If you’re a business owner or manager, then you likely already know why great customer service is imperative to the success of your business.
It’s simple math: Poor customer service equals poor retention. And poor customer retention equals poor profits.
A recent Intelligence “E-Commerce Briefing” delivered by Business Insider, revealed that businesses lose $83 billion dollars each year due to poor customer service.
I know what you’re thinking “…but my customer service is already great.” At the same time, the consequences of being wrong are too severe. Word of mouth spreads across social media like wildfire. Tales of bad customer service run rampant.
So we’re left with the burning question, “What can I do to improve my customer service if it’s already great?”
Enter the power of customer journey mapping.
What exactly is journey mapping?
Journey mapping is a powerful visualization and storytelling tool. It helps your team to better understand and address customer needs and pain points as they experience your product or service. Mapping out the touchpoints of a customer’s journey helps you to see potential pain points from an unbiased perspective.
Journey mapping is a common practice in the UX/UI field. It has also gained traction in recent years with other product and service verticals. Business owners and managers alike are coming to realize that data alone fails to communicate the pain points and experiences of customers. A story can do that, and one of the best storytelling tools in business is the customer journey map.
The following image depicts the journey of a couple looking to plan their next vacation. Note the emotions and involvement that is required by the couple at each stage of their journey:
Image courtesy of Uxeria
Creating a Journey Map
Journey maps can (and should) take a wide variety of forms. The end goal, however, is always the same: find and resolve the pain points of your customers…aka friction.
1. Define your persona (lens)
All customers are different, but it’s important to a few create personas that help you to understand their unique perspectives. For example, in the journey mapping of a grocery store purchase, a mother of five young kids will have a much different lens than a single male in his 30s.
2. Identify the timeline
Once you’ve defined your persona, you have to identify the length of the buyer’s journey. How long does it take to start at consideration all the way through purchasing your product? This is done in a finite amount of time (e.g., 1 week or 1 year) or variable phases (e.g., awareness, consideration, decision).
3. Plot the touch points
Next, identify what and where the customer actions and interactions are occurring. Whether they’re paying a bill online or picking up a cake, identifying these touch points and use these as your horizontal axis.
This is also a good time to understand how your customers might reach out to you. Will it be over the phone? Using chat? Through social media? Knowing the channels your customers use most lets you better understand where to put your customer service resources.
4. Plot the emotions, actions, and questions
Now you’ve reached what is arguably the most critical step in Journey Mapping. It’s imperative to plot the emotions, actions, and questions a customer experience during each touchpoint. Brainstorm and reflect on past experiences to uncover responses point through the lens of each persona.
Image Courtesy of @Harrybr via Medium
5. Determine points of friction
Every business will look through the lens of their customer personas differently. Walking through each of these columns with your team will help you to identify any points of friction within the customer experience.
Of course, every business is different and YOU will know your customers best. Below are a few example questions to get you started:
- Where could friction appear in this particular touchpoint?
- Are people abandoning purchases because of this?
- Are customers not aware of this solution that we’ve already provided? If so, why not?
Once you’ve had a chance to identify the points of friction that customers experience, it’s time to step back and start thinking of solutions. This is where you’ll find it most helpful to get input from your team, as they’ll have perspectives from all sides of the business.
You should also think about what medium you will use to solve problems. Is it about better training so customer support can answer complex questions? Having the right visual engagement tools on your website to quickly see and solve online issues? Making sure there are enough customer service employees to handle requests?
The next time you have an upset customer, think about how journey mapping could have helped to proactively resolve the situation. Now that you’ve taken the time to learn about how master it, it’s time to create a few for your own business. If you’re interested in learning more about the process, I’ve listed a few helpful resources below:
Now that you’ve got Journey Mapping down, it’s time to discover even more tips and tricks for improving your customer care processes.
About David Freund
David is the Director of Web Development with Junto, a hyper-efficient traffic generation and web development service. When he’s not behind a computer, you can find him exploring the Rocky Mountains by bike or board. Learn more about David here. Be sure check out Junto’s blog for more digital marketing insights.
About Glance Networks
Glance helps enterprise organizations create the ultimate customer experience with smart, omni-channel visual engagement solutions based around integrated cobrowse, screen share, and one-way agent video. We are one of the world’s simplest, most reliable and secure platforms that enable companies to see, show and share anything online, creating a frictionless path to great experiences in sales, support and customer service. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased revenue growth and operational savings. From financial services and healthcare to retail and travel and leisure, even the most advanced technology and SaaS organizations – we transform the customer experience for today’s business. Learn More »