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I recently participated in a webinar with Bruce Temkin in which we explored customer journey mapping, Voice of Customer and how they combine to create great customer experiences. Bruce has been studying how different companies approach CX for a number of years and is a customer journey mapping expert so is perfectly placed to offer strategic insight.

Here are five key learnings from the webinar:

1. There are three elements of a customer’s experience
The first element of a customer’s experience is success, that is the degree to which they can accomplish their goal or task – crucial to but not necessarily reflective of a positive experience: your customer may be able to check this box but their experience in getting there may still be awful. Many companies begin with this element and don’t get much further when assessing their CX.

The other two elements – which should absolutely be considered if you want to provide an enriching customer experience – are effort, that is the difficulty or ease to accomplish goals, and emotion, that is how the interaction make customers feel. Both these elements are defined entirely by the individual customer interacting with your brand and are reliant on a range of variables at that moment in time. Customer journey mapping helps you take each of these three elements into account, ensuring you consider not only that the customer achieves his or her objective but everything else going on the background. Similarly, an accurate VoC method will enable you to see how you perform across each of these three elements. 

2. Companies are from Venus and customers are from Mars
While companies and customers want the same thing, they typically have different ways of trying to achieve this objective – which creates friction. There is also a complete mismatch in mindset: the tendency is to think that when a customer interacts with you, that’s the center of their universe. But the truth is you and your employees spend way more time thinking about your business than your customers. They have far more important things to think about – their families, their jobs and so on – so they typically will only interact with you when they have to. The window you have to impress them is very small so make the interaction as easy as possible.

In the same way, companies have a high interest in and knowledge of their products and services. If you’re like any other large business, you will also have to overcome the challenge of internal politics and egos pushing in conflicting directions – which can create a mixed understanding of customers. A comprehensive VoC program informing accurate and effective customer journey maps helps you overcome these key differences.

3. Customers’ journeys – and not interactions – are important
At the crux of the whole argument for customer journey maps, you need to think about how your customers interact with you from start to finish. If you’re falling short at just one of these stages, the impact on the customer could be terminal. If a customer is booking a flight, they don’t care about interacting with the airline’s site to get their boarding card.

You need to approach it holistically and think about how you can help your customers achieve their goal – which, more than likely, in this case is to get from one place to another as quickly as possible within their budget. A customer journey map – informed by your VoC – shifts your focus from touchpoints to the journey and enabling your customers to achieve what they want from your business.

 4. Much of the customer journey has nothing to do with you
When thinking about your customers’ journey and how to mirror this accurately in your customer journey maps, you need to appreciate that much of it has nothing to do with you. Someone looking to book a family vacation, for example, will need to find out about school vacations and ensure the proposed trip doesn’t clash with family events or other social occasions, discuss and research the best location, get a sense of costs and so on. Most – if not all of this – they will do before even visiting your website. If you take this into account, you will focus on the journey your customers are on rather than your internal systems and process for interacting with them.

 5. Moments of truth are key
A customer journey map should focus on moments of truth, that is the individual interactions that have the biggest impact on customer loyalty. If you try to optimize every single customer interaction point, you will be fighting a losing battle as that’s an impossible task. So, if you focus on three to six of these moments of truth – which a customer-initiated VoC program will help you identify – you can make a real difference to how your customers view you. Think about the goal of a customer journey map: it’s to drive action. Focusing on high impact moments of truth helps you to do this.

The complete version of the webinar is available on our website now. Check it out.

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