Pitfalls in the Customer Journey

Most customer experience initiatives focus on touchpoints, and rightfully so. Touchpoints, or moments when a consumer interacts with your brand in some way, are the stepping stones of the overall customer journey, and improving individual touchpoints leads to greater customer satisfaction. With that said, the overall customer experience and value derived from the customer journey is greater than a simple sum of its touchpoints. Sometimes, while individual touchpoints deliver quality, the overall journey can be flawed. Consider the following:

Measurement Can Be Misleading

A good way to get a grasp on this issue is to compare your NPS with your aggregate touchpoints. If the two don’t align (ie the NPS is well below the average of your touchpoint ratings), you may have one of two issues:

– You have important touchpoints that are performing poorly. If your overall touchpoints are good, but you have a few low outliers and a low-performing NPS, you could be neglecting your most important touchpoints. Key driver analyses can help identify the most improtant touchpoints in your customer journey, but keep an eye out for this.
– Your overall journey is flawed. If individual, high-importance touchpoints aren’t the culprit of an overall low NPS, your customer journey as a whole could be flawed. Take a moment to step back, invest in listening to your customers, and understand the customer journey from beginning to end to understand where dissatisfaction arises.

Understand Customer Learning

A common source of dissatisfaction in the overall customer journey could be in the learning process. Thinking about key customer questions related to your business: What is obvious, and what isn’t about your product/service? Where are customer getting their answers? How easy are those answers to find?

Issues in the learning process can derail your overall customer experience if the learning process isn’t intuitive, accessible and exciting. On top of this, some organization may be overlooking learning steps in their customer experience. It’s important to understand that not all steps in the customer journey involve a direct interaction with your brand. Background research, such as looking at online reviews, is an essential step in your customer journey, and your organization has to be willing to acknowledge and improve steps such as this to the best of its ability.

Qualitative research can play a role in improving these steps, by understanding what is confusing customers, and where they are investing their own personal time to understand an aspect of your product or service. Understanding the learning process means understanding your customer and their most pressing needs.

What Brings Value? What Doesn’t?

Another major source of dissatisfaction in your customer journey may be sheer exhaustion. Your customer journey should have steps in it that bring value, delight your customer and add to their well-being. While most organizations strive for this type of customer journey, there may be excessive amounts of hoops customers have to jump through.

Consider the way you choose to balance cost cutting initiatives and customer self service with value. Notably, there may be specific opportunities to “trim the fat” of excessive touchpoints that don’t bring value to the customer and simultaneously cost your organization time and resources. Any way you can find to streamline the customer journey allows you to focus more on the necessary touchpoints, save your customers time, and optimize the value your organization brings.

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