One of the most rewarding parts of being a Customer Experience Investigator™ is when a client and I gather people from all departments of their organization to map the customer touchpoints. We call these CXI® Touchpoint Discovery Workshops because they are not only about the actual touchpoint mapping, but about seeing the customer journey from a new perspective.
There’s a lot of work behind really understanding how different parts of an organization work together to guide customers through the processes of becoming customers, actually doing business, and heaven forbid, severing their ties with the organization. What is the true experience of the customer, from brand discovery all the way through to satisfaction, advocacy, or defection?
This exercise is always more enlightening than anyone expects, including myself. It’s full of surprising “a-ha!” moments when we discover something that’s been there all along, creating a pain point for customers. Someone in the room typically slaps their forehead, at least once, and says “Why did we NOT see this before!?”
My job is to ask the questions.
And in many cases, varying answers are given to the same questions. During one Touchpoint Discovery workshop, I asked team members what happens when someone first becomes a customer. Here are a few of the answer that were given:
- “Marketing forwards new customers a welcome letter from the CEO.”
- “IT sends them a welcome letter with their login information.”
- “Accounting sends them an official notice about future invoicing.”
So we had barely gotten started, but we were already onto something big. A new customer who was just getting familiar with the process was being bombarded with redundant communications just for coming on board. Joke’s on him!
Participants in the workshop started to look at each other with raised eyebrows. Why is a welcome letter being sent out from marketing? Couldn’t the IT department be more personable when sending out the passwords? Why are accounting people allowed to communicate directly with customers?
As even more touchpoints add up on the whiteboard, the true customer experience begins to bubble to the surface.
Though it can be painful,it’s enlightening.
When this happens, you see people suddenly understand the value of the exercise. They can no longer ignore the fact that they have little control over what really happens.
Each person’s intent becomes clear. They intend to always keep the customer informed or educated about something that is really important to THE ORGANIZATION. Accounting just started sending those notices after an issue with a customer. They meant well! They were proactively solving a problem for the company.
As any organization grows, they struggle with empowerment and centralization of control. Of course you need to empower your employees to solve problems, but they must also understand the holistic customer experience. Having a living customer journey map can help your people make wiser choices and work together to inform, educate and help customers without overwhelming them with superfluous communications.
Have you mapped the touchpoints of your customer? Do you know what you would discover if you did?