By: David Parsons, Managing Partner, Ellipsis & Company
Journey maps are a picture of the steps and processes we put customers through as they try to interact with us. Clearly designing customer experiences in this way increases the chance that you will get them ‘right’ – remembering, it’s not a business process perspective but the opinions and feelings of your customers.
To start creating a great experience your customer journey maps should factor 3 key elements:
1. The Peak-End Rule
The customer experience will be judged almost entirely on how it felt at the peaks and shortfalls and how it ended, the ‘Moments of Truth’. Virtually all other information appears to be discarded, including net pleasantness or unpleasantness and how long the experience lasted.
Journey maps allow you to specify the possible peaks and troughs in the experience you are providing your customers. We also call these peaks the ‘Moments-of-Truth’ that really matter to the customer. The important consequence of the ‘Peak-End Rule’ is that good work in one area of the interaction can be obliterated by a service shortfall at another Moments of Truth… Or vice versa. Create a high point at the end of the customer journey, and the entire experience will be judged more favourably.
2. Customer Feedback Programs
Journey maps help you to understand and capture ‘Moments of Truth’ throughout the customer experience, and incorporate them into your customer feedback programs and business strategies. Examples include:
• If your customer journey is relatively straightforward, ask customers ‘how did we do?’ or ‘would you recommend us’ at the end of the journey. But you should also ask about your performance at the critical moments on the journey to make sure you have not drifted into a service shortfall that has a lasting negative impact.
• If your customer journey is complicated or lengthy you should aim to poll customers at each moment-of-truth to make sure the peak is where you planned it.
Sample and suppress to avoid survey fatigue.
3. Reduce Dissatisfaction
It’s often assumed that to create loyal customers we must exceed customer expectations during the journey.
However, whilst good customer experiences make satisfied customers, satisfaction does not create loyal customers on its own. In a recent survey published in the Harvard Business Review, 20% of ‘satisfied’ customers still intended to leave the company in question.
Rather, reducing dissatisfaction is far more important, as dissatisfied customers predictably take their business elsewhere and spread the bad word. For instance, the same survey showed customers receiving poor service were twice as likely to tell 10 or more people about it than those receiving good service.
Journey maps help us to understand service shortfalls because dissatisfaction is such a critical driver of (dis-)loyalty.
1. Create a high point at the end of the customer journey, and the entire experience will be judged more favourably.
2. Incorporate Moments of Truth (not just post transaction surveys) into your customer feedback programs and business strategies.
3. Understand the drivers of customer dissatisfaction.
Before we use customer journey maps to create moments of customer delight, we should use them to make sure we understand and deliver on the basics, because the very first step to creating loyalty is preventing disloyalty.
To learn more visit www.ellipsisandco.com
David is a customer experience and loyalty expert with over 15 years’ experience across customer strategy, program design and data driven marketing. David has worked with some of the world’s best brands helping them design and deliver winning customer experiences.