Customer Journey Mapping and Touchpoint Management help to understand your customers. Cx/omni solutions support companies on their way to excellent customer experiences at all touchpoints.

Customers are not interested in buying a TV set. They want to sit comfortably on their sofa and enjoy their evening. Companies that view their products and services consistently through the eyes of their customers, gain a competitive edge if they can continuously reflect on this customer perspective. Unfortunately, with the development of new services and the introduction of new products, details of this perspective are often neglected in practice. Often, more entrepreneurial goals or misinterpreted customer needs are focused on. Our projects show that a conceptual approach—customer touchpoint management—is becoming increasingly important. This primarily means that you need to take a look at your own company from the outside, refer to this viewing angle regularly and repeatedly, and make it controllable. How do our customers experience our products and services before, during, and after the purchase? Which customer contact points are offered by marketing, sales, fulfillment, and service? Which communication channels do our customers use, and how important are they? Such questions arise when you manage to change the perspective, objectively and without justification and reservation. From your customers’ points of view, products and services suddenly appear in a completely different light. Your customers’ feelings and experiences should, ideally, correspond to what you imagine your branding message to be. And this has to traverse all touchpoints throughout the information, purchasing, and usage cycles. The assessment is based on a customer journey analysis that successively documents, assesses, and visualizes customer experiences. This analysis describes online channels, as well as all other forms of advertising, and points of contact between your customers and your brand. It is important to analyze not only perfect conditions but also disruptive factors and ultimately to minimize their effect. Of course, an outstanding customer experience at all contact points is the obvious objective of customer contact point management. However, the challenge is to realize them on the basis of available resources and in line with process efficiency and costs. The cx/omni software and optional workshops with our consulting partners lay the foundation for this. They help you to find this balance and establish a sustainable touchpoint management in your company, and to control it through a CX Dashboard.

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

From a marketing perspective, customer journey covers all touchpoints between your consumer and a brand, product or service during the purchase or service process. This includes not only direct interactive points between customers and companies (ads, commercials, websites, etc.), but also indirect contact points, where the opinions of third parties about a brand, product or service are obtained (review portals, user forum, blog, etc.). The customer utilizing your company’s services or buying your products has at least one touchpoint, but usually a variety of touchpoints, e.g. contacts with different departments and employees, all of which affect the perception of your brand. Making this customer journey through the purchase or service process at your enterprise as comfortable and smooth as possible is an important aspect in building long-term customer loyalty and increasing customer satisfaction. The terms customer journey and customer touchpoint have their origin in e-commerce and cover all channels and touchpoints from online marketing to conversion. They include tracking and optimizing all data to increase or support the transaction rate in the Internet. The customer journey analysis, also called customer journey mapping, is a proven method to look at the enterprise’s own processes from a customer’s perspective. It is used to close the “reality gap” in perception between customer and enterprise. Customer journey analysis allows you to capture, describe, and track customers’ experiences while using a service of your company. These are the central perceptions that form customer satisfaction. Unlike the documentation of processes, the documentation of a customer journey does not only present individual process steps, but supplements these with quantitative, qualitative, and subjective findings. As part of the introduction to customer experience management, you create a snapshot of all contact points, prioritize them, and introduce this method to your company. The resultant optimization measures allow your company to harmoniously adapt its own portfolio to customer needs, thus enabling new positive experiences aimed at further increasing customer satisfaction, in particular with the goal of emotional differentiation from the competition. Customer journey: an enjoyable trip towards more sales and satisfied customers.

IS CUSTOMER TOUCHPOINT MANAGEMENT THE SAME AS CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING?

In principle, yes—although the form of presentation may vary slightly. The common principle is the touchpoints from a customer perspective. In the cx/omni customer journey mapping software, these may be represented in the form of so-called swimline maps according to channels and relevance. The objective of touchpoint management is to capture all touchpoints to document customer perceptions and assess their relevance and perception factors. In so doing, so-called brand success points are highlighted. Insights are then documented and actions, implemented, especially for touchpoints. Other synonyms of the term touchpoint management are customer touchpoint management, consumer touchpoint management, and customer contact point management.

