The only tool you need to innovate, improve and increase customer experience

Customer experience
Another source of innovation is the customer experience. Customer experience is more than just service; it is a holistic embrace of the critical touch-points in your customer’s journey in using your product/service. It looks at not simply delivering your product or service but how your customer interacts with them. And by finding out what works, and what can be better, we open up areas for greater change, and ultimately, an innovation. In this article, we will expound on the customer journey map and how that single tool can lead you to delivering exceptional customer experience and make customer segmenting a breeze.

Customer journey mapping

The process of mapping the customer journey starts by breaking up the whole journey into phases or steps. After verifying the steps for the whole journey, you go out to speak to various customers who had recently used your service, asking them to rate each step either “High”, “Neutral” or “Low”. The criteria for this rating is more psychographic than deterministic; meaning how they felt about the step and why. This might yield a chart as such this:

Cust-Journey-Map.png

Those points at or above the middle (neutral) line denote areas of your journey that meet or exceed customer expectations; hence it is rated high or neutral. But the areas that lie below the middle line are points on your journey that need to be focused on, and new ideas need to be developed and trialled to ultimately move your whole customer experience at or above average. If you constantly did this, you would have elevated your customers’ experience in using your service to an unassailable level!

Segmenting the market

One unintended benefit of the customer journey map is that it allows you to identify different market segments. When you speak with enough people from diverse backgrounds, you will obviously come up with many different journey maps. What we have found out in applying this with a MNC bank recently was that there were similar shaped maps for different people. By grouping these similar maps together and diving deeper into the psychographic details of the customers whose journey map these belonged, we found very similar traits. These then formed our market segment or sub-segment. This also allowed us to design solutions that met the needs of the whole segment, thereby offering innovative new products and services to lead to greater growth.

Steps for doing a customer journey map

To embark on your own customer journey mapping, you may follow these steps:

  • Understand how your customer is using your product/service

  • Map out the steps in the journey

  • Segment your steps into aggregated clusters (optional)

  • Talk to customers and determine emotional highs/lows for each step

  • Add words for each step (waiting, talking, ordering, waiting, waiting…)

  • Plot the map

When you have completed the journey map, you would also be able to identify areas for improvement, streamlining the process along the way, leading to an enhanced customer experience.

And this is how you embark on customer experience innovation!

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