There is a lot of buzz around the terms "customer journey" and "customer experience" in the contact center industry these days, and with good reason: these terms encompass all that is positive about the focus on customer service and engagement; auditing the precise steps a customer or potential customer must take to benefit from your products and services means putting yourself in their shoes, and with multiple digital channels of communication, there are too many potential barriers to delighting your customers.
In today’s age of social media - as a matter of fact, since around 2009 - one negative tweet can go viral and have a huge impact on your business. While a bad experience will happen, it's important to ensure it becomes the exception, not the expected outcome.
Creating Personas in 4 steps
1. Document your objectives based on your interactions over calls/email/chat. Are you an inbound service agent seeking to serve as many customers as possible, while keeping your AHT low, and hitting your service quality indicators? Are you an outbound sales agent trying to hit conversion/sales KPIs this month, and increase your client base?
2. Start documenting the above and add what you already know about your target demographic: Industry, age range, interests, job function/role, anything that is not considered confidential or personal information, can add to your target customer profile.
3. Conduct interviews, with the customer's voluntary permission, and ask a few follow-up questions. Are they repeat customers? How long is their wait time for service? Anything that will add to the list of desired services/products/outcomes.
4. With the information now documented, find a template everyone feels comfortable with - remember that even more crucial to your success than documenting the information, is sharing it in a way that is easily understood with your fellow stakeholders. try to provide a visual representation in the template of your choice, this will go a long way in characterizing the target customer for all concerned.
Mapping the Customer eXperience in 5 steps
- The first step is to define the specific product, service or task that you want to improve and who consumes it.
- Once the consumer is defined, a “persona” based on the customer’s demographic and psychographic profile is created. This includes information such as age, socioeconomic background, values, opinions and attitudes.
- The persona’s journey — comprised of their expectations, experiences and reflections is then mapped across the complete lifecycle of the product, service or task.
- Next, these insights are converted into touchpoints which represent where a connection is made with the customer, whether via desktop or mobile, and through a web site or social media. Once the current state is illustrated, you can better see the possibilities — where you should focus, which technologies to embrace and what new business models could be created.
- An accurate map can be made in just a few weeks and, if done properly, a map can be used for several years. But as changes occur, the map should be updated.
The process of creating personas and mapping their journey through your interactions and business model, as well as their complete relationship with you and your organization throughout the customer lifecycle, in a way that is visually represented and easily consumed by others in your group, is the whole point of this exercise.
It's a lot of hard work up front - but the benefits are numerous and long-lasting.
The result is a keen, comprehensive understanding of your customer and their requirements. And know this: it is also a competitive advantage, as fewer than 20% of organizations can actually claim to have completed this process as we defined it above!
Want to learn more about optimizing the customer journey? Download The Ultimate Guide to Customer Journey Mapping