Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Customer Experience Geography: Map Out Your CX

Most companies have gotten the message that customer experience matters these days. As more organizations are focusing on the customer, they’re looking at how to improve customer satisfaction scores, but it’s not enough to improve call center performance or website usability. Today, we live in a multichannel world where channel-surfing customers hit all sorts of touchpoints before completing their task - it’s a journey.

Being successful at one touchpoint is good, but it doesn’t matter if you haven’t created a journey. In fact, 56 percent of all customer interactions happen across a multichannel journey.  A good customer journey map can be very powerful for your business, but can also become a huge project that sucks the life out of the team. According to Business2Community, here are some of the ways you can tackle learning about the terrain your customers go through just to buy your products.

Get Everyone Involved
Customer journey maps should identify each interaction a customer may have with your organization – meaning understanding what the players within the organization are doing is critical. Asking stake holders to participate and share what they think happens in the journey and what interactions are supposed to happen can enlighten even the most connected participant.  The mapping process can be low tech or high-tech. If it’s your first trip to the Customer Journey Mapping rodeo, try keeping it simple because you can always add to it.

Invite Customers to Join
Once you have a basic understanding of the customer journey, ask customers to come help you with their perspective. The types of customers and business can have a big impact on which customers you invite into this process and how many, but even one can give you some insight. Invite them in to comment on the journey as you’ve mapped it, and invite them to tell you about their own journey. Customers can provide lots of insight, but don’t bribe customers because they won’t give you honest feedback.  

Check Your Data
Most organizations are rich with data these days. Big data is the buzz word of the moment, but little data works, too. Use your customer feedback surveys, your website analytics, your customer service reports, to inform the nuances of the journey. Look for patterns and work backwards to determine where the journey breaks down. “Talk to the hand!” Most unhappy customers leave without providing feedback.

Listen to What They are NOT Saying
Many customers don’t tell you directly that they are unhappy. They go to the online forums, social media communities and blogs, so be sure to keep searching to see what they’re really saying.

Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached at Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 
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