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Customer Journey Maps: The Secret to Better Customer Service?

Monday, August 18, 2014   By Mike Reddy

 



If you are up with the more modern trends for improving customer service, you have likely heard of a customer journey map. But let's define it in any case before we begin, so that we are all at the same starting point.

A customer journey map is a visual tool which allows you as a business owner to track the methods that deliver you completely satisfied customers.

While on a business coaching engagement in Sydney last week I was speaking to a business owner about improving customer service.  Specifically I introduced a relatively new means of identifying where to improve customer service - the customer journey map.

A customer journey map is a visual tool which allows you as a business owner to track the methods that deliver you completely satisfied customers.

A customer journey map is actually quite a simple concept - it is a diagram of the steps that your customers go through as they engage with your business (called touch points).

It doesn't really make a difference whether your company offers products, services, online, retail or both; a good customer journey map will help you understand the journey your customer takes each time they interact with your company and how well your employees are delivering a positive experience at every touch point.

Obviously the more touch points or interactions - the more complex your company's journey map will be. As a business coaching framework I include:

  • Customer's Initial Connection (advertising or in your store or office)
  • Customer's Purchase of Product or Service
  • Customer's Use of Product or Service
  • Customer's Sharing Their Experience with Others
  • Customer's Upgrading, Replacing, or Choosing Your Competitor

It is easy to see how customer journey mapping can help you and your company arrive at satisfied customers. When you are ready to create your customer journey map, follow these tips:

  • See from your customer's perspective - the map must begin from your customer’s point of view.
  • Use your research (interviews, surveys, etc.).
  • Determine your customer’s goals at each step of the process. Focus on their emotions as they affect actions, reactions, motivation, questions and concerns along the journey.
  • Characterise your touch points and identify which staff member or department is responsible there.
  • Recognise critical moments in the customer’s journey, touch points that affect the entire journey.
  • Determine if your customer’s experience with your business supports what your brand promises. Are you meeting your brand goals?
  • Be aware of the time at each touch point in the journey map. How long is your customer there before their goal is met?

It is important to realise in creating your own customer journey map, that no two will be the same. There is no ‘right’ way, your company must find what works best to give you the understanding you need of the journey your customers take with your company.


Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.