The customer journey describes the end-to-end customer experience across different touch points.
The customer journey refers to interactions that occur before, during or after the customer has an experience with a given product or service.
It differs from the concept of ‘satisfaction‘ in that the journey provides a global view of the customer. Satisfaction’ only allows to see specific moments of the customer when using a product or service, without taking into account the previous or subsequent journey with the brand.
The importance of knowing the customer journey.
Knowing the journey of our customers involves analyzing what positive or negative points our brand has when providing a product or service. It allows us to see how customers interact with the different points of contact they have with the company (website, social networks, email marketing, etc.).
If problems arise with those touch points, it is important to resolve them; but even more importantly, re-imagine the focus of service operations around the most crucial experience journeys.
This means taking a global rather than individual view of customers. Go from the generic to the more concrete. Attending to complete customer journeys rather than individual touch points can generate better business results.
For example, a McKinsey study found that customer satisfaction with health insurance is 73% more likely when the entire customer journey works properly than when only touch points do.
Customer journey map design.
A customer journey map or customer experience map is a representation of the process that a customer goes through within a company that wants to perform an action. This visualization will give the brand an idea of what the customer journey is like, knowing their motivations, needs and critical points.
There are a series of common steps to design a customer journey map. You can also help yourself with tools that facilitate the design, you can see examples in the following link.
Here are some common steps to design a customer journey map:
1. Understand the phases of the customer relationship.
The most important thing when starting any process that requires “stepping into the customer’s shoes” is to know precisely which customer we are talking about. The perception of the same trip will change a lot if it is done by one person or another.
For this reason, the first thing to do is to make a customer’s sketch (who is he/she? what does he/she do?). Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: What do they see?
This can help organize and focus employees around the customer’s needs. We need to define what matters to customers and define a clear aspiration and common purpose.
In this case, it is important that you make a buyer persona for each customer you intend to reach and thus know which profile is visiting your company. You will find different profiles and it is important to know all of them to find out which channel or action you can use to reach them.
To create a buyer persona, you just have to identify yourself with the customer and capture it in a sketch that represents him. You should ask yourself key questions that will help you to know what they want and what they need from your company, and more generic questions that will help you to know what their concerns, personal challenges, personal situation, etc. are.
Here is a buyer persona model that you can apply with your customers:
2. Redesign the experience.
When customer experiences are redesigned, interactions must also be redesigned. This involves digitizing processes or reorienting the company’s culture. As Jeanne Bliss points out, it is essential to focus the customer journey map on the phases that provide value to the customer.
In this case, it is interesting to make diagrams that allow you to know if the feeling was positive or negative in the interactions that the customer had.
Here is an outline of how to obtain an overview of the interactions that the customer has in the different stages in which he/she can be found:
3. Company commitment to the process.
Making the transition to prioritize the customer journey requires a deep commitment from everyone in the company, from corporate leaders to the front line. For each touch point, the organization needs to identify:
- An owner within the organization.
- The impact it has on the overall experience.
- The gaps between the organization’s performance and the desired performance.
To properly manage the customer experience it is vital to have a customer experience management software like Allswers. We offer you a free trial where you can better know your customers, your employees and meet all the goals you set in a more effective way.