Customer journeys or customer journeys are the different paths that customers follow while interacting with a company: make a purchase, find information or get help, among others. For example, a user who wants to buy a product online will follow a different path than another who is looking for information about the guarantee.
Due to the advent of so many digital channels, customer journeys are no longer linear. One person may take a path that includes five digital touch points before making an online purchase, while another may simply call the store’s customer service for information on a particular product.
Teams that are responsible for improving customer journeys will be more successful if they have in mind how to optimize and facilitate them.
7 Keys that Can Improve the Customer Journey
1) Look at Things From the Customer’s Perspective
Journey maps that include customer emotions, goals, and reactions will help teams better understand customer insights. In addition, putting yourself in the shoes of users by following some of the most common journeys allows teams to know firsthand how customers feel during the customer journey.
Furthermore, managing the customer journey requires organizations to balance user demands with business goals and budgets.
2) Focus on the Journey from Start to Finish, Not Just Individual Touch Points
Call centers are a main point of contact that must offer omnichannel experiences, avoiding customers having to repeat their reason for consultation over and over again. In this sense, a Gartner investigation revealed that 96% of consumers expect companies to facilitate the change of channels.
3) Take an Incremental Approach
If all the improvements are implemented at once, you will never know which one is having the most positive or negative impact. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to use A/B testing for changes to client-oriented software functionality, message copying, etc. This method may take longer, but will provide better results.
4) Eliminate the “Taboos”
In the business world, there can be no such thing as an untouchable program, system, person, department or process, although they do exist unfortunate often due to office politics and people’s egos. Optimizing customer journeys is a business endeavor that can have far-reaching impacts. To make customer journeys successful, organizations need to identify and eliminate the root causes of friction and frustration.
5) Data, Data, Data!
Improving customer journeys must be a data-driven effort. Therefore, it is necessary to spend a great deal of time and effort to collect and analyze customer information: the more data you have, the better your knowledge of customers, of what they need and want from a business.
Contact centers are valuable sources of data that can inform the entire company about the points of contact that the different sales teams need to improve. Using survey data, engagement analysis results, and operational data, call centers can help raise awareness about:
- Product quality problems.
- Poorly designed software functionality.
- Website usability problems.
- Confusing marketing messages.
- Systemic billing problems.
- Customer sentiment.
- Self-service and agent-assisted support performance.
- Customer satisfaction, customer effort and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Customer data is not only essential for evaluating customer journeys; they must also be part of the solutions. For example, customer information should be used to tailor recommendations and personalize experiences. In addition, user data and contextual information are required for omnichannel customer experiences (CX).
6) Proactively Shape and Control Customer Journeys
Just because customers follow a certain problem-solving path doesn’t mean it’s the best path to follow to achieve their goals. Companies should try to better control travel by directing users to the best option and encouraging them to take the next step in the process.
In addition, organizations must be proactively innovative when designing customer journeys. Travel optimization should not be just about fixing pain points. Companies have to reinvent travel to surprise and delight their customers.
7) Focus on High-Value Customer Journeys
With so many possible journeys to map, manage, and improve, companies need to prioritize journeys to focus on those with the highest value. What constitutes a “high value” trip depends on the decisions of each company. The shopping trip is a priority, but “high value” also equates to trips that have a significant impact on customer loyalty and satisfaction.
In conclusion, optimizing customer journeys is vital to compete in today’s omnichannel customer experience economy.