Customer Journey Management is a rather new term that can mean many different things depending on the role of the reader. For some, customer journey management is an engagement method to up- and cross-sell your products and services. For others, it can mean creating exceptionally great customer experiences using technology to help and to assist in creating more value for the customer over time and over various channels.
For us, at Spark Studio our vision is to create the best possible customer experience. In the end, this usually leads to more profit. Happy customers are loyal customers and they might also tell their friends about you.
So how do we do it? Well, our preferred technology is Thunderhead’s ONE Engagement Hub, but in this article, we are not focusing on the technology, but rather the way it’s done.
It All Starts With Understanding Your Customers and Your Business
First, we need to look at how you interact with your customer and how you work internally. We need to have a good understanding of your current business, its processes and some knowledge about how you use various systems and tools in your operations.
The objective of the phase is to identify the current customer touchpoints and current process pain points that you have. Customer touchpoints are the interactions that you have with your customer on certain channels. These touchpoints have certain measures to them, such as volume and customer satisfaction. Current process pain points are the processes and tasks your employees have that have a negative impact on the satisfaction of your employees’ work. The pain points also have measures to them, such as volume and duration.
By identifying the touchpoints and the pain points, we have an overview of what’s going on and what types of customer journeys your customers are on.
Listening and Analyzing
The listening and analyzing phase is for me one of the most exciting phases. The objective here is to gather various data of your customers in all your channels to gather a holistic view of what they are doing, when do they drop off (and why) and how are your customers switching channels.
Let’s take an example from the insurance sector and purchasing a vehicle insurance. An unidentified customer lands on your website and starts to read about your vehicle insurance options, their covers and they might even start calculating a quote. At some point, the customer drops off from the website, calls your call center and starts a discussion with your agent over the phone. This call might end up in the agent sending a quote to the customer on their preferred channel.
If the listening and analysis tools are setup correctly, it is possible to see the entire customer journey. With listening to the front-end (website) and to your back-end systems it is possible to create a visual data representation of the what users were doing on your website. With proper analytics, we can define various customer journeys and create various profiles for users who are interested in buying a vehicle insurance. We can furthermore see when the users drop off or change channels and why.
Creating the Best Possible Customer Experience
Once this groundwork has been done, creating a better customer experience is not that difficult. We the data we have collected, we can identify touchpoints that can significantly improve the overall customer experience. With the right tools, we can in real-time alter the view of your website to provide the correct additional information your customer is searching for. We can also trigger help if we see that for this profile, the customer would prefer talking or chatting with you. We can also transfer data to your back-end systems or initiate services on the customer’s behalf. Thunderhead defines this as “The Next Best Conversation”.
So what does this in real life mean? Let’s use the same vehicle insurance example. The customer has been surfing around on your website and they have given some details about what kind of a vehicle they have. At some point of the process, they decide to click on your website Call Center Call To Action button. Typically what happens is when your agent answers the call, they know literally nothing about the person calling. This does not need to be the case. With the right tools, the customer agent could see the caller’s profile. An example of The Next Best Conversation is that the agent could see that the caller was interested in buying a vehicle insurance for a 5-year-old convertible, they looked around at many different covers and that the caller’s age is 39. It could furthermore suggest Conversations topics based on the profile. For example, these topics could be “tell more about the theft cover” and “discuss whether the towing cover is not needed for this vehicle yet”.
But it doesn’t have to stop here. Now, this user has been identified thanks to the talk with the agent. All of the next touchpoints with this customer regardless of what channel they use can be altered to create value to the customer. The next time the customer visits your website, you could automatically provide the customer on how they should service their car to ensure its safe or by providing other services that might be valuable for them such as providing the customer with digital mileage and service diaries.
It’s All About Iterations
Don’t be fooled with assuming that once you have gone through these steps that you’re ready. In fact is the opposite. Your customers have constantly different needs and different stages in their lives. So to keep up with them and understanding these different customer journeys you need to iteratively keep listening, analyzing and altering your customer experience. With listening and engaging with your customers in the right time, the right channel and with the right conversations, you create value for them that at the end of the day, creates value for your business.
So, What’s in It for Me?
It all depends on what you want to measure. If we have done our service design work right, you should see improvements in many places. Removing your employee’s pain points creates faster throughput and thus increases your productivity. But most of all it improves your employees’ satisfaction on their work. That is one of your most valuable assets you have.
Creating the best customer experience increases your customer’s satisfaction with the service you are providing them with. This will lead to lower churn rates and higher organic promoting of your service. Your customer acquisition costs will go down and you have created a method to cross- and up-sell when the customer needs it. At the end of the day, it means a healthier business for you.