Customer Journey Mapping: visualize the customer's experience
Visualizing the end-to-end experience of customers.
Axacraft helps develop customer journeys that reflect the complete experience that a customer goes through when interacting with a business or brand - from initial awareness and discovery to purchase and post-purchase support.
We strive to include all touch-points and interactions across various channels, such as social media, email, website, and in-person interactions. The goal of customer journey services is to optimize this experience, creating a seamless and positive experience for the customer at every stage.
Typical stages in the customer journey
The customer becomes aware of your brand or product.
The customer begins to consider your brand or product as a solution to their needs or problems.
The customer decides to make a purchase or take some other desired action.
The customer is satisfied with their experience and decides to continue doing business with your brand or product.
The customer becomes a loyal fan and recommends your brand or product to others.
Part 1: Axacraft can help you define a clear customer-experience aspiration and common purpose.
To create a distinctive customer experience, large organizations must have a clear, shared purpose that guides every employee's behavior. This purpose should be consistent with the company's brand value proposition and be easily communicated through a simple, authentic statement of intent. For example, The Walt Disney Company's Common Purpose of creating happiness through entertainment is a recognizable shared vision. To ensure this purpose is realized, it should be translated into a set of principles that guide behavior at every level of the organization.
Customer journeys provide the framework for organizing and mobilizing employees to deliver consistent value to customers. While many organizations focus on individual touch-points, a siloed approach misses the bigger picture of the end-to-end customer experience.
Only by looking at it through the eyes of the customer, along their journey, can organizations improve the experience in a meaningful way. Despite the challenges of functionally aligned organizations, the customer journey serves as a critical link to the common purpose, ensuring that thousands of employees in different areas can deliver a great customer experience.
Part 2: Axacraft can help you develop a deep understanding of what matters to your customer.
Customers on their journeys hold companies to high standards—the best products, which never break or require upgrades and are immediately available, purchased with the help of high-caliber employees, at rock-bottom prices. How can companies determine which of these factors are the most critical to the customer segments they serve? Which generate the highest economic value? Understanding the most important journeys, customer segment by customer segment, helps a business maintain focus and have the greatest impact on the satisfaction of its customers and its own bottom-line performance.
Fortunately, the advent of big data and advanced analytics has helped organizations parse the factors that drive not only what customers say about the things that satisfy them but also the actual customer behavior that creates economic value. Similarly, multiple sources reflecting the voice of the customer—including surveys, social media, and the real-time chronicling of the shopping experience—can illuminate the current performance of companies in managing their customers’ journeys. Once they have identified the most important journeys and defined their strengths and weaknesses, the process of redesigning and prototyping can begin.
The result of this exercise should be a clear picture of the company’s customers, their needs, and their preferences in various journey stages, as well as an understanding of the business’s economic value at each stage of the journey.
Armed with this knowledge, companies can prioritize investments and initiatives to address customers’ needs and create the most value for their businesses. A key aspect of this step is to involve employees at all levels of the organization in gathering and analyzing customer data to ensure that everyone understands the importance of the customer journey and how their work contributes to it.
Part 3: Axacraft can help you use behavioral psychology to manage the customer’s expectations.
Behavioral psychology can be a powerful tool for managing the customer's expectations and perceptions of a company's products or services. Leading companies in the customer-experience space have found that incorporating behavioral psychology into their design processes can generate significant additional value.
By strategically designing the sequence of interactions with customers, companies can end on a positive note, merge different stages of interactions to make them feel shorter, and offer simple options that give customers a sense of control and choice. These tactics can help to shape customers' perceptions of the overall experience and increase their satisfaction with the company.
Part 4: Axacraft can help you reinvent customer journeys using digital technologies.
Digital technologies have the potential to transform customer journeys, but to be successful, companies must keep the customer at the center of the redesign process and use data to personalize experiences. This requires not only a deep understanding of customer needs but also cross-functional collaboration and a willingness to experiment with new ideas and technologies.
Companies should focus on journeys that matter most to customers, such as onboarding, billing, and issue resolution. By digitizing these processes, companies can reduce friction and eliminate pain points, leading to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
One key advantage of digital technologies is the ability to personalize experiences at scale. By using data and advanced analytics, companies can tailor interactions to the specific needs and preferences of individual customers, increasing engagement and loyalty.
To succeed in the digital era, companies must also be agile and willing to experiment with new technologies and approaches. This means creating multidisciplinary teams that can rapidly design, test, and iterate new customer journeys, incorporating feedback from customers along the way.
Finally, companies must recognize that digital transformation is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process of continuous improvement. This requires a culture of innovation and a willingness to embrace change and take risks. By doing so, companies can create differentiated customer experiences that drive growth and shareholder value.
Part 5: Axacraft can help you reinvent customer journeys using digital technologies.
Every leading customer-experience company has motivated employees who embody the customer and brand promise in their interactions with consumers and are empowered to do the right thing. Companies centered on customers engage them at every level of the organization; employees work directly with them in retail settings, take calls, and get out into the field. In the early years, for example, Amazon famously staged “all hands on deck” sessions during the year-end holidays, a tradition that lives on in the employee-onboarding experience. Some organizations create boards or panels of customers to provide a formal feedback mechanism.
We’ve distilled four simple rules from leading practitioners for building a sense of engagement on the front line. First, listen to employees and establish mechanisms to address their issues and needs. Next, hire for attitude, not aptitude—in other words, if you want to provide friendly service, hire friendly people. Interviewing prospective employees in groups, as JetBlue Airways does, is one way to observe how they interact.
Give your people a purpose, not rules, so that the company sets clear expectations and lets employees know that it trusts them to do their jobs. Finally, tap into the creativity of your frontline employees by giving them the autonomy to do whatever they can to improve the customer experience and fix problems themselves.
Part 6: Axacraft can help you improve constantly, by establishing metrics
and a governance system.
The key to satisfying customers is not just measuring what happens but also taking action based on the data throughout the organization. Leading practitioners start with a metric to measure the customer experience and then move down to their key customer journeys and performance indicators. For companies to move from knowledge to action, they need proper governance and leadership.
Best-in-class organizations have governance structures that include a sponsor, such as a chief customer officer, and an executive champion for each major kind of cross-functional customer journey. Full-time teams carry out their day-to-day work within the existing organization because the transformation must take place within normal operations. To foster understanding and conviction, leaders at all levels must role model the behavior they expect from these teams and constantly communicate the necessary changes. Formal reinforcement mechanisms and skill-building activities at multiple levels of the organization support the transformation as well.