Follow the customer, if they change… we change.
— Sir Terry Leahy, Chief Executive, Tesco plc
The Customer Journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your business and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer. A customer journey map literally maps all these experiences, or interactions, also called touch points, that your customers come into contact with in dealing with your business. The journey your customers take may vary a little but most journeys follow the same sequence:
- Select the company
- Come on board as a customer
- Use the service
- May need help
- May need to add or change products
- Renew the procedure or they leave
These are called the touch-points of the journey.
The Journey Map helps your business to see the touch points or transactions from the customer’s point of view and to understand the importance of each touch-point. Pain-points are referred to as those transactions that don’t go well for the customer and these are areas that need to be improved or changes to improve the customer experience.
You want your customer’s experience with your business to be positive and enriching and the Journey Map helps to identify issues in your business.
To get the relevant information about the customer journey you must connect your listening/survey system to the appropriate touch points and then deal with the resulting data.
One of the key features is responding quickly to all customer comments – this is called the “closed loop strategy” -the customer opens the loop with their comments and you close the loop by responding. This response may need additional management support but the initial response should be made within 48 hours.
Customer Journey Mapping is one of the ways of identifying the customer touch points and responding to their needs; it also allows you to monitor and evaluate changes in buying patterns.
At Customer Care Insights we have developed the ASPIRE programme to help business owners and managers to focus on improving the customer experience, and improve the bottom line performance.