In order to serve people better, it might be a good experience to go through what they experience....
A customer experience is the sum of all the individual experiences a customer has with an organisation, over the duration of their relationship with that organisation.
The best way to understand a customer experience is through a customer journey (experience) map. The map is created purely from the customer’s perspective. It starts from the moment the customer identifies a need and ends when that need is resolved.
Words on their own often lack the desired level of precision or can be unclear in terms of context.
By mapping the process we can:
• Represent the overall process in the form of its detailed attributes (components) • Break down the process into logical sequential steps • Enhance a manager’s or an organisation’s understanding of services offered • Easily identify the Customer Value Moments or “touch points” • Provide a visual aid to enhance team involvement • Facilitate easy identification of improvement opportunities
Customer Journey Map
A customer journey map is a very simple idea: a diagram that illustrates the steps our customer(s) go through in engaging with our company, whether it is a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination.
The more touch points we have, the more complicated — but necessary — such a map becomes. Sometimes customer journey maps are “cradle to grave,” looking at the entire arc of engagement.
Essence of a Journey Map
How can we our improve our customer’s experience if you don’t know what the journey is?
A customer journey map is a way to describe all the experiences our customer has with our organisation and the emotional responses provoked – from their first impression of our buildings, to speaking to staff or receiving a service.
Customer journey mapping is a particularly useful tool to help identify the customer’s interaction with our organisation, their thought processes and reactions to us, which can reveal opportunities for improvement and innovation in the customer’s experience.
Customer journey mapping can help us identify how the customer is treated during each contact and how the customer feels towards our organisation at the end of the experience. This information can then be used to aid your management decision-making.
It a key tool to help understand how the public experiences the delivery of services, especially in terms of identifying ‘moments of truth’. These are the critical points when activities or initiatives are most likely to succeed or fail.
In summary, customer journey mapping is a strategic tool to ensure every interaction a customer has with our organisation is as positive as it can be.
What are the benefits?
No matter how beautiful our buildings are or how good our frontline staff are, if our processes are slow or systems don’t work properly, then our organisation’s relationship with your customers or the general public can suffer.
Customer journey mapping is all about ironing out these inconsistencies. It enables us to consistently and predictably manage customer behaviour.
Why is customer journey mapping useful?
• Spotting growth opportunities from a customer perspective. • Realising an optimal customer experience. • Taking the customer’s experience and context into account. • The end-to-end redesign of customer processes. • It enables the organization and its employees to view things from a customer perspective • It provides people with support and direction in measuring and optimising the end-to-end customer experience and to implement organizational changes
How to approach customer journey mapping
There are five main steps:
1. Scope – Define objectives and why we want to undertake journey mapping.
1. Do we want to improve customer experience? 2. How will the outputs be applied and by whom? 3. Is this for all customers or a specific segment of our audience? 4. What is the start and end point of the experience we will focus on? 5. Are we mapping interactions or transactions? 6. Are we focusing on the physical or the emotional factors driving people’s behaviour?
Having set out the scope and objectives of the mapping exercise. It can help us plan the best ‘experience’ and where communication would be most appropriate for the future.
3. Measure experience
Sometimes research is needed to measure customer experience. We can either mentally ‘walk through’ a process or experience; get frontline staff to do so; accompany and observe real people doing it; or use research or satisfaction tracking.
4. Identify solutions
Having gathered information from the mapping exercise, we can now identify solutions to improve customer experience.
These are likely to fall into four areas: 1. People and service issues 2. Environment 3. Products 4. Communication
Solutions will need to be prioritised by our research findings and cost.
Insights gained from the mapping exercise can then be applied to all relevant elements of the customer experience, including:
o Staff training o Communications planning, e.g. media choices o Improved processes or service design
Or we may decide to set a new vision for customer experience, setting out how we would like all future interactions to be managed, setting new standards and aligning our organisation accordingly.