CX Journey Mapping
The primary purpose of CX journey mapping is to conduct customer survey research and in-depth interviews with customers and employees to understand what customers experience for each interaction and touchpoint key moments of truth and, most importantly, to discover CX improvement opportunities. Most executives are aware of the importance of understanding the entire Customer Experience (CX) for purchasing and using the organization’s products and/or services. However, the emergence of self-service digital contact channels and simultaneous channel usage has heightened the importance of understanding CX in today’s connected customer world. To better understand and improve the entire CX for purchasing and using an organization’s products and/or services in today’s connected world, many executives are turning to CX journey mapping. CX journey mapping focuses on the entire end-to-end journey for using an organization’s products and/or services from the customer’s perspective. The essence of CX journey mapping is to walk in the customer’s shoes as they interact with an organization using different touchpoints.
As shown in the below figure, SQM’s CX journey mapping process uses three overlapping listening posts (i.e., interaction perception surveys, touchpoint transaction surveys, and CX journey mapping face to face interviews) to have a comprehensive understanding of CX. Perception-based surveys are conducted using an online or phone survey to understand interaction lifecycle CX. Transaction-based surveys are conducted using an online or phone survey to understand touchpoint CX. A best practice is to conduct interaction perception surveys and touchpoint transaction surveys prior to conducting CX journey mapping interviews. The CX journey mapping interview is a face-to-face interview which focuses on the interactions and touchpoints a customer experienced.
Powerful Benefits of CX Journey Mapping:
Holistic approach – the main advantage of CX journey mapping is its focus on the customer’s entire journey (e.g., brand awareness through to renewing) when using an organization’s products and/or services. A focus on the entire customer journey versus a focus on only the individual touchpoint or interaction provides a holistic view of CX that can be very helpful in understanding and improving the CX.
Understand CX better – the essence of the CX journey mapping process is that it allows you to walk in the customer’s shoes as they interact with your organization through their lifecycle stages. Put simply, CX journey mapping is an outside-in approach. Having a trained interviewer conduct in-depth interviews with customers who interact with an organization’s touchpoints provides a better understanding of the CX. The in-depth interview gives the organization valuable and detailed insights into customer interactions and touchpoint Moments of Truth (MoT) experiences. VoC perception and transaction survey research and in-depth interviews are all used to better understand CX.
Discover CX improvement opportunities – an effective CX journey map provides insights on customer expectations at every significant interaction using a touchpoint, how well the organization is doing at meeting those expectations, customer emotion experience, and, most importantly, what the opportunities are for improving CX for an interaction when using a touchpoint. Again, the CX journey mapping process is an outside-in approach. The outside-in approach allows the organization to use CX feedback and apply it to its people, process, and technology practices.
Visual CX journey map – an infographic portrayal of CX and an extremely helpful approach for conveying current CX to all stakeholders. CX journey maps can be presented using journey mapping software, PowerPoint presentations, a condensed one-page handout, or any other manner that is appropriate for your organization. It is important to remember that when the CX journey map is easily understood by the stakeholders, then they are typically more willing to buy into developing and implementing solutions for improving CX.
Foundation for developing an action plan – the CX journey map insights are the foundation for developing an action plan. In other words, the information garnered from the CX journey map is not an action plan in and of itself. The action plan needs to be based on the CX journey map insights that show the interaction and touchpoint MoT which have CX dissatisfaction and/or negative CX emotions. Based on identifying the CX dissatisfaction and/or negative CX emotions, an organization can develop an action plan for implementing solutions for eliminating or reducing the touchpoint MoT that are driving those experiences.
CX Journey Mapping Template
The below figure shows a common CX journey mapping template we use. The CX journey map is created based on a skilled interviewer asking a customer about their interaction lifecycle stages and touchpoint MoT experiences when they used the organization’s products and/or services. The horizontal axis shows an example of interactions a customer could have with an organization based on their lifecycle stage (e.g., brand awareness, purchasing, onboarding, servicing, renewing). By evaluating lifecycle stages, you gain an understanding of the entire end-to-end CX. For each interaction stage, it is imperative that the organization understands the CX needs, as well as the CX ratings. For each interaction, a customer uses a touchpoint. The vertical axis shows examples of touchpoints (e.g., call center, website, face-to-face). For each touchpoint used in the CX journey, the customer provides MoT experience feedback, emotion experience, and improvement suggestions. Based on customer interviews, the interaction and touchpoint CX are plotted on the journey map. All key MoT experience feedback is captured. MoT experiences that drive positive emotions, negative emotions, and improvement suggestions are identified.
