65% of customers agree that organizations need to improve their customer service. Delivering outstanding Customer Experience (CX) depends on building up an outstanding knowledge of the customer. To understand the customer, you have to understand the processes by which they interact with your business; this is done through Customer Journey Mapping Tools.
The ‘Customer Journey’ refers to the steps your customers take when interacting with your organization. This begins with their very first contact and includes every subsequent communication. The customer journey begins with the decision to get in contact, covers the choice of channel, and any required switches between channels, and concludes with a successful resolution. Seems easy, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple. That’s where customer journey mapping tools come in.
Customer Journey Mapping requires you to identify pain-points in your customer communications.
This is done through customer journey analytics, either actively or passively collected.
To make the most of these analytics, you need a customer journey mapping tool, which allows you to visualize and alter the customer journey through an intuitive, easy-to-master interface.
Want to learn more about customer journey mapping? Content Guru’s recent whitepaper breaks down the topic, detailing methods of mapping customer journeys.
But, if you’re looking for a quick summary, read on!
What’s Valuable About a Customer Journey Mapping Tool?
We’ve all had negative experiences with customer service. You call up a business, and find yourself dropped into a queue. After fifteen minutes, you reach an agent, who asks your reason for calling. They then tell you that you will need to be re-directed, and so you are, with another fifteen-minute queue waiting to welcome you.
Your customers experience a version of this story every day. Perhaps there’s an Interactive Voice Response (IVR), instructing customers to press one for… and so on. Either way, it’s a frustrating, time-consuming experience.
It’s this time-wasting that customer journey mapping tools are designed to avoid:
By identifying pain points, organizations can redirect resources to resolving those issues.
Customer journey mapping tools allow for intelligent routing, getting customers to the solutions they need, on the first attempt.
Customer journeys become omni-channel. This means that customers can be directed to other channels, including self-service or video, depending on their need.
Any great customer journey begins with customer data. What data does a customer journey mapping tool require?
Data-Powered Customer Journeys
Customer data is the foundation of any successful organization. Customer journey mapping tools require a slightly different approach to customer data. They require you to segment your customer base, so that different customer journeys can be tailored to different customers.
These customer segments could depend on customer qualities (e.g. age, location, language, special requirements, etc.), the service provided (e.g. differing customer policies, differing products), or the choice of channel (e.g. does the customer prefer self-service, digital, or voice contact?).
There are two strategies for gathering customer data: active and passive. Active involves asking questions through customer surveys. Passive involves recording observed data, either by an agent or AI. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages:
Active provides direct insight into the customer’s mind, letting you address the issues that your customers take most seriously. On the other hand, customer surveys often have low response rates, limiting the insights they can offer.
Passive provides consistent data, and, depending on the AI tools you use, can draw out problems that even customers themselves don’t notice. On the other hand, passive metrics often lack the individual context that active surveying provides.
To learn more about the specifics of customer surveying and AI-powered metrics, download the Customer Journey Mapping whitepaper here.
So, once you have the data, how do you go about designing the customer journey?
Getting Started with Customer Journey Mapping Tools
When a customer gets in contact with your organization, the first thing they usually encounter is the Interactive Voice Response (IVR). This is an automated message played before the customer is placed into a queue, and many offer multiple routing options for the customer to choose from. It’s here that we find the first customer journey pain point.
A customer journey mapping tool allows you to take direct control of your customer routing, no complex code required. Customers can be placed into separate queues depending on their reason for calling, with the aim of prioritizing more urgent contacts and reducing overall wait times. Simple and repetitive inquiries, for example, can be routed toward self-service options. Urgent inquiries from vulnerable customers can be routed into a priority queue for quicker resolutions.
A leading customer journey mapping tool should go a step further. With AI-powered voice recognition, customers can state their intentions, and be routed accordingly, with no need to listen to a list of different options. This streamlines the customer journey in a number of ways:
Reduces the likelihood that customers will misreport their needs, and be routed to the wrong outcome.
Speeds up the routing process, letting customers be moved into a queue as quickly as possible.
Allows customers to be more specific about their needs, rather than being pigeonholed into a list of pre-set options that may not apply.
Designing your IVR is the first stage of customer journey mapping. What comes next?
Digital Channel Shift and the Phases of the Customer Journey
When mapping the customer journey, you must identify ‘phases’ and ‘touchpoints’. ‘Phases’ describe the stages of an interaction, and ‘touchpoints’ refers to methods of contact between the customer and your organization. In the omni-channel contact center, the phases of an interaction can unfold across multiple touchpoints. Your customer journey mapping must be channel agnostic.
IVRs are relevant when the customer reaches out over traditional voice channels. But in the digital age, customer contacts increasingly start through non-voice channels. In these cases, you need to plan for digital channel shift. That is, interactions that begin on one channel, then shift over to another.
Your CX solution should be able to store customer interaction history, and track customers throughout the customer journey. Agents and chatbots should be able to identify which customers have previously been in contact with your organization.
In some sectors (healthcare for instance) it may be necessary for customers to enable video chat. Video consultations allow for a much greater level of clarity during interactions, meaning more positive resolutions.
When demand surges, customers can be directed toward self-service options. This reduces queue length, and saves time for those customers with urgent needs.
Customer Journey Mapping Tools Should Be Accessible
Once you understand the different phases of the customer journey, and surveyed your customer base to identify which journeys need to be mapped out, you can begin the process of designing those customer journeys. Finding an accessible customer journey mapping tool is essential here.
Often, customer journey mapping tools require a high degree of technical knowledge and coding ability. This locks customer journey mapping behind a wall of code; CX leaders lose direct control of their organization’s customer contact.
A world-leading customer journey mapping tool will employ an accessible interface, usually drag-and-drop, which visualizes the customer journey in a simple, accessible way.
A top customer journey mapping tool should be compliant with major accessibility standards, such as WCAG.
A drag-and-drop interface liberates customer journey mapping from the code; allowing anyone to understand and plan an organization’s customer journey.
Customer Journey Mapping Tools with storm®
A customer journey mapping tool is an essential first step in designing outstanding CX. An accessible, flexible solution gives you full control over the customer contact, and the ability to identify and address customer pain points as they. Content Guru’s cloud CX solution, storm® provides this through storm FLOW™, a powerful customer journey mapping tool with an accessible, no-code, drag-and-drop interface.
Ready to learn more about customer journey mapping tools? Continue your CX journey by downloading Content Guru’s Customer Journey Mapping whitepaper, detailing strategies for mapping the customer journey.