As we enter 2017, many enterprises are under pressure to improve their customer experiences. I was lucky enough to be invited to a major insurer’s upcoming CX day, where a variety of executives, product owners, IT experts, and people from many other departments will come together to identify ways to improve the customer experience. I expect we will be discussing the varying stages of the customer experience throughout the customer’s journey.
It is becoming increasingly common for enterprises to use customer journey mapping tools to understand the touch points a customer, prospect or employee engage with during their entire experience with the enterprise. When enterprises go through this exercise, they are often surprised to find out just how many touch points each of these groups experience.
Once the map starts to develop, some frustration starts to creep in. The journey map often gains swim lanes that start to place the touch points in the departments or functional teams that own them. Then, the system and architectural swim lanes become crowded, exposing the complexity involved in the creation, authoring, hosting, and delivery of these communication experiences.
It is at this point customer journey mapping exposes the enterprise-wide importance of omnichannel customer communication in the context of the entire customer experience lifecycle. The journey map defines a line of communication projects that starts with marketing, moves through onboarding, continues through servicing, iterates through correspondence, and results in renewals or cancellations. Then, every point on the line is multiplied by the number of channels required to support it today and tomorrow.
As everyone steps back and looks at the global customer journey map, they start to ask a lot of questions. Some of the questions include:
• How can I coordinate these communications from an operational perspective?
• Is it possible to ensure consistency of voice across this portfolio of touch points?
• Who should own the overall communication strategy?
• How can the journey map be used to optimize the journey for the long term?
As the map develops, it is important to realize which items are the largest wins, the quickest wins, or some common problems in the enterprise. Depending on how your enterprise prioritizes items, you will start to look at problems you can resolve quickly, easily, or for the highest return.
This is where journey mapping intersects with CCM, Customer Communication Management. Before you stop reading because CCM is not as trendy as Customer Journey Mapping, think about your company’s omnichannel strategy. The collection of IT and design assets required to deliver the same message to multiple channels is often so large a barrier as to make you and your colleagues feel negative about changes in your communications.
Take another look at your journey map. I bet you see some lackluster communications. Many communications are the way they are because the teams who want to change communications are tired of dealing with multiple silos. In 2017, you don’t really have to do it this way any longer.
Let’s look at a way that removes the excuses and crutches many enterprises use as they look at their legacy CCM systems, email outsourcing, print outsourcing, mobile apps, and other communication systems. In 2017, there will be new projects, new messages, and new regulations that you will need to follow. As you encounter these new challenges, why not start with the channels you don’t have a solution for today? There are new omnichannel CCM tools that can handle a “mobile first” approach that lets you design your mobile communications in a way that allows your data, rules, content, and voice to then extend back to the other channels. Instead of looking at upgrading all projects at once, or engaging in a “big bang” implementation, consider improving your customer journey in a way that you can later leverage across more channels. In 2017 it will be imperative if you want to remain competitive.