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Episode 023 – The Difference Between Customer Success and Customer Experience

Shownotes…

I am going to be delivering a webinar later this week for a partner and our initial conversations were around moving from Customer Success to Customer experience.

It seems that Customer Success has a wide range of definitions, as does Customer Experience. So I thought it was important to differentiate the two and show you how they can work in tandem.

Customer Success, as first described to me, is when the customer is successful in their efforts and outcomes in using the purchased product or service. Boiled down, the customer received what they paid for. The product or service accomplished the promised goal or outcome the way it was promised.

Customer Success (CS). Customer success is defined as when a customer achieves their desired outcome through their interactions with your company.

This is a bare-bones definition.

Customer Experience, in my opinion, and seems to coincide with the vast majority in the CX space, is that the Customer Experience is the umbrella which covers everything and anything about how the customer feels about the way you work with them. It includes your marketing, your front line customer service skills, the processes, the paperwork, the actual purchase and payment, the support after the sale, and ultimately, were the able to do what they wanted to do with your product or service – was your product or service successful in helping them do what they wanted to do.

So therein it seems that Customer Success is really the support on how to use the product or service, troubleshooting, helping resolve issues in the process, guiding them along the way and setting them up for success in how they use it.

There is nothing mentioned about how they FEEL during the process other than if they were successful with their intent.

Following this thread then, Customer Success is more product or service oriented. It is transactionally focused. The focus in on how to get the customer from start to finish. Now, that’s not to say that customer success doesn’t involve training customer service skills, being professional, or anything like that, but is mainly focused on making sure the product or service does what it says it will do. 

It falls into the category of Customer Service, in my option. As I mentioned back in the first episode of this podcast, it is more reactive. It’s responding to specific questions or problems encountered with the actual use or implementation of the product or service. You are focused on the outcome, not the journey.

CX is the way you decide to run your customer success goals

Forrester Research defines customer experience (CX) as how customers perceive their interactions with your company.

CX, is strategic. This is the way the company operates intentionally and considering the way they want the customer to perceived and feel about the organization at large, not just this specific purchase or product.

CX is proactive. CX is intended to incorporate the “Back of House” components – the culture, the core values, the specific hiring and training of the best individuals to represent the company and display the core values and intentional behaviors set by leadership.

Back in episode 1, we spent some time discussing the benefits of having a strong CX program and strategy. This feeds directly into how your customer success team helps your customers achieve their goals. That customer success team is displaying the culture and core values in everything they say and do. 

CX is focused on the customer and employees as people since they are the ones driving the experience with how they represent and use the product.

So, I hope this helps differentiate the two. Bottom line… customer success is contained within the customer experience. it is part of the experience. It needs to feed into and feel similar to the other ways your customers work with other departments during their journey and interactions with your organization.

So please email me your questions about customer success or the CX. I’m curious to know what you think and how your organizations have defined these and how that has or hasn’t made an impact.

Email me at Kristina@KristinaEvey.com with your questions about anything and everything CX related as I use these to help shape relevant podcasts for you.

Also, please be sure to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and Stitcher. This podcast is gaining traction and you can help it even more by giving a rating and review if you feel we’ve earned it.

I truly appreciate you listening and subscribing to this podcast. and I will see YOU next week.

