The Secret to Creating Excellent Customer Journeys

By Jim Sinur

(Aragon Research) – Does your organization designate the touchpoints around how your customers should interact with your systems and your employees?

While this approach is common among enterprises, it is no longer the best way forward. Why? Because it doesn’t really put the customer—or their needs—first.

The differentiator between organizations in the digital era is going to be the customer experience.

So what’s the secret to creating an excellent customer journey? This blog overviews how you can begin to transform your customer journey with something called Journey Listening.

Reactive Journey Listening: Listening Within Existing and Constrained Journeys

If we take a step back and critically look at the customer journey, one of the most important things that should inform the journey is customer feedback. One way this feedback is gathered is by listening directly to the customer, either through verbal or written communication.

Skilled customer service representatives will listen to their customers and try to find the best solution for the customer’s needs and goals, despite the sometimes difficult and unresponsive systems that have already been set up for the customer journey. This a reactive approach to Journey Listening: the customer service staff become the shock absorbers between the established systems or procedures and customer needs.

Predictive Journey Listening: Listening for New Approaches

A second way to gather customer feedback is indirectly—by looking for patterns based on customer needs established over time, through customer behavior. This information can be gathered and leveraged to design a better set of touchpoints and interactions. Systems and procedures can be improved to intercept a better net promoter score. This is called Predictive Journey Listening.

Leveraging customers along the way to achieving and perfecting a new customer journey to is a technique that is often leveraged with Predictive Journey Listening.

Proactive Change: Listening for Catch Points in Existing Customer Journeys

The secret to keeping customers happy in the long-term is conducting ongoing analysis of actual journeys that have been or are being captured in logs. These data points should be mapped into journeys over time-lines and coordinated with satisfaction scores.

The most proactive organizations will leverage process intelligence and compare and contrast alternatives to suggest, implement, and test changes with the goal of better customer, employee, and partner journeys.

Bottom Line

Journey Listening will become an organizational capability that will make a difference in a hyper competitive world. The organizations that believe that product and/or service design and low cost will carry them through the new digital era are sadly mistaken.

Because customers can buy from so many sources, and brand loyalty is a thing of the distant past, the game is changing. The differentiator in extreme competition is an excellent customer experience, and that starts with Journey Listening.