9 Top Tips to Improve Customer Journeys

A picture of a paper aeroplane flying under a time line

Filed under - Industry Insights,

Jeremy Payne of Enghouse Interactive shares some key pieces of advice for improving your journeys and the overall customer experience.

Most customer service operations are on a relentless march towards omnichannel. Although digital is the way forward, no business should roll out new digital channels for their own sake.

Any implementation needs to be in the context of the customer journey, with a focus on continuous improvement.

In other words, a business should concentrate on the whole experience a customer has, encompassing all interactions across all channels, devices and touchpoints throughout every stage of the lifecycle – from awareness to loyalty.

In this way, organisations can achieve enhanced customer retention and also drive competitive advantage. So, let’s outline some top tips to make this happen.

1. Map the journey from your customers’ point of view

Think about what the different stages of your customers’ interaction with you are and what needs they have in each stage. That will then help you decide what blend of channels, touchpoints and devices is best at giving your customers what they want.

By segmenting customers into groups and working out what channels are best suited for each type, organisations can focus on providing the fastest journey time, with the least amount of effort and highest reliability. It is critical, however, that the map they draw is from their customer’s point of view.

2. Never layer in channels for the sake of it

Too often in the past, we have seen businesses layering as many new channels as they can. Typically, as a result, they fall short of maintaining the quality and consistency of the service they offer across all of them.

It can be very damaging, for example, for a business to add a raft of new social media channels but then fail to put in place trained staff to manage them and respond to comments in a timely manner.

Instead, the priority should be to get backbone customer interaction channels working to a high standard – those channels will generally include voice and email, but they may also encompass web chat, web self-service, and capability within their own applications, for example.

3. Ensure your business and your agents have a full view of the customer interaction history

It’s key that as channels are brought on stream, they are integrated to ensure customers get a seamless experience whatever channel they are interacting over, and critically, when switching from one channel to another.

Otherwise, businesses run the risk of building customer frustration. Organisations should make sure that by fully integrating their channels, they capture all the necessary context and present it to the agent at the point of interaction.

4. Leverage the power of AI

As customers become more accustomed to digital technologies, artificial intelligence and advanced automation will gain importance in customer journeys. As early as 2011, Gartner was stating that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.

Machine learning will be crucial in the future. Systems that can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention are likely to have an important role to play in customer service in the future.   In the context of the contact centre, chatbots can be key in helping to transform the customer experience. First, they can help minimise the effort it takes for a customer to resolve an issue.

Second, they can be easily integrated in a website or with an app, enabling people to interact with them directly, as though communicating with a human.

5. Empower your staff  

Even with optimum planning of the customer journey, there will always be engagements complex enough to require human involvement, including what McKinsey terms “moments of truth: those interactions – for instance, a lost credit card or a cancelled flight – when customers invest a high amount of emotional energy in the outcome.”

It’s important that organisations put skilled resources in place to manage these interactions. After all, these ‘moments of truth’ give organisations a great opportunity to turn a stressed, angry or unhappy customer into a loyal advocate for their brand.

6. Proactively reach out to customers

Organisations can also help improve the customer journey by making use of outbound notifications, including reminders and confirmations. By sending a text, for example, GPs or dentists could update patients about an appointment or remind them to renew their prescription. This will also help to reduce the volume of calls going into the contact centre and reduce the level of traffic and demand being placed on the website.

7. Give customers the opportunity to self-serve

By providing self-service options, and thereby giving customers greater flexibility, organisations can further enhance the customer journey, making it easier for them to purchase or receive service from the business.

8. Make good use of your data

Harness all the relevant data at your disposal, from reporting to AI-driven machine learning and the ability to access a 360 degree view of the customer’s contact history, to further streamline the journey, turning it in an effortless and happy experience for customers.

A thumbnail photo of Jeremy Payne

Jeremy Payne

9. Don’t delay, take action today

Ultimately, we may be living in an omnichannel world with benefits to customers and the businesses that supply them, but if businesses are to get the most from their interactions with customers, they need to understand what their customers are looking for from the engagement and start mapping those customer journeys today.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Enghouse Interactive – View the Original Article

For more information about Enghouse Interactive - visit the Enghouse Interactive Website

About Enghouse Interactive

Enghouse Interactive Enghouse Interactive delivers technology and expertise to help bring your customers closer to your business through its wide range of customer contact solutions.

Read other posts by Enghouse Interactive

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Published On: 2nd Dec 2019 - Last modified: 4th Dec 2019
Read more about - Industry Insights,

Recommended Articles

Traveler with backpack checks map to find directions in wilderness area
Customer Journey Map Examples With Expert Analysis
Phone with contact us, call, mail or chat icons
Why Is Omnichannel Customer Service Important?
Journey concept with nine points
9 Principles to Live by When Improving Customer Journeys