The eCommerce Customer Journey encompasses all of the different touchpoints where a customer interacts with a company, product or branding online. These touchpoints include marketing, user interfaces, payment, delivery and the quality of the product itself. By understanding your customer’s journey fully it gives online retailers the opportunity to adapt to customer trends and develop a service that is completely tailored to their own customers.
With the announcement of the ‘Finland’s Best Online Store’ competition a few months ago, we’ve been hard at work over the past few months working closely with OP Bank. Not only are we making this free competition available to every eCommerce company in Finland, we are also releasing a fully-featured analytics tool designed to enable these companies to manage their customer experience strategy with one software.
A customer journey map is an essential tool that affords companies the opportunity to understand the state of their organization’s customer experience by outlining points at which their customers interact with their brand. By creating a detailed map of customer interactions and touchpoints with an organization, customer feedback can be compiled at each stage and relevant action can be taken to improve the overall customer experience.
Customer Journey Maps allow you to monitor everything from marketing, to user experience (UX), customer service, the purchasing process and beyond, to create = a better product and general overall customer experience.
Why is it so important?
As the saying goes, ‘you can’t see the forest for the trees‘. At least without a map.
Nowadays there are as many customer touchpoints as there are trees in a forest. Each time a customer interacts with your brand is an opportunity to delight. Which means that without a proper customer journey map in place, understanding where these touchpoints are becomes infinitely more difficult and could cause you to get lost in the data. Without a clear over-arching goal and a means of communication between each touchpoint, inconsistencies begin to appear and customers may lose faith in your company’s ability to fulfill promises. A customer journey map is a visual representation of all of these touchpoints and essentially encourages you to look at the bigger picture.
By developing a detailed customer journey map you will be able to take every customer interaction seriously, streamline your processes and design the best product for your users. Identifying potential weaknesses and pain points in your service or product will allow you to make changes that your customers will value and will keep coming back for.
How do I create a Customer Journey Map?
Do Your Research: Use any feedback that you have gathered to date on all stages of your customer journey. Ask your customers directly, via email, web plugins, kiosks, etc. to point out what they like/dislike about the interactions that they have had with your organization.
You can also learn a lot from how your competitors deal with similar touchpoints. Find out what they are doing better or worse than you. You may even be surprised to learn about certain interactions that you simply hadn’t even considered yet.
Identify Touchpoints: Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Walk through your process from start to finish, covering everything from awareness (marketing) right through to product and delivery. This is commonly known as creating a ‘user persona’ and can help you empathize with and understand your customer better. It is a great opportunity to take note of each stage that your ‘user persona’ interacts with your company so that you can identify the method of communication that is used (face-to-face, phone, email, social media etc).
Embrace Detail: The detail is where your customer journey map comes to life. Once you have outlined the main touchpoints, go through them meticulously one-by-one to identify what important features and interactions occur at each stage. Make this a collaborative effort, involve everyone who deals with customers at these touchpoints and ask them to give their opinion.
Expectation vs Reality: This is where the truth comes out. At each touchpoint, ask yourself what is the desired outcome of an interaction with your customer. Then compare these projections with actual results. A great way to get this type of information is by asking customers directly. Using Feedbackly’s multichannel solutions you can gather feedback from customers at any stage of the customer journey via email, sms, website, offline and of course in-store kiosks.
Create Your Customer Journey Map: Having gathered all of the above information you can finally get down to business and create your own map.
Download your FREE Customer Journey Map Template:
Customer journey mapping is a hot topic in the world of customer experience (CX). It is a powerful tool that enables companies to monitor the many customer touchpoints within their organisation, while continuously improving processes and developing a world-class customer experience.
Even though it seems like a relatively new concept, the reality is that we have been following customer journeys for centuries without really knowing it. Take the local tailor in a small rural town for instance; the tailor would stand out on the street calling customers into the store, he/she would then help customers to choose the perfect outfit, would wish them well as they leave the store and would provide personalized customer service if any issues arose.
The difference nowadays is that not only are we aware of the customer journey, we also have the technology and tools needed to map that journey, continuously monitor each touchpoint with feedback and immediately implement changes based on real data.
As usual, we release incremental updates to Feedbackly to squash bugs, add new features, and improve existing ones. We listen to the suggestions and feature requests of all of our users, and you can send us a chat message on our website or in our app to let us know what you’d like to see in the software. Here are the notes for today’s update:
This concept of the “customer journey” is probably familiar to most of you who are reading this, but it likely holds no more meaning than any other marketing buzzword that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. What many don’t realize is that the customer journey is a concept which should not be thought of as a singular concept, but rather should be approached the same way as a company philosophy, which is to say that all facets of your operations should be performed with the customer journey in mind. In contrast to “customer experience”, which refers to how your customers feel about their interactions with your company as a whole, the customer journey refers to the actual touchpoints which are a conduit to this overall experience. Continue reading “Managing Your Customer Journey With Feedbackly”
What Is The Customer Service Gap?
The customer service gap, and in particular the customer expectation management gap (outlined by Parasuraman et al, 1985) is a model that encourages companies to address the difference between their customers’ expectations and management’s perception of the quality of customer service.
Two surveys are sent out at the same time, one to the management team of CompanyX, and another to their customers. The aim of the survey is the same for both recipients, to ask “What standard of customer service do you expect from CustomerX?“. Management return with an average of 9/10, whereas the customers say 4/10. This could be for a multitude of reasons (which we will get into later) but ultimately the issue remains that there is a perception deficit for CompanyX, which if not resolved will cause future loss of customers to competitors with higher standards.
Angry customers can be loyal customers too… Well, not if they stay angry.
Just because a customer is irate or frustrated with your company right now doesn’t mean that they will not be a loyal customer in the future.
We’ve all been there; Your phone mysteriously stops working when you need it the most, so you borrow your friend’s phone and when you call customer service you are placed on hold for 50 minutes listening to the same song over and over again. Most of us have had at least one similar experience and in that moment you decided that you’ll never use that company again.
Not focusing on customer retention and customer service can actually be extremely costly to a company. According to the White House office of consumer affairs, ‘it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one’
Thankfully moods change and opinions can be swayed if issues are dealt with correctly. Businesses that lead the pack in customer retention and customer service often do so by developing company-wide customer experience strategies.
We’ve been cooking up something special for the Finnish eCommerce industry over the past few months. We have officially partnered with OP, Finland’s largest bank and purveyors of online payment processing tool Checkout to create an advanced analytics tool for eCommerce companies to measure their customer experience strategy. This tool will allow companies to measure every step of their customer journey and allow them to see exactly where their customer experience is succeeding, and where it needs work.