When it comes to driving better customer experience, businesses are required to focus on building better interactions with their customers. Interactions can be broken down into three parts.
- The customer journey
- The customer touchpoints across the journey
- The channels that drive interactions across the journey
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey is the sum of experiences your customers encounter when interacting with your brand or business through different channels.
What is a customer touchpoint?
A customer touchpoint is any form of interaction made between a customer and a business through various channels such as a phone call, a website visit or a social media post.
What are customer channels?
The medium through which a company communicates with customers are called channels. It can be a company’s website, social media pages, phone calls, live chat, mobile app etc.
To visualize customer touchpoints throughout the entire customer journey and across multiple channels, enterprises rely on customer journey maps. Let's look at some of the common types of journey maps.
Types of Journey Maps
Current-State Journey Maps
Current state journey maps focus on identifying and solving customer pain points throughout the journey. These types of maps heavily depend on existing customer behaviour, thoughts and emotions. The objective of current state maps is to understand the customer experience and to modify it accordingly to suit their preferences.
Below is an example of a current-state journey map which illustrates a customer who is looking to sign up for a credit card with high rebates for dining:
Future State Maps
A future state map explores the expectations of customers to drive new journeys that help companies discover more business opportunities. These types of maps analyze
how customer behaviour at a particular stage of the journey could benefit from a different experience.
For example, from the example above we understood that Richard had a bad experience navigating through the website to find what he was looking for. A future state map would focus on improvising this stage of the customer journey by working on the website navigation or implement a live chatbot on the website to help customers find what they are looking for faster.
This type of maps relies on picturing the customer typical day. By documenting his/her actions throughout the day, you will be able to identify customer pain points and how your products or services can solve them.
Below is a sample day-in-the-life-map of a frequent traveler who is booking his flight back home:
Customer Journey Analytics
After having created the journey map, and ensured the stages are tracked with quantitative and/or qualitative data, businesses can use analytics to gain insightful information.
This can help companies better understand customer expectations and improve the current experience. This aspect of the process is called customer journey analytics.
What is Customer Journey Analytics
Customer journey analytics analyzes millions of data points and provides companies with actionable insights. It helps businesses understand customer touchpoints across various channels using data. Moreover, it uses machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to give you valuable insights into your customers' journey and provides companies with the opportunity to make better data-driven decisions in line with their business goals.
A recent survey by McKinsey revealed that approximately 56% of customer interactions involve a multi-channel journey and 38% of which utilizes more than one channel for interacting with businesses. The survey also revealed that companies using customer journey analytics had experienced a 20% decrease in calls and customer churn.
In fact, by taking care of your customers throughout the stages of their journey allows you to:
- Save cost and time on resolving customer service complaints
- Increase customer loyalty which contributes to a longer lifetime value
- Increase the potential of existing customers to become brand ambassadors for your business which in return helps you acquire new customers and increase business revenue
Customer journey analytics is fundamental for customer experience driven businesses. It provides companies with a holistic view of their customers' journey by collating customers data from multiple sources such as CRM systems, social media, website and provides key metrics about each customer. It gives companies the ability to deliver appropriate and relevant offers, information etc to their customers throughout their entire journey, which helps build better experiences for customers.
Measuring Customer Happiness to Improve Journeys
With a solution such as Customer Happiness Index (CHI), you can map, analyze and optimize customer journeys. It helps you understand the impact of any single journey step for any customer without requiring feedback or survey completion.
By using machine learning and neural networks, CHI accounts for individual perceptions and provides different customer satisfaction scores based on their particular profile and circumstances. This allows businesses to understand the satisfaction and dissatisfaction drivers enabling them to take actions to improve things.
The rapid growth in technology has made customers more demanding than ever before. Businesses are required to deliver positive customer experience at every stage of a customer journey to increase customer loyalty towards a brand or company.
By practicing a data-driven and customer-centric culture throughout the organization, businesses can maximize positive customer experiences and reduce the risk of losing their existing customers to their competitors.