“Monitor your customer journey map and you will find success.” This may sound a bit like a fortune cookie saying, but ask anyone in the customer service industry and this statement will ring true. People are constantly talking about customer experience and customer satisfaction and how to improve them. The nature of the customer journey impacts both of these hugely — identifying potential improvements in the journey will directly impact the perceived experience.
Many brands conduct customer journey mapping, where they create a map of all of the steps, stages and touch points a customer encounters. Mapping has been an effective route to process improvement for years. Some brands use analytics technology to dissect customer interaction history and preferences. They use that insight to drive process improvement, or to identify areas ripe for self-service. However, it relies on the analysis of historical data, with changes applied after the fact, and doesn’t provide an insight into the real time experience of each individual customer’s journey. To address that, customer journey monitoring has emerged to allow brands to actively monitor customer behavior as it takes place and to help guide the associated experience proactively.
Lurking behind this new proactivity is the simple fact that dissatisfied customers no longer keep their opinion to themselves. Today’s socially connected customers are more than ready to provide a running commentary of a poor experience, played out in public to provoke a reaction from a brand. And make no mistake, social network users are no longer a niche minority: for example, Twitter users send on average 500 million Tweets per day, making their voices heard loud and clear all over the Internet.
So it has become critical to be able to spot potential problems as they happen, specific patterns of behavior that can provide a clue to an impending customer experience ‘fail’. If you can also pre-program some form of proactive intervention when this behavior pattern is spotted then you’re on your way to enhancing a customer journey in real time. For example, a consistent sequence of activities prior to the abandonment of a shopping cart might be the trigger for a proactive web chat interaction offering assistance. The important thing with customer journey monitoring is that the brand can get involved before the customer is completely frustrated and resolve the problem before it becomes a show-stopping issue.
Being able to anticipate and respond to potentially problematic journeys relies upon Contextual Routing technology. It allows you to aggregate, process and intervene based on customer activity on any social, web, mobile or voice channel in real-time. The traditional approach to an abandoned shopping cart, for example, is to send an encouraging email. Real-time Contextual Routing allows you to interact before a customer leaves the site. It’s much more effective in turning “window shopping” into a completed transaction, and influencing a positive customer experience.
Customer journey monitoring may sound intrusive, like in futuristic movies when personalized ads appear when a person walks by a sign, but it really isn’t. Think of it as the brand anticipating a need before it is shared, or answering a question before it is asked. It can be quite a time saver and really delight customers with outstanding service. The brand saves a sale, customers are happy their questions were answered and their purchase completed—win-win.
Customers expect, and deserve, the best possible experience. If your brand isn’t actively monitoring customer events in real-time and intervening when necessary to make sure that a customer is satisfied—you should be. It isn’t easy to deliver outstanding customer experiences for every customer, every time, but remember that the good things in life (and business) aren’t usually easy. They are, however, worth it.
Image courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.