There are very trendy words or concept from time to time. They seem to be more effective and present us more innovation. In the last post I talked about the customer experience, but now it is time to talk about the Customer journey. At a glance we could think this could be a new trendy word, used for a lot of companies to hire gurus and write tons of empty PPTs with ideas and strategic plans. This is not an easy question to answers, as each case will be different. First step is ask our self “Do we really want to know what is happening with our customers, analyze it and change if needed”. If answer is not, it is better stop wasting time and effort, and run business as usual (allocating resources in better projects).
This new customer center strategy try to differentiate your business in the market, providing a better quality service. Following question seems to have an easy answer but it has not. Even if we compare it with a quickly answer before read about this topic. Do we really know our customers? I am not talking about have some information as name, address and main point of contacts. We need to go some steps ahead. Do we know what our customers think about our products or services? And what about our selling processes? Do we know something about customer preferences or how to catch up better with them or catch their eye on a faster way?
The customer journey map is a powerful tool. It allows us in a graphic and fast mode knows about customer´s feeling, what are they motivation, fears, what they really think about our relationship (in a buying-selling process). Always from the customer point of view. And in a further step add our internal process in order to run several improvement tasks.
It could match with reality or not, but our customer go through several steps in the buying behavior when dealing with us (we catch their eye, we contact him, run fidelity initiatives,) In each one of these phases our customer will have a different motivation, from info gathering until issues solving. All this info and steps should be reflected in the graph or map.
Our relationship with customers will be display using “touch points”. These could be several and diverse, but it is important have all possible details (in the correct phase from a customer point of view). A best practice could be write down also some characteristics as channel we are using to contact customer (email, phone,…) and customer feeling (if we have this feedback)
Building up a map with all these processes, tasks and internal activities at this point could help us to have a deeper understanding of relation with our customers and have some improvements points.
During analysis phase (the last one), we should identify all this room for improvement opportunities, using this red points we draw in the map. These should be customer´s moments where customer experience was not good enough, customer were lost, not happy, or we were not able to show our added value and be different from competitors.
As you can see, we should analyze the end to end process, that help customer to have customer feelings and memories about our company will be better enough to be remember during the purchasing process. So customer could come back to us and even recommend this experience with our company.
But, as I stated at the beginning of this post, there are a couple of important points before to start working with this new tool: have the real desire of continuous improvement and run a customer center strategy and philosophy.
Following you can find an interesting link with additional info: