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[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][cm_form form_id=’cm_5927199cc358e’][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Every company now has mechanisms for capturing customer feedback. As the discipline of customer connectedness matures, the real challenge lies in orchestrating these feedback mechanisms across the customer touchpoints and throughout the organization.
Over the past 25 years of working with clients to measure customer satisfaction, we have seen different levels of measurement sophistication. We have found that organizations tend to fall into one of four developmental phases of measuring the customer courney: Sans, Solo, Silos, and System.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”8348″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]
Until the 1980’s, very few companies captured customer feedback and deliberately fed the results back into operational and strategic processes. Management made decisions principally on direct operational and financial data. Inventory turns, sales volumes, sales revenue, product margins, employee turnover, sales/employee ratios, year-over-year revenue growth, and other hard metrics are critical for successfully growing a business. However, these metrics do not capture customer perception, satisfaction, or behavior. Without insight directly from customers companies cannot make smart decisions to optimize the customer experience.
Many companies have a feedback measurement in place for at least one of their channels. Opt-in requests for website visitor feedback is simple and easy, and there are a host of companies that offer tools to measure the customer experience online. Integrating rich online metrics with customer feedback on the experience can provide a wealth of insight. The most obvious application lies in understanding why the visitor was at the site and what they were trying to accomplish, insight that is unavailable through hard activity metrics. Capturing only one channel, however, is insufficient for understanding how customers interact with the whole brand.
Most firms recognize the need to capture customer feedback at every touchpoint, particularly at three main channels: the company website, the contact center, and the physical locations. Many tools are designed for measuring the customer experience at a specific channel. Some tools measure the customer experience with the website. Other tools survey customers after a call to the contact center. And other tools gather feedback associated with a purchase or transaction at a specific physical location. These tools are good for the channels that they serve. However, instead of measuring and managing each channel separately, companies need to effectively integrate all of the measures into a holistic view of the customer.
A few advanced organizations have tackled the multi-channel challenge by uniting their measures across company touchpoints. This systematic view occurs at two levels. On a more basic level, survey questions at each touchpoint include questions that ask about the customer experience at another touchpoint. The website measure might ask about intent to purchase at the physical location, the location measure might ask about contacting customer service, and the contact center measure might ask about visits to the website. This basic level allows for rudimentary but helpful views of the customer experience across the channels.
On a more advanced level, the measurement system goes further to integrate the experiences using unique identifiers. Email addresses, home addresses, loyalty numbers, etc. are data fields that can be used to coordinate operational metrics and customer feedback into a complete dataset. With this rich set of data, companies can develop a robust customer journey mapping platform that generates deep insights and uncovers opportunities to optimize the customer experience for each segment at each stage in the purchase process.
Your company can be at any one of the customer journey mapping phases. If you are at the SANS phase, the next step is to begin to set up a simple customer feedback measure at one of the channels. If the retailer is at the SOLO phase, the next step is to set up complementary measures across the set of customer touchpoints. If the company is already at the SILOS phase, the next step is to plan out how to coordinate the measures into a single complete system.
If you have worked to develop a complete measurement SYSTEM across your company, the next step is to design a customer mapping dashboard that can be applied across the company by drilling down to specific customer segments and purchase stages. Using advanced analytics, you can run multiple customer journey map scenarios to balance the competing trade-offs and optimize the experience for each customer segment. Ultimately, as the market and competitive context changes, the maps will enable the you to quickly adapt your business model to the new circumstances.
GETTING STARTED WITH CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING
If you are considering implementing Customer Journey Mapping, there are ten best practices that you should remember as you develop your plans.
A good customer journey mapping system is:
1. Integrated – It captures feedback from all customer touchpoints and channels
2. Directional – It calculates drivers of customer behavior along the journey
3. Linked – It is tied to company strategy, financials, and growth plans
4. Continuous – It is an ongoing and continuous process
5. Adaptive – It is adjusted and altered as circumstances change
6. Accessible – It provides reports and insight to management on any device at any time
7. Actionable – It is a management system oriented around opportunities to improve the business
8. Affordable – It is not cheap, but it is clearly a value creator for the company
9. Easy – It is simple and inviting for customers to provide feedback
10. Accepted – It has buy-in from people across the enterprise, including both upper management and the field
If you see the value of customer journey mapping and want to get started, here are some tips to help ensure success.
Garner Organizational Conceptual Buy-in
You will need agreement from top management that this approach is consistent with how they want to run the business. Remember to outline the overall business value when describing the merits of Customer Journey Mapping.
Think big, start small
Your ultimate goal should be to develop a comprehensive system for Customer Journey Mapping. With that end in mind, start small and take the next step. Start with a simple mapping of common customer touchpoints, or begin collecting new measures on some of your touchpoints. Thinking too big can cause delay and frustration for the team, but movement and action can energize the everyone.
Build into organization planning system
Strategic planning and scorecarding drive virtually any business. Ensure that Customer Journey Mapping is incorporated into the company’s planning system. If it is, it will help guide good decisions. If it isn’t, it will be seen as superfluous and will be at risk of cuts.
Next generation customer feedback measurement systems have moved beyond the isolated website measures to incorporate all key customer touchpoints. Companies will benefit from customer journey mapping, a holistic customer experience management system that provides rich real-time insights and a system for improving the overall customer experience. Website marketers and managers can seize this opportunity to demonstrate organizational leadership by reaching beyond the online experience and elevating the role of online experience to be part of the enterprise customer experience management.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row]