Customer Journey mapping is becoming an increasingly popular term in contact centers. Many organizations are using customer journey initiatives to drive customer value and growth. But what does the term ‘customer journey’ mean and why is it important to the contact center? Quite simply, the expression refers to the interactions a customer has with an organization from beginning to end – from when they first establish a need for a product or service to when they no-longer use the product or hopefully, keep coming back to become a repeat customer.
Organizations recognize that these customer journeys occur across multiple channels (eg, email, Web Chat SMS and website), over time and because humans are fickle, they can appear random and stuttering. Sounds familiar? Contact centers today are already multi-channel environments supported by agents who have to use all their experience, skills, knowledge and sometimes diplomacy to win over customers daily, often in difficult situations.
Empathy and Touch-Point Mapping
In an attempt to add clarity and structure to the customer journey, companies use techniques such as empathy and touch point mapping to establish how a customer feels at each stage of the journey (empathy mapping). Then draw up a list of all the possible points of contact a potential or actual customer has with the business before, during or after purchase (touch point mapping). This means tracking a customer’s conversation, real or virtual, every step of the way from the customer seeing an advert or user review, visiting a website for product info or walking into your online shop or store.
Does all this sound very complicated and a little too scientific? Although the very idea of the customer journey appears very clinical and detached from human experience, the concept also opens up some distinct and real possibilities for today’s multi-channel, multi-faceted contact centers.
Top tips for achieving customer value leadership
At Teleopti, we are proud of our achievement to win Frost & Sullivan’s 2016 EMEA Customer Value Leadership Award. It’s an incredible milestone that, we believe, recognizes our work on raising employee engagement. At the same time, it reflects our dedication to understanding our customers’ individual journeys, essential to increasing satisfaction levels.
For example, our consultants stay with customers and support them long after the installation phase, ensuring not only that their workforce management (WFM) solution is up and running properly, but that it’s tailored, fine-tuned and maximized in its usage, therefore fully meeting each customer’s needs. A thorough and detailed hand-over of the customer from pre-sales and consulting to service desk secures the well-formed circle of continuous customer care.
We’d like to share some of the lessons learned since we started out nearly 25 years ago. Here are our top three tips for acknowledging the importance of the customer journey to improve customer service and attaining the holy grail of true customer value leadership in the contact center:
- Schedule the right person, with the right skills at the right time. This is the core objective with a WFM solution. Our experience is that a feature-rich product set enables you to innovate and improve both the customer experience and employee engagement.
- “The right skills” includes both hard skills and soft skills (for example empathy). What makes an agent perform well in your line of business? Use competence management to find out and take the right actions to manage your talent pool and resources.
- Keep employees happy and empowered – with easy-to-use and visually appealing access to technology that allows them to plan their work around their life while still optimizing service levels. Make the most of gamification techniques to motivate agents in an enjoyable way, enabling them to see their achievements and therefore perform better in the long run.
Following the above points is a step towards creating a highly efficient contact center that boasts well-motivated, productive agents who actively drive customer value and support business success.
Magnus Geverts is head of business development at Teleopti.