How Do We Create A Completely Visual Customer Journey?


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When companies plan how to design a customer service process they often go through a process called ‘customer journey mapping.’ This is where they map the entire journey that a customer goes on in their relationship with that brand. The intention is to insert the service channels in a way that makes it as easy as possible to interact with the company.

But think about some of the most important steps on a typical customer journey, such as:

Discovery: the first time the customer learns about the product or brand. This could be from advertising or a blog or a social media post. It is what initially catches their attention and informs them that the product exists.

Research: the search for more information. This might just be a Google search or it could involve a visit to a shopping mall or online research, such as checking reviews and customer feedback.

Purchase: the purchase itself, which could be online on a website or an app, or in person via a retail outlet. This is the experience the customer has as they go through the actual process of buying the product.

Service: interaction requested by the customer when they have a problem or question about the product.

What connects the first three of the items on this list? They are all highly visual experiences. When you first learn about a new product it will be because there was an attention-grabbing ad on TV or YouTube, or you were scrolling your social media feed and something interesting caught your attention.

When you decide that a product sounds interesting and is worth some more research you will start searching for information and comparing places where you can buy it from. The process of purchasing an item will be visual even if the customer is buying online and is naturally visual if they are buying in-person.

But how does customer service work? Every other interaction between the brand and customer is a rich and detailed visual experience, what happens when the customer needs help or advice?

They are advised to call a free helpline or to send a text message.

The customer who just spent a thousand dollars on a new smart TV and can’t get it to connect to the internet is expected to call a helpline and spend the next hour describing every single action they took since they unboxed it.

The customer who just bought a life insurance policy, but doesn’t understand some of the information on the policy document they received has to describe their policy – even though they are being asked to summarize something they don’t understand.

The customer who bought a travel insurance policy and lost their luggage has to call and explain why they can’t get their insurance app to accept their claim no matter how many times they keep deleting and entering the data again.

Think about the complete customer journey. Customers learn about products, they search for more information, they make a purchase, they reach out for help or advice. Why is the only non-visual part of the entire journey the customer service aspect? Can you even imagine buying a product without seeing it? Why is service any different?

It’s also worth thinking about how the customer journey has changed over time. These steps used to be linear and step-by-step. Learn about a new product, find out more, buy it, then call for help. Now we need to add that the customer can publish their own video, blog, or review and the order of these steps can be jumbled up – a customer might learn about a new product because they are posting a review of another.

The ultimate objective to customer journey mapping is to make life easier for the customer and to keep them loyal – to keep those customers coming back for more over many years. Think about auto brands as a good example. They want to hook potential customers before they even have a driving license through the image that a vehicle projects. Then they want to keep existing customers by making it attractive to return to the same brand when looking for a new car.

If making life easier for the customer is the objective here then why is it so rare to see any focus on visual customer service? Every other stage in the customer journey is visual.

It’s time for customer service to catch up.

Let me know what you think about visual customer service. Feel free to leave a comment here or get in touch directly via my LinkedIn.

CC Photo by Matt Duncan

Dianne McCoubrey
I'm based in Ontario, Canada and focused on CX and BPO technology. My current position is the Vice President of Global Business Development for Grypp Corp Ltd. Grypp is a digital experience solutions company focused on providing visual customer engagement technology to contact centers, globally. i have a background in technology sales, particularly in transformative retail technologies.


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