How well do you know your customers? I am certain many of us think we know them very well. We may form our opinions based on recent interactions, feedback, or surveys. While each of these offers great insight into understanding our customer, they are only chapters in the larger story.
To fully understand your customer you must take an all encompassing view. Those mentioned above give snapshots and are based on single interactions. To truly know your customer, you must look beyond a single exchange. This is the power of the customer journey. What is the customer journey? In its simplest form, it the overall customer experience across all touch points within your organization. Justin Robbins, Senior Analyst at ICMI, gave an insightful presentation today at Contact Center Expo and Conference that unlocked the challenges to successfully map the customer journey.
Recognizing the customer journey starts before the contact center interaction, and continues afterwards is of great importance. The contact center represents only a part of the journey, but it’s a focal point for the journey. Justin explained it best when he said “agents own the moment even though they may not be able to deliver”. There are moments to excel, enlighten and delight that we must capitalize on!
To the public, the service center is the place for issue resolution. However, within the organization, processes and policy may not allow for this. This results in agents being ill equipped to provide the best possible service. Before long, agent morale is low and it is only a matter of time before this influences customer experience. We all agree happy agents equal happy customers, but let’s not lose sight of the inverse.
This is why journey mapping is critical to the contact center. Understanding where the inefficiencies are, and working to resolve them, will empower agents and create an experience customers will enjoy. As highlighted in the session, mapping the journey is not a quick, easy process. It takes work, time and patience. However, if there is a sincere commitment to excellence in the service department, understanding and improving the journey is a must.
A few items that were mentioned at great length were to:
- Identify Stakeholders
- Identify Channels & Touchpoints
- Understand the emotional journey
- Create a blueprint
This article originally appeared on ICMI
Sean is a Contact Center manager with over 15 years of experience. He has a terrific pulse on incorporating innovation into the contact center. He's implemented social, outsourcing partners, new technology, and new products, while maintaining an award-winning contact center.
His contact center is a past winner of the ICMI "Global Call Center of the Year" award for Small to Medium-Sized Centers.
Follow on Twitter @SeanBHawkins