WHY RECORD CUSTOMER JOURNEYS?

Many customer contact points, or touchpoints, run the risk of eventually becoming a worst case. This leads to major disappointment. However, the goal is exactly the opposite: boundless enthusiasm. After all, it is only satisfied customers that credibly recommend a product and become loyal followers of your brand or company. The prerequisite for these recommendations, in both the B2C and the B2B environments, are well-performing touchpoints that are useful to the customers and provide genuine joy. Nevertheless, this is not just about the main aspects—sales talk, ordering, delivery—that usually are already actively monitored through customer surveys or complaint rates. In an optional workshop with our consulting partners, you comprehensively capture and evaluate each digital and analog customer touchpoint across divisions, sites, department, and channels. This gives you an objective evaluation matrix and customer journey map that will serve as a starting point for process optimization and training concepts, as well as minor or major technological improvements. Unlike the interior view of a process, touchpoint management always focuses on the customer’s subjective experience at the touch points. The process documented in this case is the contact between the customer and your brand at all touchpoints. This is initially completely independent of internal enterprise processes or viewpoints. To achieve the goal of creating a consistent customer experience with your brand in all communication channels, we will first create with you the necessary radar. The basis for this is the cx/omni customer journey mapping software solution that will provide a template for planning and presenting your own customer experiences.

In the future, customer touchpoint management for customer-oriented enterprises no longer asks the question of “whether” but of “how.” In practice, some success criteria have emerged that are helpful for the introduction:

SUCCESS FACTOR 1: DEFINE PERSONAS / PERSONAL CATEGORIES

Usually, you have already defined your personas. However, it makes sense to supplement or concretize this target group with sociodemographic factors corresponding to personal categories, as well as with other factors, such as purchasing behavior and online affinity.

SUCCESS FACTOR 2: RECOGNIZE / CAPTURE ALL TOUCHPOINTS

Capture all touchpoints that the previously selected group of customers has had with your company before, during, and after the purchase. It is particularly important to detect minor contact points that are outside your focus, or not necessarily under the responsibility of marketing and sales. Every customer contact is a touchpoint with your brand, no matter how seemingly irrelevant from the inside view.

SUCCESS FACTOR 3: DEFINE “MOMENTS OF TRUTH”

In order not to lose track of the bigger picture, all contact points should be captured and documented in the form of customer journey maps, but only the most important points of contact should be further detailed in the introduction. To this end, the previously captured contact points and customer experiences are prioritized. Very significant moments, from the customer point of view, are marked. These so-called “moments of truth” or “pain points” are contact points that present a chance to gain emotional differentiation—moments in which your business should deliver the highest performance since that is when the customer can be influenced most effectively.

SUCCESS FACTOR 4: CAPTURE ACTORS WHO CAN INFLUENCE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

Create a list of departments and persons with whom the customer comes into contact. Document the possible or even regular occurrence of bottlenecks, delays, or internal problems that have an impact on customer satisfaction.

SUCCESS FACTOR 5: EVALUATE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES

Evaluate each touchpoint of the customer journey from a customer perspective, perhaps on a scale from one to ten (10 = expectations exceeded, 1 = expectations clearly missed). In addition to all media in traditional advertising, the other touchpoints of the customer journey should also be captured: forms, emails, product information, etc. Try to arrive at an assessment that is as objective as possible—whitewashing will ultimately not help. If available, use online analyses and data. If you pursue online marketing, you probably have assessments from web analytics and tracking, such as conversion rate, ratings, feedback, or other tracking data. In practice, however, you may encounter some touchpoints for which there is no assessment from the customer perspective. If no assessments are available, conduct short individual interviews with employees involved in the abovementioned touchpoints, or use targeted customer surveys to supplement your journey analysis, if needed.

SUCCESS FACTOR 6: RECORD CUSTOMER JOURNEYS

Give a graphical representation of customer journeys through the perception of your brand or product. The customer journey map template or touchpoint map of the cx/omni software will guide you through this. Printing this representation in large format as a tool in workshops has also been shown to be beneficial.