Episode 020 – Get Customer Feedback & Insights with Focus Groups

Shownotes…

  • Listening to customers is the goal
  • Data drives a lot of CX work
  • Conversations give you the reasons BEHIND the data
  • Focus groups are a great way to have conversations
  • General fishing, proposed changes, specific topic focus
  • Feed off the energy and questions from the group
  • Uncover questions, priorities, issues, not on your radar
  • Participants tend to springboard off each other
  • Be strategic about focus groups
  • Suggested Methodology
    1. Be Clear on Purpose Use of Outcomes
    2. Determine appropriate participants – Invite them about 3-4 weeks prior to the event, logistics should be shared on the invite. I like to limit the group to 12-15. More than that and people will hide behind the numbers, somewhat like the Bystander Effect. They figure others will speak for them OR they may feel intimidated.
    3. Establish facilitator
    4. Craft questions to draw out information based on purpose – OPEN-ENDED
      1. “Tell me about…”
      2. “Share what drives these feelings…”
    5. Identify best location for the event – location, size, atmosphere
    6. Conduct the Focus Group – Again share the purpose, ask the questions and facilitate discussion, thank them for attending and sharing their input, explain how data will be used moving forward.
    7. Have someone taking copious notes – recording can be done with permissions, check with your legal counsel or state for general release statement
    8. Debrief with your co-leaders – what worked, what didn’t, what would you do differently, any urgent or immediate things to follow up on
    9. Summarize results and findings, including those in the debrief
    10. Send Thank You to participants along the lines of…

Thanks so very much for taking part in our Focus Group last week. We truly appreciate you taking the time and giving your honest feedback and insight on how we at “ABC Co” can best work with you and support your goals using our services.

We are currently compiling the information you shared with us to review with our Leadership Team. Your feedback and suggestions will be used to shape how we work with all of our customers moving forward.

As we pointed out, you may have thought of other things you would like us to be aware of since we met. Please respond back to this email with any ideas, questions, or suggestions that occur to you based on our conversation. We truly do use your input when designing our experience and systems.

Thank you!

11. Review report and findings with Leadership

12. Plan of action with timeline, assignments, and accountability.

If possible, let participants know how their input helped in specific areas.

Share with all of your customers you held a focus group, what was learned, and how you intend to use the data or what improvements can or have been made

When people see you take their feedback seriously, they’ll be more likely to share with you in any context.

So now you know more about focus groups and I hope you will take the initiative to hold some. It’s a great way to get inside the mind of your customers to help shape the way you work with them and serve them.

Also, please email me your experiences with focus groups and share what worked and what didn’t, and what you would have done differently had you known what you know now.

Lastly, be sure to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher to be sure you get every episode as soon as it is released.

Thanks so much for spending this time with me today. I’ll see YOU on the next episode!

Customer Service Week is October 1-5, 2018

Tips on How to Celebrate Customer Service Week 2018

Customer Service Week spans October 1 through 5 this year. If you haven’t thought about it yet, you still have some time to make your teams feel the love by putting a few things in place to celebrate the work they do with your customers.

Listen here for the podcast on Customer Service Week ideas… 

Customer Service Week is the designated week to celebrate the folks in your company who work with customers and build strong relationships with them. These are the people your customers associate with your brand when solving problems and answering questions.

There are people in your company not working directly face to face with your customers. Their contribution is behind the scenes to support someone who does, so everyone needs to be encouraged and rewarded for their work and efforts.

Here are some suggestions to celebrate the work and value your teams bring to your customers, boost morale and teamwork, and raise companywide awareness of the importance of customer service and how it plays into the overall customer experience.

Monday – Kick the week off with everyone in your company signing a pledge to continue the commitment of delivering excellent customer service. Provide coffee and doughnuts, bagels, fresh fruit, etc. to celebrate and as a “Thank You” for the commitment everyone made.

Customer Service Pledge example –

I pledge to deliver the very best of myself to our customers. I will do this by…

  • Understanding the customer is trusting us to help them succeed and with their money.
  • Being positive, proactive, and professional with customers and coworkers.
  • Listening to our customers with an openness and empathy.
  • Resolving all issues as thoroughly and promptly as possible.
  • Keeping customers informed and updated.
  • Expressing thanks and that we value every single customer.
  • Asking for suggestions and feedback to improve the way we work with customers.

You may consider having a theme for the week. Some suggestions are…

  • Show Customers the Love in the Details
  • It’s Easy and Fun to Work With Us
  • Our Customers Are Successful Because We Care Enough to Do Our Best
  • Everything Counts in the Eyes of the Customer

Talk about how the theme applies to your staff and the overall customer experience. As leaders, be sure to genuinely thank your teams and staff for the work they do to be the best representatives for your company.

Tuesday – Make it Personal

Deliver a handwritten thank you note to everyone in your company with two or three sentences expressing thanks and giving a specific example or characteristic you appreciate about that person.

