Businesses have long stressed touchpoints, where buyer interacts with the seller, but the focus on maximizing customer experience at those instances can create an unclear image signifying that clients are more contented with the organization than they really are. Moreover, it averts attention from the larger picture which is consumers end to end the journey.
Research and consultations carried out by Rawson, Duncan, & Jones (2013) have established that companies capable of proficiently handling the entire consumer journey reap huge rewards such as increased revenue, enhanced customer experience, and enhanced employee satisfaction. These companies in addition learn more efficient ways to work together across levels and functions consequently delivering gains throughout the company.
To be more efficient, companies should embed customer journeys into their operating models. This can be done in four ways i.e. by identifying the journeys wherein the businesses require excelling, understanding how they are presently accomplishing in each journey, constructing cross-functional procedures to redesign and sustain those journeys, and introducing cultural change and constant improvement to uphold the initiatives at scale.
Why Are Customer Journeys Important?
Defining the journeys that are the priority and settling on where to start the alteration, calls for both top-down, judgment-driven assessment and bottom-up, data-driven analysis, to varying degrees.
An executive working session, drawing on the existing studies, maybe enough to identify the major journeys and the precise service limitations that damage consumers experience. That study is usually incoherent and frequently includes information on the consumption volume in a particular journey, causes for customer complaints, and evidence gaps in performance such as inconsistency between promises written in marketing brochures and services delivered. For businesses looking to fix one or two evident issues in precise journeys, such top-down analysis could be sufficient. However, those who would like to change the overall consumer experience should concurrently construct an in-depth roadmap for every one journey, one that explains the process from beginning to end, taking into consideration the companies significance of optimizing the journey and laying out a rational, viable sequence of the initiatives. This is a bottom-up endeavor that begins with additional research into consumers’ experiences of their journeys and which ones are most important, both to customers and to company performance.
Research of Present Level of Performance
Once a business has identified its major customer journeys, it must analyze each one thoroughly in order to identify the causes of the present performance. This requires additional research including consumer and employee focus groups and call monitoring. This additional research joint with the initial bottom-up analysis enables the organization to map the most significant transformation of each journey as the consumer experiences and would describe it, disclosing the series of steps he/she is likely to take from beginning to end. The mapping exercise also depicts a departure from the ideal consumer experience and its causes and frequently reveals business processes that inadvertently generate undesirable results.
How to Own Problems and Find Solutions in Business?
Once a business has identified its key journeys and gained an understanding of the issues within them, managers must refrain from giving solutions that dont give workers a big hand in determining the outcome. The basis of poor consumer experience usually originates from inside the organization, therefore, getting cross-functional groups to work together to discover the hitches for themselves and come up with solutions as a group, can the company hope to fix the problems.
Sustaining at Scale by Changing Mind-Sets
Delivering at scale on consumer journeys requires two high-level changes i.e. amending the business and its processes to deliver exceptional journeys, and amending metrics and incentives to sustain journeys, not only touchpoints. Implementing a journey-centric approach allows businesses to go from top-down innovation and siloed functions to empowered, bottom-up innovation and cross-functional processes.
Delivering successful journeys results in a cultural and operational shift that connects the business across different roles and from top to bottom, creating enthusiasm, innovation, and a focus on incessant improvement. It gives the company a true competitive advantage.
Alex Rawson, E. D. (2013). Touchpoints matter, but it’s the full journey that really counts. Harvard Business Review, 90-98.
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