A shift is underway in the contact center industry as customers derive both power and…
3 Steps to Understanding your Customer’s Experience
- Danica Abcede
- 23 January 2017
You already understand the importance of the customer experience (CX): from its growing recognition at the executive level, to its role in strategic planning. According to CH Consulting Group partner Laureen Peltier, the best way to fully understand your company’s CX is through customer journey mapping. “Journey mapping and customer experience go hand in hand,” says Peltier, who has more than 20 years of experience helping financial institutions better serve their clients. “The process throws a light on what it’s like to do business with your company.”
Designed as a diagram, such as a Visio document, a customer map displays the route, including stops, a customer takes on his or her journey through a particular (or in some cases, every) experience with your company. Mapping is done for a variety of reasons, from solving a particular problem within a process, to determining whether your customers are receiving optimal service when they do business with you. “The only way to find your problems is to be a customer,” Peltier says. “You have to put on your customer hat and take the journey through all of your customer scenarios.”
Peltier, who has completed countless journey maps of varying degrees of complexity for clients across industries, offers the follow tips for creating – and utilizing – your own:
- Become the customer. “Never assume everything is running smoothly,” Peltier says. “I always ask clients, have you tried it?” Peltier recently did just that when she called a client’s 800 numbers – both during and after business hours. She wanted to know, among other things, if the process was easy for customers. The calls revealed the company was introducing itself twice and then putting customers on hold for up to three minutes without any updates or options such as a call back. “That’s not the experience you want,” Peltier says.
- Does it make sense? The next step is to display the journey map and it examine by asking if it represents the experience you want for customers. In one case, it took Peltier 15 minutes to simply change her address as a customer. In another, there wasn’t an option to save her payment information. “Customers want ease of doing business; it’s their No. 1 request,” Peltier says. “They want to decide how they will do business with your company.”
- Make changes. One of the benefits of a journey map is that you can see the separate pieces and how they relate to the larger process. With this view, you can move pieces around to create the best experience.
Peltier recommends journey mapping as a first step in any project. “Too many assumptions are made about what the customer experience is,” she says. “A process may make perfect sense until you map it out and discover the opposite.” By doing this, you help assure resources are spent on the actual problem, rather than being wasted on trivialities. “The only times I’ve ever discovered what’s really going on underneath, is through journey mapping,” Peltier says.