Customer Experience Management (CEM) continues to be one of the hottest discussion points for companies that have recognised the value that can be extracted from becoming a more customer centric organization, enterprise wide.
However, for many businesses, in what we call stage 1 of CEM maturity, there is often a deficit between intentions, and understanding. Whilst key decision makers may have committed to CEM as a long term strategy, there is little knowledge of the current state of the customer experience. This kind of shortfall in understanding of the customer ecosystem can be almost entirely alleviated by building a customer journey map.
By customer ecosystem, we mean all of the touch points, interactions and events that make up the landscape that the customer journey takes place within. By customer journey, we mean the step by step processes that lead from an initial interaction, to a final resolution.
By mapping the customer journey, and the effects the customer ecosystem has upon this journey, we are able to build a full picture of the customer experience, and learn its current state. In effect, we can define a starting point for any CEM initiative.
A customer journey map is a physical diagram that demonstrates the process that customers step through, whilst interacting with the business. This can be everything from a retail transaction in a high street store, to a complicated problem/resolution scenario involving multiple departments. In the latter case, the customer journey map would likely be extremely complex, and this will highlight little noticed shortcomings in the customer experience, as these touch points have probably never been examined before at any level.
A customer journey map will describe the underlying customer ecosystem by addressing four key issues at each touch point, and these are:
- Actions – What is the customer actually doing at this touch point? What actions are the taking to move them on from this touch point?
- Motivation – Why is the customer actioning this touch point? Why do they want/need to move on to the next touch point? What is their state of mind and opinion at this stage?
- Questions – What does the customer need answered to move on to the next touch point? Does something need explaining? Do they need confirmation of their actions?
- Barriers – What is blocking the customer from moving on to the next touch point? Have all questions been answered? Is the customer still motivated?
By building this kind of detailed customer journey map for the full range of interactions that customers have with the business, we are able to build a picture of the customer ecosystem, and how the customer acts, reacts and behaves within this landscape. More importantly, we can begin to highlight ways in which this landscape could be changed to improve the customer experience.
By Mac Wheeler.