If your company is large, have every manager or supervisor write and distribute the letters of thanks to their teams.

Have everyone in the company write a note of thanks to a peer or coworker expressing sincere thanks and appreciation for the work they do that helps the customer and their team members.

Wednesday – Have Fun and Relieve Stress

Be creative. Hand out stress balls, stress relieving adult coloring books or pages and colored pencils, fidget spinners, back and neck pressure point massagers, print out yoga poses for the workplace (https://www.verywellfit.com/yoga-stretches-at-your- desk-3567200 ), etc.

Play games. Have teams or departments spend a little time just playing and getting to know each other in fun. No cost examples are…

“Two Truths and a Lie” where everyone shares two true things about themselves and one lie. The rest of the team tries to guess the lie and everyone gets to learn a little more about each other.

“Guess Who Owns This” – Everyone writes down a little-known fact about themselves on a slip of paper. All slips are then folded and place in a hat or bowl. Someone picks a slip, reads the written fact, and the group guesses who wrote each one.

Other ideas include organized team challenges, bowling, movie night, scavenger hunt, dinner, etc.

Thursday – Show the Love

Each group or department would be visited by a member of the leadership team for a sincere “Show the Love” talk thanking them for the way that team or group has worked with customers, helped solve a problem, or gone above and beyond in some way for the company or the customer. Be sure to be specific. Generic “rah rah” speeches are rarely effective or appreciated.

Share stories with each other about the wackiest customer request, their favorite customer that they’ve worked with, the nicest thing a customer ever said to them, or a way they knew they really helped a customer out. This is a great time to use humor and learn from everyone.

Friday – Wrap Up

Everyone loves food. If you haven’t had a food-focused day… this would be a great day to do it. Either cater lunch in or plan a potluck. Everyone loves food. Decorate the lunch room with balloons and streamers to celebrate your staff, teams, and the way they dedicate themselves to working in the best interest of the customers and the company.

Remind them of the pledge they signed on Monday and express your sincere thanks and appreciation for their commitment to delivering the best service possible.

The goal of Customer Service Week is to celebrate, recognize, and reward the efforts your team makes.

Episode – 019 Tips for Customer Service Week 2018

Tips on How to Celebrate Customer Service Week 2018

Customer Service Week spans October 1 through 5 this year.

Customer Service week is the designated week to celebrate the folks in your company who work with customers and build strong relationships with them. These are the people your customers associate with your brand when solving problems and answering questions.

There are people in your company not working directly face to face with your customers. Their contribution is behind the scenes to support someone who does, so everyone needs to be encouraged and rewarded for their work and efforts.

Here are suggestions to celebrate the work and value your teams bring to your customers, boost morale and teamwork, and raise companywide awareness of the importance of customer service and how it plays into the overall customer experience.

Monday – Kick the week off with everyone in your company signing a pledge to continue the commitment of delivering excellent customer service. Provide coffee and doughnuts, bagels, fresh fruit, etc. to celebrate and as a “Thank You” for the commitment everyone made.

Customer Service Pledge example –

I pledge to deliver the very best of myself to our customers. I will do this by…

  • Understanding the customer is trusting us to help them succeed and with their money.
  • Being positive, proactive, and professional with customers and coworkers.
  • Listening to our customers with an openness and empathy.
  • Resolving all issues as thoroughly and promptly as possible.
  • Keeping customers informed and updated.
  • Expressing thanks and that we value every single customer.
  • Asking for suggestions and feedback to improve the way we work with customers.

You may consider having a theme for the week. Some suggestions are…

  • Show Customers the Love in the Details
  • It’s Easy and Fun to Work With Us
  • Our Customers Are Successful Because We Care Enough to Do Our Best
  • Everything Counts in the Eyes of the Customer

Talk about how the theme applies to your staff and the overall customer experience. As leaders, be sure to genuinely thank your teams and staff for the work they do to be the best representatives for your company.

