What are the raw essential ingredients in a customer journey?

When you start a start a new role in customer experience, one of the first things you’ll do is to establish how well-defined & managed the customer experience is.  It’s easy to get bogged down in detail, so this week’s post aims to help us make an initial assessment (or review ongoing progress) of our customer journey.  A good customer journey is like a decent meal, it contain a few key ingredients – four, in fact.

Mapped journeysKnowing what your perfect customer experience looks like seems like a very obvious place to start. And yet many business still don’t have mapped customer journeys.  Instead, they talk about what their product does, totally missing the fact that a product needs a consumer, and that consumer has expectations, emotions and needs.

Mapped customer journeys leads to process and ultimately a proactive engagement model (you guide your customers along your journey.)

Human interactions – No matter how technical and advanced your product or service, when you first push out something new, you need hands and eyes on the product to spot issues, glitches and missed opportunities. Human interaction with customers should not happen when something goes wrong (traditional customer service), but whenever their is an opportunity to add value (such as gathering feedback, educating and informing customers, changing behaviours and nurturing advocacy.)

Human interaction leads to well-defined skills matrices and ultimately expertise & mastery in the delivery of your product (every human interaction adds value.)

Tools – Not the stuff you keep in the shed for the occasional attempt at DIY, but the systems and programmes that support you in your service delivery! Having the right tools to track customer activity, capture customer feedback or bill customers is what powers your business. When considering tools, not only should you think about whether you have the right tools to do the job, but have they been set up correctly in order to expedite the task you got them for. Having a CRM system is not enough – too many companies misuse or underutilise the tools they pay for.

Tools leads to managed delivery and ultimately selective & measured automation (enriching the CX through choice on how to consume.)

Data – Data is such a critical ingredient.  Without it, you make assumptions on your customer experience, and assumptions are always flawed.  Data allows us to remove personal bias and take a scientific approach to the development of our journey and experience.  Lack of early investment in capturing data, and ensuring that it is fully validated will always hold you back. Data scientists are our friends – use them to get your journey back on track.

Data leads to metrics and insight, and ultimately powers a Voice of the Customer mechanism to perpetually evolve your products and services to deliver delight to customers in the future.

It’s not a complicated recipe, but what is hard is getting the ingredients mixed together in the right & quantities.  What makes this so hard is that there is no set receipt to follow (and I’m not just saying that to keep myself in a job!)  So as a CX “chef”, you’ll just have to develop your own recipe from scratch!


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