The quick and efficient management of customer journeys represents nirvana for many client-facing companies. However, in today’s digital age these customers have more ways to get in touch than ever before. As a result, successfully managing a customer journey from query to resolution across these multiple channels often seems like a hellish prospect.
By breaking down the process of customer engagement into the following steps, you yourself can journey on the road to engagement enlightenment and ensure your customers receive outstanding customer experience at every stage of their journey. This way you can reach the nirvana of successful customer journey management.
Map the Customer Journey
Although a journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step, that trip will probably seem shorter and more satisfying if you know where you’re going from the start. To help steer customers from Point A to Point B on the path toward deeper engagement with your products, services, or organisation, you need a good map by your side.
From the day a customer first buys a product or service from you, to the day they call with an enquiry, you can start mapping that individual’s own unique journey of engagement with your company. A customer journey map allows you to plot the various touchpoints, channels, and significant moments of interaction that any given customer has with your organisation. By plotting the movements of enough people, over time you can create—and continually update and refine—a single universal map that accounts for most of the major interactions that your organization is likely to have with its customers.
With a map like that in hand, you’ll gain a whole new perspective on what a customer goes through to engage with your organisation. More importantly, you’ll be in a position to begin plotting a new course around any obstacles in your customers’ path, which is the first step to practicing customer journey management.
Optimise the Journey, Not the Touchpoint
The problem is, plotting those courses can be challenging, because the so-called straight and narrow path spoken of by ancient sages isn’t so straight and narrow anymore.
In today’s digital age, customers are engaging across many different channels, and organisations can’t simply focus on improving individual touchpoints in isolation from the others. As tempting as it may be to reallocate resources to, say, your company’s previously ignored Twitter account, all of your efforts will be in vain if those same customers then try to email you and don’t get a timely response because your staff are too busy tweeting.
These days your organisation has to monitor several different channels simultaneously for your customers to have a smooth and painless experience, and this doesn’t just apply to customer service but to every aspect of the complex, cross-channel CX landscape.
In a multichannel age, the failure to manage customer journeys across touchpoints is like giving directions to a driver at night but forgetting to mention that the bridge over the local river collapsed and should be avoided at all costs. Okay, maybe a bad cross-channel customer experience isn’t quite that deadly for customers, but it certainly could be life-threatening for your business.
It is precisely these sorts of dangerous multichannel intersections that led Forrester to declare that companies should “optimise the journey, not the touchpoint” when creating their CX maps and plans.
The journey is the destination
Even if you have a sophisticated, big data-driven, tried-and-tested map of all of the most important ways that customers interact with your brand across every channel currently available to them; even if your contact centre uses a modern Customer Experience Platform, tracking individual customer engagements in precise detail; and even if you’ve made the path from Point A to Point B as smooth for your customers as humanly (and digitally) possible; it’s still not enough until you realize that the point isn’t just about helping customers get from Point A to Point B.
You have to ensure that your staff are prepared to deliver the best possible experience to every customer, on every channel. Staff need to have such a clear, bird’s-eye view of that customer that they know where the customer has been and where they are likely to go next, in order to best help them on their way. If you truly value each customer to this degree, appreciating exactly where they are on the customer journey you’ve laid out for them, then “managing” that journey becomes simply a matter of helping them to take a single next step closer to your organisation—without rushing them and without selling them on anything more than what they need in this very moment.
Following these simple steps will allow you to find customer journey enlightenment as you offer outstanding service while successfully leading your customers through their own journeys. While a multi-channel world may often seem like a long and winding road, if you continue on following these steps, you will ultimately reach engagement nirvana.
The evolution of the digital world has given more power to the customer – but also more touchpoints for organisations to reach out directly to them.
This blog will offer informative insight into just how organisations can take that extra step from offering good customer service to providing a great customer experience. Topics will include how to exploit the cloud to quickly add new customer touchpoints, easy tips on improving your contact centre operations and which channels are key for which services.
Regular contributions will be from key Genesys customer experience professionals. Genesys is the global multichannel customer experience and contact centre solution leader. Our solutions help companies engage effortlessly with their customers across all touchpoints, channels and interactions to deliver differentiated customer journeys, while maximising revenue and loyalty.