Back in the 1990’s, most businesses saw – and operated – their inbound call centers as little more than an expense. A call center’s performance was measured by how cheaply it could be run. The calls with customers were, in turn, measured with a conveyor-belt mentality: crank as many through, as quickly as possible.
It’s taken years for this siloed view of call centers to be replaced by today’s more customer-centric, CX-driven (and profitable) perspective. But today’s thriving businesses recognize that every customer’s experience – no matter how seemingly insignificant – is a critical step in a customer’s buying journey. Each experience has an impact on retention, loyalty, and profitability.
These businesses are partnering with their marketing teams to develop brand messaging and call standards that ensure that every inbound customer call is a positive, memorable step in that customer’s brand experience.
It’s called Customer Journey Mapping. If you haven’t started examining your customer’s experience through the journey mapping lens, I highly recommend it. If you’ve already started, remember to include your inbound customer calls. A carefully thought through customer journey map will inform your understanding of what your customers really want from you and how well you’re meeting their expectations. From there, the customer journey map can help shape your outsourcing decisions and the training of your customer care agents.
To get more background on this approach, check out this recent article from Forbes.com on the importance of Customer Journey Mapping.
If you’re looking for a customer care partner capable of delivering superior customer experience on every call, please reach out. We would love to learn about your goals and talk with you about how we can help you achieve them.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping And Why Is It Important?
by Andy Steuer
Consider the first pioneers exploring the new frontier as they made their way across the country in the 17th century. They had no maps to guide them. For the earliest of the frontiersmen, there were no trails to show the way. They learned by trial and error. They ran into cliffs and mountains that meant detouring hundreds of miles to get around. They went into canyons only to find they led to insurmountable obstacles that forced them to backtrack and find another way. Many didn’t survive the harrowing journey in this brave new land.
Fortunately, we now have GPS and maps to guide us as we travel. For businesses, however, the journey customers take when trying to do business with us is still too often a mystery. Customers experience roadblocks, dead ends and frustration in their journey. The more friction we put in front of potential customers, the less likely they are to complete the journey.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer journey mapping is a way to visualize the customer experience and how they interact with your business. Your goal in mapping that journey is to remove the obstacles and make the process efficient and intuitive. The more seamless an experience you can create, the better the customer experience will be. It is literally mapping out the best path for the typical customer journey.
Why Customer Journey Mapping Is A Critical Step
This process creates an overview of the customer experience and maps how customers move through the sales funnel. It is especially useful across both the iteration and refinement process as new elements are designed and older processes are refined or eliminated. It allows you to identify opportunities to improve and enhance the overall customer experience.
For content creators, it can help determine what content you need to create and the best way to approach it. For designers, it provides context for how users see the experience. For UX designers, it can identify missing connections in navigation, stress points in the flow and help eliminate customer frustrations.
At its heart, customer journey mapping puts the customer at the center of everything you do. Instead of looking first at your priorities and making assumptions about how to motivate customers to meet your goals, consider the customer first and how they will move through the funnel.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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