Customer Journey Mapping has become an important exercise for mobile operators looking to improve the customer experience. Here are some best practice guidelines for anyone thinking of running a journey mapping project.
The customer journey (how your customer progress through your business from acquisition and beyond) is typically “owned” by several functional groups within a business. This makes customer journey mapping is a worthwhile exercise. It focuses the organization around a common goal where the outcome is improved Customer Lifetime Value (profitability & retention) and not just P&L improvements within individual functional areas of a business.
However, conducting a customer journey mapping exercise can be complex and it must have a purpose.
The first stage is to clearly define the existing (and desired) customer journey, highlighting the touchpoints and the “moments of truth” that form it. Typical touchpoints may include a retail store, channel stores, bill, web, social channels, the contact center and even the device and network themselves.
These touchpoints (and particular the moments of truth) are influential in setting customer behaviour; how they use a product or service, how they discover new services, seek support etc – and therefore a customer’s retention and spend. In many cases NPS/CSAT surveys are already deployed at these touchpoints which gives a great baseline of their individual performance. However, it’s still important to conduct VoC surveys to supplement NPS – ie: if someone is a detractor, why? An NPS score on its own is meaningless if you want to build business cases around the journey map.
The next stage is to actually use the map to direct investment and resource and build business cases.
Building business cases
Remember, each touchpoint and moment of truth will be owned by a function / department within your business. Where NPS is poor the key exercise is to root-cause why. For example, is it a problem downstream with a failure in another area? Think about a new smartphone customer and how the processes employed by product marketing for the out-of-box experience might negatively impact support traffic if the correct set-up information is not included.
These disconnects are typically the result of one of four things:
- Misaligned KPIs: One functional group may be incentivized to work in a way that damages another. Perhaps the contact center is measured by Average Handle Time only, or the retail operation by volume of devices sold rather than monitoring the percentage of devices returned within 30 days.
- Bad Processes: Outdated process that cause delays.
- Poor Knowledge Flow: Does the engineering, marketing or retail operation have visibility of the problems hitting your contact center? Could they benefit from understanding the problems facing customers at the coal-face?
- Poor Technology: Outdated systems or siloed systems that make it impossible to create a common view of the customer.
By getting all functional owners in the steering group they can see how misalignment and deficiencies in these areas can cause downstream cost. Be careful, it can be a caustic discussion if not managed correctly; no one wants to take the blame for another person’s misfortune.
Once you’ve mapped the journey, you can then look at the touchpoints / moments of truth that have the greatest impact on retention (those with poor NPS / VoC results) and prioritise efforts in those areas. Solutions can then be built around the problem areas – it might be as simple as a process change, a change in pre-launch device testing or it might be as large as deploying technology in the network or in the contact center.
One point to consider is that the influence you have over touchpoints (and your ability to improve them) will vary:
- Owned touchpoints: Your own operations. These are the simplest to monitor and improve.
- Partner touchpoints: Those owned by outsourcing partners (contact center outsourcers for example) or retail channel partners. A degree of influence and change can be applied, although beware;legacy outsourcing agreements are often driven by cost savings and contractual relationships may need renegotiating.
- Thirdparty touchpoints: Some things you just can’t control; a good example is the postal service.
The key is that you can connect any CEM investments back to a tangible “desired” customer journey and an NPS fault-point. Finally, because you’ve engaged with multiple functions you also instil a sense of ownership; that they’ve personally had a hand in defining the customer journey.
Whatever customer experience management investment you are looking to make, customer journey mapping is your due-diligence.