Tuesday – Make it Personal

Deliver a handwritten thank you note to everyone in your company with two or three sentences expressing thanks and giving a specific example or characteristic you appreciate about that person.

If your company is large, have every manager or supervisor write and distribute the letters of thanks to their teams.

Have everyone in the company write a note of thanks to a peer or coworker expressing sincere thanks and appreciation for the work they do that helps the customer and their team members.

Wednesday – Have Fun and Relieve Stress

Be creative. Hand out stress balls, stress relieving adult coloring books or pages and colored pencils, fidget spinners, back and neck pressure point massagers, print out yoga poses for the workplace (https://www.verywellfit.com/yoga-stretches-at-your- desk-3567200 ), etc.

Play games. Have teams or departments spend a little time just playing and getting to know each other in fun. No cost examples are…

“Two Truths and a Lie” where everyone shares two true things about themselves and one lie. The rest of the team tries to guess the lie and everyone gets to learn a little more about each other.

“Guess Who Owns This” – Everyone writes down a little-known fact about themselves on a slip of paper. All slips are then folded and place in a hat or bowl. Someone picks a slip, reads the written fact, and the group guesses who wrote each one.

Other ideas include organized team challenges, bowling, movie night, scavenger hunt, dinner, etc.

Thursday – Show the Love

Each group or department would be visited by a member of the leadership team for a sincere “Show the Love” talk thanking them for the way that team or group has worked with customers, helped solve a problem, or gone above and beyond in some way for the company or the customer. Be sure to be specific. Generic “rah rah” speeches are rarely effective or appreciated.

Share stories with each other about the wackiest customer request, their favorite customer that they’ve worked with, the nicest thing a customer ever said to them, or a way they knew they really helped a customer out. This is a great time to use humor and learn from everyone.

Friday – Wrap Up

Everyone loves food. If you haven’t had a food-focused day… this would be a great day to do it. Either cater lunch in or plan a potluck. Everyone loves food. Decorate the lunch room with balloons and streamers to celebrate your staff, teams, and the way they dedicate themselves to working in the best interest of the customers and the company.

Remind them of the pledge they signed on Monday and express your sincere thanks and appreciation for their commitment to delivering the best service possible.

The goal of Customer Service Week is to celebrate, recognize, and reward the efforts your team makes.

Take the suggestions and personalize them within your company. You can make this a fun and successful week for everyone involved by being creative.

Customer Irritation Can Erode Customer Experience

I was recently at a business conference at a highly regarded venue. The presenter was wonderful and provided lots of strategies, techniques, and solutions for those in attendance. Participants walked away with a wealth of knowledge and takeaways ready to implement in their companies.

The food was great. The venue provided a light breakfast, delicious lunches, snacks, and a wide variety of sodas and water.

One thing that was a surprise to everyone was the renovation taking place on a grand scale. However, the venue did a remarkable job with signage to direct parking and where to enter the main building.

Upon the conclusion as everyone was walking out to their cars, I overheard several conversations focusing on two extreme irritations during the conference.

1) Access to the provided WiFi was impossible. While everyone could select the WiFi network and was taken to the login screen… everything froze from that point on. The screens simply didn’t progress past the login screen, regardless of network carrier. And because the conference room was in the lower levels, we all transitioned between no network, 3G, and LTE randomly.

The irritation was that WiFi was presented as an option, accessed to the login screen… and then left everyone hanging. Several attendees mentioned that it would have felt better to them had it not been offered as an option at all.

As a result, one of the people at my table lost all of his notes he took on his computer. Apparently he was in LTE mode when accessing the online program, yet because of the inconsistency of network connection in the room without WiFi, his notes were lost as soon as he turned off his computer.

2) The room temperature was freezing 90% of the time. As in, I’m sure the aging process was slowed dramatically for those in the room during those two days. I know, HVAC is a challenge in most buildings, but it is something that impacts the ability for participants to fully engage in an event. When folks are too hot or cold and the temperature passes their comfort threshold, they become distracted looking for ways to become more comfortable.

