An increasing number of companies are beginning to take a more customer centric approach to doing business. These companies have become aware of the fact that delivering a better customer experience than competitors can give them a strategic advantage.
One of the most valuable tools available for companies which are just starting out on their Customer Experience Management (CEM) initiatives, is the drafting of a detailed customer journey map. A well-researched customer journey map can provide a detailed outside-in view of the entire customer experience. It allows the company to see how interactions across every touch point appear to the eyes of the customer. This in turn, allows the company to make informed decisions upon where the customer experience needs to be improved or streamlined.
A customer journey map needs to focus on three things, and these are:
- Customer needs – What the customer is hoping to achieve during contact with the company.
- Customer interactions – Each of the touch points and process steps required to fulfill the customer’s needs.
- Customer opinion – A measure of the emotional state of the customer at each point of interaction. This includes during, before and after states.
This may sound like a fairly large amount of data to gather. However, it does provide a company with a unique viewpoint into the way in which customers perceive its service. Ideally, a customer journey map will be created based upon the actual experiences of a wide sample group of customers.
The value of developing a customer experience map should be quite evident. It is arguably the easiest way to gain insights in to the actual customer experience, when no other forms of feedback area available. Of course, there is no reason not to reiterate the exercise of building a customer journey map regularly. Even though a company may be a considerable distance towards its journey to CEM maturity, the mapping of the customer journey can often deliver insights that may have been overlooked.
By Mac Wheeler.