Customer Experience Investigation: Mapping The Touchpoints

by Jeannie Walters

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One of my favorite things to do is gather people from all over an organization in a Customer Experience Investigation(TM) workshop to map the customer touchpoints. It’s about trying to understand how different parts of the organization work together (or not) to guide a customer through the process of being a customer. What is the true experience of the customer?

This exercise is always – ALWAYS – more enlightening than expected.

My job is to ask the questions. For example: What happens when someone becomes a customer?

  • Someone from marketing says the customer receives a welcome letter from the CEO.
  • Someone from IT says they receive a welcome email with their new passwords.
  • Someone from accounting says they receive an official notice about future invoicing.

As the touchpoints add up on the whiteboard, it’s difficult to ignore the true customer experience. Some poor sap receives way too much communication just because he agreed to become a customer. Joke’s on him!

Individuals in the workshop begin eyeing each other suspiciously. Why does marketing send a stupid welcome letter? Why doesn’t the IT department send the passwords in a nicer way? Why do we allow accounting people to communicate directly with the customer?

It’s enlightening.

When this happens, you see people suddenly understand the value of the exercise. It’s hard to ignore the fact they don’t have a handle on what really happens.

The intent of each person is clear. The intent is always to inform or educate the customer about something that is really important to THE COMPANY. Accounting just started sending those notices after an issue with a customer. They were problem solving.

As any organization grows, they struggle with empowerment and centralization of control. Yes, empower your employees to solve problems, but make sure everyone understands the holistic customer experience. Having a living customer experience journey map can help your people make wise choices and work together to inform, educate and help the customer without sending 10,000 pieces of paper, 4,000 phone calls, or 100 confusing emails.

Have you mapped the touchpoints of your customer? Do you know what you would find if you did?

Photo credit: teaguelabs via Creative Commons license

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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