By Simon Black, CEO, Awaken Intelligence
Having the right people, the right tools and adding in the right approach is all part of the mix in creating the right level of service for your customers. But how do you know what they really want at different stages of their journey with your brand and how do you create a frictionless customer experience (CX)?
The answer can be found in customer and user experience mapping. It can help you shape the way you handle every aspect of the customer journey. From voice calls and emails through to social media channels, SMS and App usage as well as webchats. However, if you really want to excel in the service you provide you need to firstly understand and then refine every element of your customer omnichannel experience. It might seem daunting but by peeling back the layers and working through the data you collate during your customer engagements you will find real actionable data points that educate you and your team on how to map out a smoother customer journey.
Before you start working on your customer experience mapping there’s one thing to clarify. As Jim Kalbach highlighted in his book Mapping Experiences, there is a difference between customer journey maps and customer experience maps:
- A customer journey map typically views the individual as a customer of the organisation. And, there is often a decision involved: to purchase a product or service
- A customer experience map looks at a broader context of human behaviour and shows how the organisation or brand fits into a person’s life.
How to create a customer experience map fit for your clients
Your customers experience doesn’t necessarily follow a linear path with your brand. And one size doesn’t fit all. These simple steps will help you to break down what can feel like an overwhelming task:
- Identify every type of customer your brand or organisation has
- Work out at what point in their lives do they have a need to engage with your business
- Then carefully work out every possible interaction these different types of customers, or personas, will have with you during the product or service lifetime.
Let data guide the mapping process
This process will help you to outline the specific routes that each customer takes when buying from your business or brand. And remember, a customer may reach you through various parts of the omnichannel. Just because they initially reach you through the webchat doesn’t mean they’ll continue to communicate that way and it’s likely they’ll switch to voice or email as their journey starts to progress. Every aspect needs to work well and provide a consistent experience.
From that foundation of information, you then need to dig through your data and let it enlighten you on your customers’ experiences. Be prepared to make some uncomfortable discoveries and remember the data doesn’t lie so you should be able to identify some customer pain points that you can quickly resolve along the way.
What’s the goal?
Don’t just embark on the customer experience mapping work because you think it would be a good thing to do. Have a goal so that you can maintain focus throughout the project and be able to deliver on a particular outcome. For example, if your goal is to reduce support times for a certain product by a set number of minutes so that you can handle more customer enquiries (by a certain percentage) make sure that remains your focus. Or, it could be that your goal is to upsell a supporting service or accessory product to work with the original purchase. By mapping that customer experience you’ll be able to identify key touchpoints in the journey for these different engagements.
Customer experience mapping leads to enlightening discoveries
There will be some findings that you’ll be expecting to discover in the process but by carefully picking through the data it’s likely you’ll reveal some insights into what drives greater brand loyalty and, equally, what turns customers off. Your customer experience mapping should help you to identify:
- new or refine ways to increase customer satisfaction
- touchpoints or paths that are creating friction rather than aiding the experience
- to understand what parts of the service or product drives loyalty
- to discover where you can improve retention and possibly where new product, or service opportunities lie.
Key elements for customer experience mapping
Once you’ve identified your goal(s) and your different customer personas there are some key steps to follow as part of the mapping process that you can also overlay with your data:
- List every single customer touchpoint.This may range from physical stores to advertising and email marketing through to your website and social media channels. Leave no part of this engagement unturned
- Identify the customer need.Just as you’ve ascertained your goals your customer will have them too. Make sure you map their needs against the personas as they may have more than one
- Different phases of interaction.Your customers will engage with you at different points long their journey. Not only do you need to identify what these points will be and the drivers behind them you should also work out the likely route of these touchpoints. Will it be a call or an email enquiry and do you have the appropriate scripts on hand to help your agents deliver the right level of service?
Where does the data come from?
If you’re reading this and worrying about where to draw all this useful data from then you may also need to take a step back and assess what systems, you have in place to manage your customer experience. It may be time to embrace digital transformation and explore how conversational analytics (CA) can help you to evolve your contact centre. It’s not only difficult to navigate across multiple legacy systems to draw on this data, it’s unproductive for your agents and, ultimately, incredibly costly for your business. Don’t be surprised if part of the customer experience mapping process may throw your need to migrate your systems and processes to something more suitable for the 21st Century too!