Founding Partner Brilliant Noise
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Why telecoms needs customer journey mapping

31st Mar 2017
Founding Partner Brilliant Noise
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A friend of mine recently contacted a telecoms company call centre after her broadband service went down; this proved to be a very unpleasant experience. After three phone calls and four hours later, an engineer was booked to fix the problem. She then received a text message informing her that the problem was fixed and the engineer had been cancelled – the issue had not been resolved. After two more hours on the phone, another engineer was rebooked, who upon arrival informed her that it would have been impossible to solve the issue remotely. This was in direct contrast to what the call centre team had advised. Her customer journey felt like a game of snakes and ladders.

Gavin Patterson, the chief executive of BT, one of the largest telecoms companies in the world, recently highlighted the problem that the telecoms industry has with customer service when he said, “Around the digital communications review, I think it is fair to say we underestimated the degree of criticism in our service and in our levels of investment. This has eroded our trust in our brand.” He then went on to say, “When it comes to our customers… our service must get better.” It is reassuring to see that he recognises the problem, however, the telecoms industry needs to invest in understanding their customers. An effective way of doing this is to create customer journey maps.

Journey maps create an understanding of the customer and enable a customer-centric thought process. Customer journey maps reveal pain points and key moments in the customer experience and connect these insights to business operations and delivery. This improves internal and external processes and encourages focus and cohesion throughout a company.

Here are six ways that customer journey mapping could benefit the telecoms industry:

  • Drive growth by investing in customer experience

Mapping makes it possible to measure the value of each customer touchpoint and delivers insights that create value across the whole customer journey and lifecycle. Combining customer data with a map of touchpoints would enable a company to gather a clear insight as opposed to an overwhelming amount of data and no clear path of action.

  • Drive operational efficiency

It’s no surprise that insufficient collaboration across silos can damage a company’s customer experience. Customer journey mapping would enable a company to connect customer touchpoints with internal systems and teams, allowing it to align every part of itself around the customer.

If a company could create an effective customer journey map, it would help it identify operational gaps, areas for improvement and where it can create efficiencies. This helps to prioritise initiatives and drive operational improvements.

  • Inspire collaboration and culture change

With mapping establishing the customer as the organising principle and breaking down silos bringing teams together, a company will then have to establish new connected ways of working across teams.

This can be achieved through training and coaching sessions and using journey maps to identify existing and desired customer service behaviours.

  • Support constant improvement

This is not just a one-off exercise, but informs a long-term, sustainable improvement programme. A company’s customer journey maps should act as diagnostic dashboards which should be constantly updated to reflect customer behaviours.

If a company could create future-state journey maps it would help it to unlock new upstream and downstream services, create new offerings, and envision the future. This will allow a focus on exploration, prototyping, testing and constant improvement.

  • Improve marketing communications

Customer journey mapping highlights opportunities to improve marketing communications at all stages of the customer decision journey. If a company can ensure its communications to reach the right customer, at the right time, in the right place, it will create a seamless customer experience and efficient content operations.

  • Support smart investment

An effective customer journey map will provide a company with the data to inform smart decision making and build the business case for future investment.

A company should approach decision-makers with authority, logic, and emotion. Journey maps combined with analytics allow CX professionals to articulate clear return-on-investment arguments and incorporate storytelling techniques that help stakeholders feel empathy for what customers go through.

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