these points.
- Socialise. Communicate your customer journey maps internally. Ensure all key internal stakeholders understand the part they play in the delivery of experiences and the power they have to improve them. Rally them around the plan and continually communicate the steps you’re taking to improve customer experience. People need to know that action is being taken as a result of their buy-in.