The interesting thing was that some of the attendees went to a local restaurant at the conclusion of the first day’s curriculum and the temperature in the restaurant was so cold that a few folks went to their cars to grab sweaters and jackets. Someone even brought out a blanket from their car to use in the restaurant. When this was discussed at our table the next morning, one of my table mates said “If you managed a restaurant, wouldn’t you make absolutely everything would be done to keep people comfortable so they could enjoy their meal? It was crazy cold.” No one mentioned the food, the conversation, only the temperature.

The point… the conference content was wonderful. But when asked about the venue, most everyone mentioned the WiFi and temperature without mentioning the renovation challenge or the beautiful gardens that surround the building itself.

When this company hosts another conference, I wonder if they will consider holding it somewhere else because of the irritations listed above. These examples may not be deal breakers in your mind. The point is that they both caused extreme irritation for everyone in the room. One of the main drivers of customer defection is irritation. When customers experience frustration and irritation with a company, they begin to look elsewhere.

Where do your customer possibly experience irritation and frustration when working with your company? Is it hold times on calls, delays in email responses, set time expectations for resolution not met, not having a main or consistent point person to handle their account so they feel like a first time customer every time they contact you? Do business with your own company. Experience what your customers experience. See what irritates or frustrates you. If you notice it, your customers will too.

Are you willing to risk losing customers to irritation that could be addressed? If you truly are committed to improving your Customer Experience, take an objective look at what your customers see and feel.

Your Customer Experience MUST Include Empathy

Empathy…

We all know what it is and hopefully, many of us display it and receive it on a daily basis. Empathy builds human connections. It fosters an emotional rapport and bond. It makes you feel safe.

Why is it that we seem to think that empathy plays no role in Business? I think that is so very wrong. Business is all about the buying and selling of good and services. Empathy allows us to build a bridge between the buyer and seller to the point that consumers are not simply buying something, they are buying a relationship. Face it. You are simply not the only game in town. Customers can buy your stuff somewhere else. But what they can’t buy somewhere else is the relationship you are willing to provide them as they buy and use your product or service.

Empathy really counts when there are issues. Things go wrong. And yes, many times it is the customer who fouls things up. But by being empathetic and understanding their perspective and frustration, you can forge a stronger relationship by helping them and resolving the situation that will make them forever loyal to you.

Lifeless, automated, and robotic responses kill the Customer Experience.

Empathy drives connection in relationships. Empathy is the art of understanding and acknowledging a customer’s feelings and needs before trying to find a solution that meets them. When we take the time to understand the person and make them feel cared about, they will be more likely to continue to work with your company over time.

Empathy lets you share the feeling of someone’s joy or pain. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone’s pain or situation.

Empathy does not mean you agree with the person’s perspective or feelings. It means that without fixing it, giving advice or making suggestions, that you demonstrate an understanding of the feelings they are expressing.

As Business Leaders, empathy is important in our company as it allows everyone to feel safe in their mistakes and encourages leaders to look for the real cause driving the poor performance. Being empathetic allows leaders to help struggling staff improve and/or correct the behaviors and actions to help them succeed in their role.

CX is all about relationships and communication. Communication needs to be focused on showing the other person they are valued, cared about, and focused on helping them.

The tone you use is crucial in conveying sincere empathy.

Leave your ego and perspective at the door and truly make the effort to see things from the other person’s viewpoint.

Actively listen. Validate their perspective. Check your attitude for the desired outcome.

Listen to the podcast on Empathy in Business by clicking here.

Phrases that Convey Empathy

I can understand why you are frustrated…

I understand the situation and I’m so sorry you feel this way. This isn’t how we want any of our customers to feel.

I can imagine how upsetting it is to…

I’m so sorry to hear that…

I’m sad you had to contact us about this…

I’m glad you called so we have the chance to help you with this…

Empathy IS teachable. Everyone is born with Empathy and make the effort to develop it further.

Relate to a similar situation or experience that generates the same emotions or feelings – a missed plane, last-minute cancellation of plans, lost keys or wallet, etc.

