Customer Experience: Technology alone is not the answer.
There is so much discussion around the use of technology to build a better customer experience, but technology alone is not the answer. Investments in technology should never be made unless the processes affecting customers have been reconsidered in the context of the new world of customer expectation. A poor process executed “differently” in new technology is still a poor process!
Recent research by ICMI suggests that just 42% of contact centres know what their top 20 Contact reasons are! Our experience over the past 10 years would clearly validate that. So why, given that contact demand is the biggest driver of cost is there such little focus?
If you don’t understand why customers call you and the journey you are taking them on now, how do you know where to invest your time for the greatest benefit?
This has lead us in part to the new world of “Customer Journey Mapping” – how can we create experiences that create a positive impact and don’t force the customers to interact with us unnecessarily.
Journey Maps, it’s much more than just a buzzword
Unfortunately some proponents think “journey maps” is just buzzword for process maps and as a result are locked into “process mapping” routine that often:
- does not extend beyond the department writing it
- rarely looks beyond the four walls of the enterprise
- continues to look at process from the enterprise perspective – not the customer perspective.
That is not journey mapping.
Perhaps the best to explain this fundamental difference is via this great video from Stanhope.
It’s a lot different from process mapping isn’t it?
One of the real benefits of effective customer journey mapping is that it can help to break down existing organisational silos, which are all too often our impediment to a positive customer experience. Customer journey maps allow us to look at the transaction or service from the perspective of customers not from vested interests embedded in our organisational chart. They allow us present a more holistic view of the customer experience which then empower and enables staff to better align core processes and decision-making around the customers’ requirements.
So, why does your business need a “Journey Map”?
They allow you to:
- prioritise the improvements necessary to deliver a great customer experience.
- train employees to deliver more effective outcomes
- develop new services and offerings
- leverage VOC programs
The second difference is that customer journey mapping can often cause the same issues as detailed process mapping when developed in isolation. Developing detailed customer journey maps without supporting the program by developing customer journey thinking across your employee group simply creates a more detailed “black and white” process.
To achieve a customer centric culture we need to ensure that staff understand the customer journey can vary and that they can only do that by understanding who the customer is and what the customer is trying to achieve.
It is also important to understand the customer journey maps are not a one size fits all approach to customer experience – different customer segments or customer personas will follow a different customer journey.
For this reason customer journey maps should outline the steps that need to be taken for the customer to achieve the goal as opposed to the typical approach of enabling the enterprise to achieve its goals. In a truly customer focused business processes are aligned and the enterprise cannot achieve its goals unless the customer achieves theirs first.
A fundamental way to understand or interpret the customer journey is to understand the language patterns of the customer and to be able to adapt your language patterns and communication style to those.
Too many organisations that invest in customer experience programs start to believe that they are at the centre of the customer’s universe, when in fact the opposite is the situation-the customer is only engaging the enterprise because you have caused them to do so. Even if the service experience is a good one it is still an unnecessary or avoidable one.
So what’s the thinking?
To create customer journey thinking across the customer service teams and indeed the entire enterprise, at each and every interaction, in each and every channel, we need to understand:
- Who is the customer?
- What is that specific customer’s objective or goal?
- What did the customer do just before he engaged with us, and what did you do just before that, and before that?
- What will the customer do immediately after this interaction, and after that, and after that?
If we can answer these first four questions will be a much better space to understand what will make the customer happy or indeed delight the customer – what will create that memorable experience that will be remembered way after the product or service purchased.
For decades we have focused on the immediate interaction that is before us with little thought going into where this interaction sits on the customer’s journey around our products or services.
If your organisation wants to deliver a customer experience as opposed to customer service then contact BBB Advisory of Australia’s leading customer management and customer experience practices. We have extensive experience in delivering successful customer experience transformation programs across a wide range of highly respected private sector and public sector enterprises.
Whether your aim is to increase revenue, improve customer retention, create increased organisational capacity, improve your Net Promoter Score or CSat measures or indeed improved employee engagement we can provide an effective solution for you and your enterprise For more information visit our website at www.bbbadvisory.com.au