It’s a common misconception that incorporating more touchpoints into the customer journey will naturally result in better customer satisfaction. While this approach leads to increased accountability, it’s not enough to improve these interactions with staff and marketing materials. Instead, organizations need a joined-up pathway that facilitates a seamless end-to-end customer journey.
Underestimating the complexity of the customer journey can lead to missed opportunities, with some organizations failing to see that it starts prior to any interaction with the company. Whether it’s onboarding a customer, resolving an issue or upselling to an existing client, journeys can last days or weeks and span a diverse selection of channels.
Failing to take the context of interactions into account can affect everything from lost sales to low employee morale. On the other hand, providing the best experience throughout the customer’s end-to-end journey can boost loyalty and reduce the overall service cost.
Consistency of service
The result of operating in a multichannel, multi-touchpoint environment is that consistency of service can be lost. This is why the journey must be prioritized over the touchpoints, with a number of strategies available to ensure consistency in the customer experience:
- Customer experience design will put the journey first and allow all staff across your brand to understand actions from the point of view of the client
- Communicating across different departments helps to ensure company silos don’t hinder the journey
- Keeping and maintaining a knowledge base will ensure any touchpoints can be approached with all the relevant information
- Establishing a single point of contact is not always possible, but when it is, this approach ensures consistency every time.
- Collating simple feedback from customers after every interaction can identify areas where you can improve the journey
Often, customers are dissatisfied not with a single interaction but the cumulative experience across multiple touchpoints, otherwise known as the journey. This can make their dissatisfaction seem vague and hard to counteract. However, it gives them an overall impression of the organization and failing to see that is where many businesses fall down.
Systems wired for transactions, not journeys
While it would be a step backwards to remove touchpoint management and thinking, it’s vital that organizations recognize its limitations. These systems have been set up with transactions in mind and not journeys, which means they don’t take the customer experience into consideration. To address this situation, businesses must manage the customer journey:
- Consider customer goals to identify the most successful way to structure a journey
- Identify in-journey signals that predict success, then monitor and measure them so they can be replicated in future
- Adapt and implement corrective actions as and when they’re needed
- Make a priority out of underperforming journeys and invest in their improvement
- Track success with customer journey scorecards
Implementing customer journey scorecards
An effective way to monitor the customer experience is through the use of scorecards, as they empower staff to truly understand how they’re performing. It’s important to set the correct metrics to get the most out of customer journey scorecards, but when this is achieved, the insights can be transformational.
After each interaction, your staff should use the scorecards to evaluate how well they recognized the emotional needs and mood of the customer. Further to this, they should also be able to determine whether the outcome was in line with their expectations. Finally, employees should decide whether the interaction would give the customer a positive or negative perception of the company.
These scorecards can then allow you to obtain a baseline metric for each customer interaction, which can be used to improve individual touchpoints and the overall journey. This can be achieved through training in the form of roleplaying, taking a deep dive into good and bad examples, and recognizing top performers.