It all relates back to Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quote – “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Episode 011 – Using Empathy to Build HUMAN CX Relationships

Shownotes…

Unless we understand empathy, it’s expression will always seem as “a mask” and not genuine.

Lifeless, automated, and robotic responses kill the Customer Experience.

Empathy drives connection in relationships. Empathy is the art of understanding and acknowledging a customer’s feelings and needs before trying to find a solution that meets them. When we take the time to understand the person and make them feel cared about, they will be more likely to continue to work with your company over time.

Empathy lets you share the feeling of someone’s joy or pain. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone’s pain or situation.

Empathy does not mean you agree with the person’s perspective or feelings. It means that without fixing it, giving advice or making suggestions, that you demonstrate an understanding of the feelings they are expressing.

As Business Leaders, empathy is important in our company as it allows everyone to feel safe in their mistakes and encourages leaders to look for the real cause driving the poor performance. Being empathetic allows leaders to help struggling staff improve and/or correct the behaviors and actions to help them succeed in their role.

CX is all about relationships and communication. Communication needs to be focused on showing the other person they are valued, cared about, and focused on helping them.

The tone you use is crucial in conveying sincere empathy.

Leave your ego and perspective at the door and truly make the effort to see things from the other person’s viewpoint.

Actively listen. Validate their perspective. Check your attitude for the desired outcome.

Phrases that Convey Empathy

I can understand why you are frustrated…

I understand the situation and I’m so sorry you feel this way. This isn’t how we want any of our customers to feel.

I can imagine how upsetting it is to…

I’m so sorry to hear that…

I’m sad you had to contact us about this…

I’m glad you called so we have the chance to help you with this…

Empathy IS teachable. Everyone is born with Empathy and make the effort to develop it further.

Relate to a similar situation or experience that generates the same emotions or feelings – a missed plane, last-minute cancellation of plans, lost keys or wallet, etc.

It all relates back to Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quote – “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Episode 010 – The Last Impression of CX Counts More Than You Realize

Episode 010 – The Last Impression of CX Counts More Than You Realize – Shownotes…

 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

The last impression needs as much focus as every other point in the customer journey.

The last impression of their last interaction stays with them until the next time they contact you or someone from your company works with them. You want it to be a good impression for them to continue doing business with you.

Take charge and take the time to define how you want your customers to think of you. Your customers will form their own impression, but you can increase the odds of having it match the impression you desire if you are deliberate and committed to the CX process.

Select a Three Word Lasting Impression

The end goal is to define your desired lasting impression in three words or phrases. 

If I were to call the last customer you worked with, pick three words you hope they would use at least one to describe they feel your company worked with them.

Knowledgeable, friendly, professional, fast, genuine, amazing, caring, sincere, helpful, resourceful, proactive, etc. are great examples to start with as you add your own to consider.

Build these into your DNA… does your culture support these descriptives?

Do you empower your staff to display these traits and qualities?

There’s not much that tops the feeling of relief that you are taking care of your customers… both from your perspective and theirs.

ex… they call with what they think is a big hairy scary problem… you want the ending of that conversation or issue resolution to be one of relief. That encourages them to trust you more, engage with you more., to continue to buy from and refer to you…

It’s a wonderful thing…

Your action step – – At your next leadership meeting, open with the question… what impression do we want to leave our customers every time they call or work with us?

Then guide them to narrow it down to three words. be sure your CX efforts enable and support these. If not, make adjustments in one or both and course correct.

An Effective Customer Journey Map is a Crucial Part of Managing the Customer Experience

Customer Journey Mapping

This concept is nothing new… yet so many company leaders have not done it… or – at least- have not done it effectively. Leaders tend to get overwhelmed with the process, and no wonder. Many folks, myself included, used to map out every single touchpoint the customer encounters and then map out all of the operational logistics necessary behind the scenes and while these looked impressive, they would impress you straight into a world of overwhelm and analysis paralysis… and these wonderful maps and hours of efforts would get shelved never to be seen or heard from again.

Let me simplify things for you…..

