Customer Journey Mapping involves developing a process map that tracks the customers connecting with your business and first learning about your business, to engaging with your business, receiving services and/or purchasing products, to completing the transaction and any follow-up that may be needed. Although customer journey mapping is not usually carried out as a formal process it must be considered if the customer engagement, acquisition, and retention funnel is to be successful.
An unsatisfied customer either leaves early during the engagement process or at least perpetuates a bad reputation for the company after leaving. Neither scenario is acceptable but there are tools available to help your business to improve customer satisfaction.
The customer journey map can help your business:
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Improve customer engagement
- Improve customer service
- Identify and resolve problem areas in the customer journey
- Align & streamline business processes, functions, and resources
- Better understanding of customer needs
- Identify operational inefficiencies
- Identify and evaluate the impact of each step taken in the customer journey
The customer journey map will vary depending on program, service, and customer needs. Although there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ journey map for all environments these can be mapped at the program level. Depicting the customer journey map often begins with identifying the steps of their journey through your business, the roles interfacing at each step, identifying the time (and delays if they exist) between steps, and the typical mood experienced by the customer at each step.
Building out the customer journey map with these details can then help your business to evaluate opportunities for improvement. The customer journey map can also be colour coded to emphasize risks which can then be problem solved by the team.
The result is a systems understanding of the customer journey from the initial engagement through the last point of contact. Interventions to resolve customer complaints and performance gaps are many, but often involve the following:
- SWOT analysis
- GAP analysis
- Focus groups
- Statistical/error analysis
- Change management
- Process re-engineering
- LEAN thinking
- System’s modelling
The intervention is based on the problem to be solved. But it begins with a proper analysis and diagnosis of what that problem is as well as identification of what the desired solution will look like. The customer journey map is just one tool in your tool-box but it represents a significant first step towards improving customer satisfaction.
What has your business found helpful to better understanding its customers? Share your comments below.
Travis Barker, MPA GCPM
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