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A customer journey

We all attempt to deliver great service when in contact with a customer. Surprisingly our customers are still not always happy and satisfied. But why? What do we have to improve in our service to make them happier?

Not much – but we have to improve the journey our customers make. For a customer a single touchpoint doesn’t make much of a difference as long as the service is at least OK. The question is, what happens before, in between and after the touchpoints? How can we improve the customer experience there? To answer this question we first need to map the customer journey from the very beginning, such as in the Starbucks Experience Map by Little Springs Design. To do it step into the shoes of your customer – not just virtually but in reality. In process improvement this is called a GEMBA walk. Don’t attempt to map at your desk, you will most certainly miss a lot because you know how the journey should be and that will easily mislead you.

While mapping ask yourself some questions:

  • begin with a product you want to buy, such as a new phone.
  • how do you find your company and how easy is it to contact you? Are there any barriers such as well hidden phone hotline numbers?
  • how you find your products? Where do you search for them?
  • how easy is it to order the product? Compare online ordering to placing an order by phone or going to a store.
  • how easy is it to understand the product manual? Can you follow all steps? Do you need the manual at all? Are there barriers such as tech jargon? Was the manual written by a technology expert or by an expert on using the product?
  • at each stpe also ask yourself: why should I proceed from here on? Wouldn’t it be easier to just find another supplier?

Yuo will notice that none of these questions does involve customer service unless the process doesn’t work as it should. So if the customer calls customer service his journey might have ended in a dead end and he is in need of service. Improving the experience at one touchpoint doesn’t help if other touchpoints are neglected.

Read more about customer experience maps in this Harvard Business review blog.

7. April 2015

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