  • What Journey Mapping ISN’T…
    • Not a process map
    • Not or training manual
    • Not what you hope customers experience
    • Not the time to map out every single touchpoint and the stuff behind the scenes to make the magic happen for the customer
    • Not silo driven
    • Not company focused on driving profits or sales
  • What Journey Mapping IS…
    • A story of what the CUSTOMER experiences
    • A map what happens to them or what they have to do shown in a timeline
    • Outside in approach
    • A chance to see what could be frustrating to the customer
    • A chance to identify Pivotal Moments that feed into the feeling of the overall experience
    • A chance to see what currently IS and see if you can add value to the customer
    • Serves as a Talking Point Map for customer conversations and focus groups.
    • This gets into the emotions you evoke along the way

HOW to craft an effective Journey Map…

Select a neutral facilitator from either within the company or hire an outside resource. The facilitator must remain neutral from the company perspective and be focused on the experiences of current customers.

Select which Journey to map. I suggest starting with the most frequently occurring experience among your customers – OR – the one receiving the most negative feedback.

Be clear on the outcome of mapping. Understand that this will serve as a timeline of the experience your current customers are having when they work with your company. What happens to them, what do they see, who do they see, what information is given, what do they need to do, etc from start to finish? Imagine describing to someone what they need to do in order to get from Point A to Z without bringing in any of the behind the scenes information relevant to company processes.

I typically guide clients through a hybrid of stages, the main theme of touchpoints in stages, then, when necessary, deep dive into specific points to flesh out the details.

Think of a personal relationship timeline – You see someone you are interested in dating, you have the dating phase, then there is the serious dating phase, then the engagement and wedding, the honeymoon phase, real life phase, then deciding after a certain period of time if you will continue to stay in the marriage or go your separate ways if it is not fulfilling to either party.

Use this to symbolize the stages of your customer journey – prospecting, the purchase, onboarding, utilization and service upkeep, return or not.

Within each stage, list a bird’s eye view of the things that the customer needs during that stage and what they experience. Don’t go too deep at this point. Right now it is really a solid skeleton that gives a good outline or black and white picture of what customers experience when working with you.

From here, gather feedback or look at the feedback that has been given by customers. Where in the journey do you need to pay attention? Where in the journey are things happening the way they should? Where in the journey are there problems varying between regions, customers, sales reps, etc?

Now is when you take a deeper dive into the specific touchpoints to map them out. Understand what the customer expects and is looking for, then go back and decide from a leadership and operational perspective what needs to change to deliver that consistently over time.

Once you feel confident with the first map, then begin to map other customer journeys, employee journeys, and vendor journeys.

Over time this map provides a guide on how to build service into your processes and allows you to build in accountability along the way to ensure consistency.

To listen to the podcast covering Customer Journey, click here.

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Episode 008 – Creating an Effective Customer Journey Map

Episode 008 – Creating an Effective Customer Journey Map Shownotes

  • What Journey Mapping ISN’T
    • Not a process map
    • Not or training manual
    • Not what you hope customers experience
    • Not the time to map out every single touchpoint and the stuff behind the scenes to make the magic happen for the customer
    • Not silo driven
    • Not company focused on driving profits or sales
  • What Journey mapping IS
    • A story of what the CUSTOMER experiences
    • A map what happens to them or what they have to do shown in a timeline
    • Outside in approach
    • A chance to see what could be frustrating to the customer
    • A chance to identify Pivotal Moments that feed into the feeling of the overall experience
    • A chance to see what currently IS and see if you can add value to the customer
    • Serves as a Talking Point Map for customer conversations and focus groups.
    • This gets into the emotions you evoke along the way
  • HOW to Journey Map

Select neutral facilitator – The Facilitator must remain neutral… but with a slant toward the customer. This is not the time to point out the obstacles or reasons why things are issues from the company perspective.

Select which Journey to map – I recommend the one that is most frequently experienced by your customers OR the one you know needs urgent attention now.

I describe a hybrid between stages, the main theme of touchpoints in stages, then, when necessary, deep dive into specific points and flesh out what needs to happen behind the scenes to make it happen in the best interest of the customer.

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