Friday, May 22nd, 2020 | 7 min read
COVID-19 is not only transforming the way brands do business, but also the way customers do business with us. Companies who only focus digital transformation efforts on their operations are missing half of a very important picture. In order to successfully care for our customers, we must study the shift in their experiences. Customer journey mapping (or CX mapping) is a valuable exercise brands can use to improve customer care.
No matter how recently you built a customer journey map, it’s time to make a new one. Coronavirus is impacting how customers make decisions, evaluate brands, and their expectations for customer service. Understanding the transformed, current customer journey—not the journey of 8 months ago—is imperative to providing modern customer care in the coronavirus world.
This means now more than ever, companies need customer journey mapping tools to examine their consumers’ digital behaviors. By leveraging data management systems, AI, social listening tools, and CXM to collect key information on the customer experience, journey mapping enables you to deliver modern customer care in the coronavirus era.
Customer journey mapping tools, such as AI for CX, help you follow a customer’s digital footsteps when contacting your company and look for pain points. Any moment that causes confusion, frustration, or additional effort from the customer is considered a pain point.
If a customer opens a support chat on your app, are they directed to dial your call center? Do they need to repeat their information to multiple different people?
Be alert not only to inconveniences on the customer side, but also obstacles that prevent your support team from delivering excellent customer care.
A study of roughly 1 million customer service calls between March 11 and March 26, 2020 found growing difficulties for customers and the reps trying to serve them. Over the two-week span, the study noted significant increases in wait times, escalations, and the frequency that both customers and service representatives expressed, “I can’t understand you.”
Record the frequency of pain points, so you can focus resources to make the biggest impact on customer care. You may discover that providing your service reps with updated hardware or software will make a large difference; or that an AI-enabled chatbot on your website would resolve most frequently asked questions.
Tapping into how your customers feel can set your brand apart when providing support. Your customers are already expressing their feelings online—all you have to do is listen.
Social listening technology is one of the best customer journey mapping tools brands have at their disposal during coronavirus. Consumers were already flocking to their feeds to share opinions about brands, but now they’re using social media more than ever.
Businesses who aren’t using social listening tools are essentially wearing earmuffs in the town square; they are missing important conversations about their brand, industry, and customers’ needs and wants.
A robust social listening platform allows you to go beyond @-mentions of your company, gathering posts that not only reference your brand, but also relevant products, services, hashtags, and keywords. More importantly, it will help you organize sentiments according to whether they are positive, negative, or neutral.
This not only reveals areas to improve CX, but you can use these insights to provide training to your customer service reps, so they are better prepared to address customers’ feelings during support cases.
Your consumers aren’t just more active on digital channels—they expect you to be, too.
When your business isn’t accessible across digital channels your consumers use, it creates a disjointed CX and may push them to competitors who are easier to communicate with online.
When mapping customer experience, assess all digital channels where your consumers are active, even (or perhaps especially) those where your brand has little or no presence.
Where do your consumers go when they have a question or problem? Can they get their question resolved without leaving that channel? If your customer has to transition from one digital channel to another to communicate with you, this is a critical moment of friction.
Modern customer care means meeting customers where they’re at. Customer journey mapping helps you determine which channels you should join, and which you don’t need to focus on. The right CXM platform will help you unify your messaging and deliver omnichannel support, from live chat to Twitter DMs to phone calls.
When do customers cease interactions or business with your brand? Consider that these touchpoints may have changed since coronavirus swept in.
Customer journey mapping tools help you highlight touchpoints where customers abandon their cart, ask for a refund, or decline to upgrade. These are all important exit points that clue you into where your customer care team can add value and decrease churn.
In addition to gathering data, talk to your customer service team. They have firsthand insight into your customers’ complaints, troubles, and questions. At what points during a case do they observe customers getting upset? What are common reasons that customers ask for refunds or take their business elsewhere?
Customer journey mapping asks you to set aside any prior assumptions about customer interactions with your brand, and turn to data to gather a genuine picture of the customer experience.
Amid the quickly changing coronavirus landscape, examining CX under a close lens is more important than ever, as your customers’ motivations, consumption behaviors, and needs have undoubtedly changed.
A customer journey map delivers insights you can use to streamline your digital transformation efforts, meet your customers on their preferred digital channels, and add value at the most critical points in their journey.
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