Great service depends on understanding your customer. You need to have a clear idea about who they are and what they want. This knowledge forms the basis for service that is personalized and can meet customer expectations.
Creating a service journey map is an integral part of understanding your customers. It provides a visual representation of an individuals’ relationships with your organization, service, or product over time and across channels. It helps you explore answers to the “what ifs” about the customer service journey.
Here we explore how to map the call center customer journey and steps you can take to make sure you are constantly working towards increased customer satisfaction.
Mapping the call center customer journey
Call center customer journey mapping starts with a good plan. You should outline not only what you want to achieve by creating the map but also who the map is for.
The customer journey encompasses many moving parts: the manner in which you engage customers, the experiences you deliver during those engagements, and the loyalty and retention you cultivate via those engaging experiences.
When defining each stage, you’ll also want to consider different use cases and customer personas. For instance, certain customers may prefer to have their journeys start in person, while others insist on a hands-off, self-service-first option, or perhaps want to initiate contact through a digital channel like webchat to start. For this reason, it can be helpful to also consider generational perspectives when mapping a customer journey so you’re including as much nuance as possible.
Another aspect that is crucial to mapping the customer journey is to take stock of your current customer pain points. You can accomplish this by looking at your CSAT scores and setting goals for improvement, analyzing repeat ticket requests, or requesting feedback from support agents. Even better, go through your customer journey yourself and experience what it’s like to get support from your own organization. However you do your pre-mapping research, it’s important to use data—especially empirical data like customer analytics— to identify the most significant areas of opportunity.
Define your map’s purpose
Your map should have a clearly defined purpose. It should align with your organization’s goals and standards. Ask yourself why you are creating the map in the first place. What do you intend to learn?
Once you have established why you are making the call center customer journey map, you need to address who you are making it for.
The trick here is that there is no universal customer. Each person brings their own individual characteristics, past experiences, and personality to the customer service journey. To capture the multifaceted nature of your customers you can utilize personas.
Personas are descriptions that represent different segments of customers. They give you contextual insights and outline motivations, goals, behaviors, and interests.
Using data gathered about your customer you can create personas that emulate real people. Give them names and backgrounds, really flesh them out. Each persona you create gives you a new lens to experience your call center through.
Gather your customer data in one place
A comprehensive view of your customer data will allow you to make your journey map more true to real life. Consolidating data from channels, surveys, call recordings, and ticket systems is integral to the call center journey map. Together all those data points constitute the supporting evidence for why you’re taking certain actions and why one trigger follows another along the omnichannel customer journey. You can consolidate these different customer experience data inputs by drawing on important customer journey KPIs like:
- First contact resolution
- Customer effort score
- Service Level
- Abandoned call percentage
- Average call transfer rate
- Net promoter score (NPS).
CSAT surveys, customer support logs, web analytics, and social media can be plumbed to gain quantified insight into what your customers experience.
Create your call center journey map
Now that you have made a plan for your journey you can begin to create the map itself. Your team’s task is to map how each persona might experience the customer service journey your contact center provides across channels. During this process be sure to note a few things that give real meaning to your journey map.
It’s a best practice to visualize your customer journeys. Similar to how you’d define an IVR call flow and the routing schema an inbound call should follow based on specified inputs, your customer journey map is an actual thing, not an idea, so it should exist as a tangible workflow.
For example, if a customer fills out a form on your website but clicks out of the window before submitting that form, there should be a stop on your digital customer journey map that triggers an email or SMS (assuming you have the permission) to remind them to complete the form.
When you map your journeys in this way you can use them not only to derive customer insights and uncover pain points but also to influence customer behavior.
Channels and touchpoints
Touchpoints are reasons customers might contact you. Many can happen across channels. For example, one touchpoint might be paying a bill. This touchpoint can be carried out online, in person, or via mail.
It is important to consider each touchpoint/channel combination. Their characteristics influence the course of the journey.
Create moments that matter
Customer service journeys often have a moment that decides what experience your customer will walk away with. Being aware of these moments lets you come up with fail-safes that can deter mistakes during these key moments.
Agents need to show empathy on all channels
Be sure to bring empathy along when you create your call center journey map. It helps you get a sense of how it feels to interact with your organization. You can leverage the personas you created during planning to really engage with your call center from the customer’s perspective.
Clearly define internal workflows and systems
What tools and systems do you have that are designed to support your customer experience? Map your workflows that align and support the customer service journey. You can create an end-to-end contact center customer journey by linking how customers experience your system to the system itself for a complete picture of what’s working and what’s not.
The CX journey is an infinite road
Journey mapping is a creative and collaborative process that allows you to understand and redesign your customer’s experience. It should be undertaken with the intention of continuous improvement at its core.
The journey map lets you identify points that give your customer an opportunity to form or revise their impression of your organization and the services it provides. Focus on how your customer feels during both positive and negative moments. This will help you develop an actionable plan to improve your customer service.
Journey mapping is more than creating a document that makes it easy to understand the path your customers take. Truly mapping your call center customer journey is a constant and evolving process.