Customers want more than just happy words and pretty pictures.
Creating an exceptional customer experience requires time, effort, and attention to detail. It’s critical to understand customers, customer expectations, and have the right process to ensure that service delivered exceeds service expectations.
Customer Journey mapping is an integral part of customer experience design. Customer journey maps help to understand the 360 degree view of customer experience lifecycle.
Shantanu Singh with Aditi Litehouse shared his views on an innovative and measurable approach to mapping the experience of the customer.
Singh points out that in previous years of serving customers, life was simple and easy. There were only brick and mortar stores to shop from.
Serving customers in the digital age
Customers would visit shops and supermarkets and come out with bags full of products. But in late 90’s, the Internet changed the entire ballgame. Everything became connected. Customers now have a “border free” pass to shop. Options increased and so did competition among brands. Life became complicated for brands and simpler for customers.
Every shopping experience has a journey with arbitrary starting and ending-points. Brands try to articulate this journey by drawing an end-to-end customer journey map. An effective customer journey map represents the journey of the customer from the initial desire/need of a product/service to its fulfillment.
With the huge penetration of mobile and social channels in our lives, the previous notion of effective Customer Experience Journey Map is fading. Customer journey is not simple anymore. The traditional funnel has transformed into a never ending loop.
Customers are always active on one or the other channel and different customer segments may take different paths to complete the same objective.
What’s Missing in the Customer Experience Journey?
Customer Journey Mapping is not new. Early adapters and evolved brands have used it for long to deliver rich experience across all the touch-points and throughout the channels.
Amazon and Nike are best examples of retail giants who have used “Customer Journey mapping” as their tool-kit to deliver seamless in-store, online and out-of-store experience.
In the age of customer, it’s necessary to have seamless Omni channel experience across all possible paths of the customer journey. Social media and mobile have added new channels in the customer journey but it’s of prime importance that we do not create new customer journey with inclusion of new channels.
Customers relate with the products and brands instead of the silos, they want the flexibility to seamlessly interact with both traditional and modern channels.
Companies are required to understand that each touch-point is an opportunity to deliver better customer experience. Brands should know different customer segments and all possible paths in a consumer’s journey.
A holistic CX Journey is required for seamless customer experience throughout the journey and across the channels regardless of the paths. For mapping a holistic customer journey brands need to consider:
- Omni-channel experience (in-store, online and Out-of-store)
- All possible touch-points
- Interaction between customer and touch-points
- Customer emotions at different channels and touch points
- Connected channels
The benefits of early CX adopters are slowly fading as customers already have a lot of CX oriented companies to choose from.
The present age requires that organizations refrain from self-centered policies and adopt a customer-centric view instead. It is the era of holistic customer journey maps and delivering memorable experiences.