Company success and growth now more than ever hinges around how a company deals with it’s customers.
Companies which thrive and survive will be those for whom the customer relationship sits at the very heart of business strategy. Every process within the company must revolve around providing a positive customer experience. This is especially relevant to b2b companies whose customers are often large, complicated organisations.
You may have heard about customer journey mapping – and you might consider it just a ‘nice to have’. There are, however, good reasons you should take a look at the journey your customers take through your organisation. Improving the ease of your customer’s experience will help your organisation become more customer focused and will improve relationships and customer loyalty. Keeping your customer’s journey smooth will also help to improve your customer retention.
You may know the journey they made to choose you as a supplier – but what about after they have signed on the dotted line?
Learn some interesting truths; are customer expectations meeting reality?
Looking at your organisation from the perspective of your customer may surprise you. Is it easy or complicated to deal with your organisation? Is it clear where to go when there is a problem? Are interactions straightforward or complicated? Are there failed interactions? Does the customer take the path you expect through the organisation? You can use this information to identify process improvements needed. And you can really identify how customer focused your company is – and if you are structured for your benefit or theirs?
Identify the touchpoints and opportunities to shine
Do you keep in regular contact with your customers? Are you missing opportunities when you could do this? Identify these touchpoints and see if there are any interaction points where you can impress your customers. You can positively influence customer perceptions or, more importantly, identify vulnerabilities in your customer contact.
All employees count
Identifying key steps in the customer journey can make everyone in the organisation aware of their contribution to the customer relationship – even if they do not feel they touch the customer. This is a big part of becoming a customer focused organisation.
Senior level support
Ownership at senior management level is crucial. Understanding your organisation from the customers perspective will help to improve customer centricity and will help identify where organisational change needs to be made. Action plans need to be agreed, resources agreed and progress tracked. A customer journey map on it’s own will not improve the customer experience – it is a tool to drive improvement.
Where to start?
Mapping every step of your customer’s journey can be a trial. One which is well-worth doing, but only if you devote time and resource, do it extensively and identify what outcomes you are expecting and what organisational changes can be made in the light of the results. There are any number of tools available to do this. The more you know about your customers the easier this will be. Read more about how to do this through face-to-face reviews.
And finally, when you look at customer journey don’t base it on your assumptions – make sure you get your customers view – otherwise you are set up for failure.