A clearly articulated and mapped customer journey is critical, not only in helping you to serve customers better, with less ‘friction’ but because it will help your staff understand their role and purpose in helping your business grow.
How a well-defined customer and employee journey can improve your business. The brutal facts:
- 80% of organizations believe they provide a superior customer experience, but only 8% of customers agree
- 70% of buying experience is based on how your customer feels he or she is being treated by you
- 5% rise in customer loyalty increases profit by 125%
Anyone who tells you the Customer Journey does not matter is deluded - it does… but that is only half the story.
The second, often over-looked focus needs to be on developing your Employee Journey. Here are four tips on how to map your Employee Journey to your customer journey:
Get the right people
I cannot understate how important it is to have the right people in your organization - in every role - both behind the scenes and customer facing… and great people are hard to find. To make sure you have the right people fronting your organisation's interaction with customers start by focussing on your brand - be sure to define in unambiguous terms your brands' values, its purpose, its culture and its goals. Write them down, share them and take time to understand how they are interpreted by your employees - get their feedback and refine. Then, and only once you are certain that these statements accurately represent your organization should you look to hire your front-line staff.
Note: Please remember that if you are an organization in transition, you may find that some long-serving employees are not a good fit for your organization's new approach. In this case, be kind, be supportive, offer training, support and give each employee the opportunity to adapt to the new.
Articulate your goals
When you are mapping your customer journey, consider the role your staff play at every touch-point along the journey. Focus on how your staff will interact with customers - I do not mean by giving them a script to follow (we have all experienced dreadful customer experience call centres where employees follow a script - what a turn-off). Once you have hired and trained the correct people, they will not need a ‘script’ by which to serve customers.
However, they will need to understand their role in the customer journey. When you are mapping the Customer Journey, also ask yourself ‘What are my expectations of my employees at each touch-point’ and map them too. This will not only help your staff to understand what is expected from them, it will help you to develop a roadmap for future innovation by identifying where your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for development are.
Train your people
For some employees, ‘Customer Journey’ and ‘Employee Journey’ are new concepts. For you to succeed, you need to be sure that every employee understands the role they play in the organization's success. From the tea boy to the CEO… training is not a one-off, one hit win. Put in place a program that ensures your employees are continually kept abreast of the latest thinking and developments in your company.
Listen to your people
Your front-line employees are critical to your understanding of what is happening across your network. They will have feedback and recommendations on how things can be improved. Give your staff a forum for sharing these and reward them for doing so.
Nothing stands still for long and it should not. Constantly monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of your customer and employee journey. Look for friction points in both, constantly evaluate and refine the way your organization is serving customers and strive towards a ‘frictionless’ customer and employee journey. If it is not working, fix it.
It is clear that the benefits of a frictionless customer journey outweigh the investment required in defining them. To succeed, both have to work in harmony, so please remember to give both equal importance… and watch your company leap forward.
About the Author
Nicholas Griffin is an experienced businessman and designer who has passion for helping brands develop engaging customer experiences and transform commercially. He has been a resident of Dubai, UAE, for over 10 years from where he is Global Strategy Director for I-AM (www.i-amonline.com), one of the worlds leading independent customer experience design agencies.
Nicholas has over 25 years of experience in strategic brand, retail, digital and culture transformation which has seen him serve financial services and other brands across the world. More recently, these include ADIB, Riyad Bank, Bank ABC, Unaitas, Kuwait Finance House, EmiratesNBD, China Bank, Byblos Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, RHB, UBL, Bank AlFalah and First Bank.
He began his career working in the United States with General Electric before moving to London and working with leading design agency Seymour Powell (SP). After his tenure at SP, Nicholas formed his own agency in London, who served brands like Nike, Adidas, Orange, Panasonic, Hasbro, Casio, Barclays, RBS, BP and Vodafone.
In 1999, Nicholas built an online health food retailer which, along with his agency, were sold in 2002. Nicholas went on to work as a senior level consultant, for large corporations, helping them to solve complex brand and business challenges and deliver innovation in customer experience. In 2004, Nicholas moved to the Middle East to work for Private Institutional Investors, The Chandler Group where his role was wide spread, from branding and communications through to social investment and private office management. Thereafter, he ran WPP’s Brand Union in the Middle East before joining allen international and running their business in Middle East, Africa and Asia.
An avid and passionate writer, Nicholas has an audience of over 15,000 banking and customer experience professionals who engage with his blog www.passionbrand.net on a regular basis.
Nicholas has a BA(Hons) in 3-Dimensional Design from Manchester Metropolitan University