Map a Path to Better Customer Experiences

 

Businesses think they’re doing everything right. They’re connecting with customers on nine or ten different channels, most of which are digital. They’re answering customer questions on social media and sending surveys over text messaging. In their eyes, they’ve got every individual communication channel under control.

But in reality, they don’t see their communication channels the way their customers do. That’s because customers don’t think about a business in different departments or channels. They see a business’ presence across channels as one singular entity, where they’ll get consistent information and responses no matter who they contact or how they contact them.

And customer expectations are high—almost 90 percent of customers think businesses need to do more to provide a seamless experience, and 75 percent expect a consistent experience wherever they engage with businesses.

With an average of 190 CRM categories, 10 communication channels, and five departments interacting with customers, inconsistent communications are inevitable. But it can be avoided if businesses put themselves in their customers’ shoes, and start mapping out their customer journeys.

 

Taking a Journey

 McKinsey defines customer journey mapping as “paying attention to the complete, end-to-end experience customers have with a company from their perspective.” While businesses have mastered individual interactions that center around a specific scenario, like billing or customer service, there’s still room to go in providing an end-to-end experience.

For instance, McKinsey documented a communication company’s onboarding journey, which spanned three months and an average of nine phone calls, a technician home visit and numerous web interactions. At each of these touchpoints, customers had an average satisfaction rating of 90 percent.

But the journey as a whole? Just 40 percent.

If each touchpoint isn’t connected to the next one, and customer data isn’t maintained across channels and interactions, it results in a haphazard journey. With journey mapping, companies can make sure they deliver consistent communication experiences. They can drill down into different stages of the customer lifecycle (i.e. new sign up, get help) and figure out which sequence of interactions moves customers from one stage to the next—and also delights the customer.

 

The Next Steps

To build accurate journey maps, companies must predict the steps a customer may take on that journey.

They must determine which care/sales channels are used, what their customer personas are, and what products and services are offered to those customers. Stakeholders across the business will need to collaborate to gather this information. This can (and should) be covered in meetings and an audit of existing systems and experiences.

Once this information has been gathered, the next step is to map out common customer scenarios for each, such as Buy, Get Help or Pay. While each journey overall may be the same, the channels of delivery and personalized messaging for each customer may be different.

Journeys must be designed to deliver the same messages on different channels, to provide a personalized but standardized experience to each customer. Using pre-mapped journeys based on industry best practices can eliminate the guesswork, incorporate multiple channels, and reduce the time it takes to map an experience from start to finish.

Businesses are already halfway there by offering the channels that customers want to use. The next step is to orchestrate those channels so they’re part of a consistent customer journey.

Want to learn more about designing great customer journeys? Download the journey mapping ebook to learn how.