CX Journey Mapping Steps
There are many ways to create a CX journey map. The following is a high-level summary of the 10 essential steps we use for creating a CX journey map:
Step 1: Identify customer interactions (e.g., brand awareness through to renewing) lifecycle stages that a customer could potentially experience
Step 2: Identify touchpoints (e.g., marketing, social media, call center, IVR, email, face-to-face) that a customer could potentially experience
Step 3: Identify MoT (e.g., greeting a customer, resolving an issue) for each touchpoint that a customer could potentially experience
Step 4: Identify personas (e.g., retired, business, student) for whom you want insights about on their CX interactions with an organization’s touchpoints
Step 5: Understand customer needs and determine CX VoC ratings for each interaction and touchpoint, and mark your known pain points. This step is based on customer survey research
Step 6: Plot customer interaction and touchpoint experiences for each customer
Step 7: Determine interaction and touchpoint MoT and document for the key MoT that each customer experienced. This step is based on customer face to face interviews
Step 8: Determine customer’s emotional experience and document for each interaction and touchpoint MoT. This step is based on customer face to face interviews
Step 9: Determine customer improvement suggestions and document for each interaction and touchpoint MoT. This step is based on customer face to face interviews
Step 10: Use CX journey mapping insights as the foundation for developing an action plan for improving CX
Improve Csat – for every 1% improvement in FCR, there is a 1% improvement in Csat (top box response). Clearly, FCR is highly correlated to Csat. In fact, of all the contact center internal or external metrics, FCR is the metric with the highest correlation to Csat. The absence of FCR is the strongest driver of customer dissatisfaction. In fact, as previously mentioned, Csat (top box response) drops, on average, 15% every time a customer has to call back to get their initial call resolved. In other words, if a customer had to call in three times to get their call resolved their Csat (top box response) would be 30% lower than a customer who had their call resolved on the first call.
Improve Esat – for every 1% improvement in FCR there can be a 1% to 5% improvement in Esat. Contact centers with high FCR tend to have high Esat. Conversely, contact centers with low FCR tend to have low Esat. The level of stress is very high for the CSR who handles the second or third call from a customer whose issue was not resolved on the first call. Increasing FCR improves both Esat and Csat. The bottom line is that when customer calls are consistently resolved on the first call, Esat can increase substantially, especially for low FCR performing contact centers. Most contact center managers connect to the concept that high Esat can provide high Csat/FCR, but it also goes the other way in that high Csat/FCR can provide high Esat.
Reduce operating cost – for every 1% improvement in FCR, a contact center reduces its operating costs by 1%. If a contact center is performing at the FCR contact center industry average of 70%, it is important to understand that, potentially, 30% of customers will have to call back because their issue was not resolved on the first call. It is also important to note that for the contact center industry average, it takes 1.5 calls to resolve a customer’s inquiry or problem yet for customers who do not achieve FCR, it takes on average, 2.5 calls to resolve their call. This is an enormous opportunity to reduce a contact center’s operating costs as repeat calls represent 23% of the average contact center’s operating budget.
Increase opportunities to sell – when a customer’s call is resolved, it increases the customer cross-selling acceptance rate by up to 20%. SQM’s research shows that the customer’s needs must be resolved before the CSR has earned the right to move on to any type of sales activity. If the CSR cross-sells before the inquiry or problem is resolved, the customer typically becomes irritated and feels that the organization is pushing its needs, rather than serving the customer’s needs. As a result, the fundamental customer relationship is undermined.
Reduce customers at risk – only 2% of customers who have their call resolved on the first call expressed their intent not to continue to use the organization’s products and services as a result of their contact center experience. However, if the call is unresolved, 19% of customers expressed their intent not to continue to use the organization’s products and services as a result of their contact center experience. The cost of customer defections as a result of their contact center experience tends not to be understood by contact centers because it is not often measured. For many contact centers, retaining customers represents the biggest opportunity to add true value to their organization. Resolving calls is the key to reducing customers at risk. In fact, for every 2% improvement in FCR there is a 1% improvement in call resolution which results in helping the contact center retain customers.