SUCCESS FACTOR 7: DEFINE INSIGHTS / ACTIONS

Document specific suggestions for improvement, and assign optimization tasks to the responsible persons. In order to assess customer experiences, it is useful to define targets for the journey or to relate the desired changes to best-in-class values and make them quantifiable. If possible, complete the analysis with tracking data in real time, e.g. from feedback terminals or review sites. All this data should be tracked in a manner transparent to everyone in the cx/omni customer journey mapping software.

During the implementation of the customer journey mapping methodology certain questions frequently arise that will be answered as follows:

At which contact points can we set ourselves apart emotionally?

This is one of the core questions, if not the key issue. And this is why companies choose to introduce consistent customer experience management. The cx/omni CEM cloud lets you flag and optically highlight customer experiences for a chance to emotionally set yourself apart. Insights, ideas, and actions can be noted for followup in the right places.

Response times at personal touchpoints (callbacks, offers, etc.) in relationship to the competition?

The assessment of touchpoints or customer experiences should be captured in concrete and quantifiable targets from a customer perspective, if possible. In the cx/omni CEM cloud, these can be related to the currently achieved values and to the best-in-class values entered by you.
Response times are a typical example. Here, hard data, such as specific times, are preferred to soft data, such as “as soon as possible.” One of the strengths of the cx/omni customer journey mapping software is the manual or automatic recording (e.g. from the call center software) of changes of such values over time.

What expectations and concrete perceptions do our customers have in the course of a sales or service process?

Even if it is assumed that this question can be answered in a discussion with Distribution or on the basis of customer surveys, practice shows that this is not always the case. On the one hand, expectations and perceptions can vary from person to person; on the other, a statement such as “all in all satisfied” will not suffice to identify a customer’s pain points at various stages of the sales or service process. The chances for emotional differentiation lie in the detail—in minor contact points. In order to identify them, customer journeys must be sketched and assessed from the customer perspective. This is the core function of the cx/omni customer journey software: intuitive, lasting, and visually inspiring.

Which customer expectations haven’t we considered in the past?

Only when typical customer experience are recorded during a sales or service process (customer journey mapping) does it sometimes become clear that, at certain points of the customer experience, no action was taken or frustration-causing phrases were used. The clear visualization in the cx/omni customer journey map draws attention to such gaps or customers’ “pain points.”

How does the customer experience our service process?

Customer journeys and emotional customer experiences—especially with respect to feedback and referrals—are sometimes marked more by fulfillment and service than sales aspects. The visualization possibilities in the cx/omni customer journey mapping tool are perfect for mapping service processes from a customer perspective.

How can we optimize the performance of our online campaigns combined with offline-campaigns?

Pure e-commerce enterprises without significant offline activity control and measure user behavior largely online. The purchase decision is the conversion, and various levels of marketing analysis from search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, display advertising, etc. are available in form of tracking data.
All other companies that want to track and evaluate the customer offline contact points, sometimes ask themselves how they can optimize, or at least initially measure, the performance of online campaigns in combination with offline campaigns.
With this in mind, it is advisable to holistically capture and evaluate the customer experience for all contact points. Ultimately, this also relates to the customer experience, which, in the overall perception, does not differentiate between buying online and offline service. The challenge is to map real-time online communication data (“big data”) to the classic, somewhat selective performance measurements of offline communication (response rates, Net Promoter Score, customer surveys, etc.) to form a chart of a few but relevant key performance indicators (KPI).

How can we firm up and update concrete objectives with respect to contact points and assign them to the persons responsible?

After you have recorded all customer contact points and assigned them to certain customer experiences and customer journeys, the firmed-up insights will have to be converted into actions. To accomplish this, you have a number of fields in a table for various touch points or customer experiences. These can be populated with target values, best-in-class values, and formulated objectives, and then assigned to managers. This allows you, for instance, to regularly perform variance analyses in the project team.

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