Maps_70172637_m-2015

Journey Mapping = Effective Customer Service Strategy

Maps_70172637_m-2015It’s no secret around here that journey maps are key to a successful customer service strategy for your business. We do a lot of customer journey mapping, using data straight from your customers. But there’s more than one kind of journey map, which can lead to questions about what kind of map to create—but also, how to integrate more than one type of map to better understand each facet of your company, employees and customers, to improve your customer loyalty and business outcomes as a whole.

While you’re probably familiar with customer journey maps, employee journey maps are ideal complements to get the entire picture.

You might ask yourself, how do I actually merge customer and employee journey maps in a way that actually gives me valuable information? It’s not always an easy journey, but if you keep a few basic guidelines in mind, it can be a streamlined process with a significant effect on how you understand your company.

First, create a customer journey map. Let’s look at a case study: we consulted for a firm to create journey maps for both their customers and employees. To execute this first step, we met with both the firm’s clients and non-clients to better understand what it was like to work with our client. Predictably, the clients gave a different view of the process than the non-clients—but both perspectives were equally useful to the company. To truly understand the moments of truth that all journey maps are built upon, you have to understand both the positive and negative views of your company, so you can understand the potential and the challenges of that customer experience.

Then we went inside, and mapped the employee journey, to look to see how it reflects the customer journey.  What did we see?  Continual hand-offs – including times when those hand-offs didn’t go so well. This, of course, showed the reason for those customer friction points that caused frustration and impacted ongoing loyalty.

Your first step is to gather customer insights to create a comprehensive customer journey map, using a Journey Mapping Toolkit to help build the maps. How do your potential customers look for solutions? Where does your company enter into that process? At what points does your company entice them, and when does it drive them away?

Once you’ve put together a comprehensive customer journey map, it’s time to turn inward, and learn from your employees. Understand their processes as parts of the customer journey. Learn how they view the company’s workings, and how they see customers and the process potential customers go through to begin working with your company—the very process we analyzed in the last step.

However, resist the urge to prematurely share your customers’ view of the journey with employees. You want your employees’ authentic opinions, not just reactions to your other findings. Get their open-ended perspective of the journey.

Now it’s time to line up the two journey maps you’ve produced from your research. Look for points where there’s a lot of activity on the customer map but none on the employee map, or vice versa—these may be moments where you’ll want to redistribute employee and marketing energy. In the moments of activity on the customer map, make sure you rearrange your internal processes to cover those areas where customers are needing—and likely looking for—support. At the same time, look for moments you’re focusing energy on that customers mostly skip over, and don’t waste resources where customers won’t use them.

Using this method, you will gain insight into your company from both the inside and outside, and in combining the data you gather will have the tools to better understand how your customers and employees view the journey.

This will allow you to truly understand not only your customers’ moments of truth, but how your internal processes enable – or prevent – your customers’ success. And that’s how you truly build an effective customer-focused business strategy.

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