Customer journey: the ultimate eye-opener

01/03/2018

Customers. Every organisation has them, but many members of staff never actually meet them. So how can your staff be sure that they’re doing their work properly? The customer journey is a real eye-opener in this respect.

What is a customer journey?

The term ‘customer journey’ stands for the route that a customer takes when he or she comes into contact with your organisation. For instance, this could be because the customer wants to use a service, buy a product or get hold of some information. In general, the more pleasant the customer journey is, the more successful your business will be.

Why should you create a customer journey?

The purpose of the customer journey is to make people aware of the customer, of what he or she experiences when coming into contact with the organisation, and of any shortcomings in the relevant processes.
House of Performance deploys customer journeys:

  • In order to focus or refocus on the customer

Sometimes, organisations may spend a while focusing solely on internal matters. This may, for instance, happen because a reorganisation demands everyone’s attention. After such a period of time, it may be difficult to refocus on the customer. The customer journey then becomes a tool for finding the answers to questions such as, ‘What are we all working on together, what are we doing it for, and for whom?’

  • Because you really do want to optimise processes

More and more organisations are getting to grips with optimising processes. The customer journey helps to ensure they don’t lose sight of the customer while doing so. This way, you can work more efficiently while simultaneously creating added value for the customer.

How do you put together a customer journey?

In order to learn from the customer journey, members of staff need to be able to completely identify with the customer, discover what the customer is experiencing and realise which obstacles he or she is coming up against. Here’s a broad outline of the steps you need to take:

    1. Identify the customer

Each customer is different. Having said that, it’s nearly always possible to recognise certain customer groups. You can literally give each of these customer groups a face by creating what we call a ‘persona’ out of them

    2. Travel alongside the customerer

You can get a better overview of this whole process by visualising it. This way, you can identify the moments when the customer is in contact with your organisation – we call these ‘touchpoints’. You can also see what happens between these contact moments.

What does each persona experience when dealing with us? That’s the next question. How and why do they get into contact with us in the first place? Which members of staff do they see or speak to, and when?

    3. Determine the emotion curve and mark out the obstacles

Of course, it’s possible for a team to come up with such insights themselves. But it’s even better if members of staff can get them directly from the customer, for instance by holding customer interviews.

Where, during the process, is the customer extremely happy – or extremely unhappy? An emotion curve provides insights into the critical points during the customer journey.

    4. Use data

An important question to ask next is, ‘How big and how structural really are the problems that have been signalled?’ This will give you some good insights. For example, into the number of customers who go through the process that has been set up, and in how long it takes them. A data-driven customer journey will help you to verify the images that have been set up, while also enabling you to come up with fresh insights.

    5. Optimise your processes

The ultimate goal of the customer journey is for you to optimise your processes, thereby creating maximum value for the very customers who go down this route. By so doing, you ensure that it’s a journey well worth taking.

Also read: Three things you must NOT do if you want to become more customer-focused.

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About the author

Truly putting people - and thereby whole organisations - into motion is what gives me energy. I enjoy working together with clients in a result-orientated manner while always paying attention to the people involved.

Go to Aileen Nederlof
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