Today's customers own multiple technology devices and use them to interact with companies and brands like never before.
People's preference for'and reliance on'technology to perform everything from initial research to the final transaction means that companies must understand the modern customer experience and integrate cross-organizational support for it as part of their overall customer service strategy.
When customers engage with an organization through a specific channel, they don't differentiate between the 'e-mail channel' and the 'social media channel.' Rather, they interpret their interactions as an overall customer experience'a customer journey.
Companies must design and deliver customer experiences seamlessly across many channels: retail, web, mobile, sales and service operations, to name a few. Organizations need to take a comprehensive view of the current experience, understand the customer's physical and emotional journey, and design ways to improve it. 'You've got to start with the customer experience and work back towards technology,' says Steve Jobs.
Customer Experience Journey Mapping
A customer experience journey map is a representation of all the steps a customer takes as he or she tries to achieve a particular goal. It is an excellent way to understand how customers interact with an organization because it follows the journey from the customer's perspective.
A customer journey map is a valuable diagnostic tool. Since it incorporates graphics, pictures and visual cues to represent every interaction a customer has'or could have'with a company and brand, journey mapping provides a proven framework to uncover high-priority barriers and opportunities to WOW customers.
It also reveals how efficiently and effectively different departments work together to interact with the customer, recognizing that customer-facing processes and people are not the only influencers of the end-to-end customer journey.
Traditional customer service improvement methods can't accommodate the complexity and scope of modern-day customer interactions. As customers and technology become more sophisticated, so too must the tools to track them. Customer journey mapping is quickly becoming a critical tool for companies that want to take a holistic approach to understanding and enhancing the customer experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet LeBlanc is a leading authority on customer value and experience management and president of Janet LeBlanc + Associates Inc.
Janet LeBlanc will share examples of how to help drive client-centricity through back-office innovations at FEI Toronto taking place Sept. 29-Oct 1.