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New Tech Solutions Should Tie into the Customer Journey

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The other day I made a purchase via a new vendor. I then wished to exchange the item. It was apparent to me that someone had spent quality time to map the return process as if they were the customer.

Why is this so important? Because, if you haven’t nailed down your customer’s experience, you will lose down the road. B2B or B2C, the expectations continue to become more demanding for a seamless interaction, regardless of the number of channels the customer uses.

You want an interaction that:

  • Is focused on the customer’s expected outcomes
  • Considers their sense of urgency
  • And recognizes their likelihood to switch suppliers if not completely satisfied

Eighty percent of customers say that “the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services” according to the Salesforce State of the Connected Customer, 4th Edition (pdf).

As a result of COVID-19, we are quickly learning how important it is to stay in touch with the customer through technology. Technology growth is rampant, and many companies are rushing to do the job in digitization but failing in keeping their teams up to speed.

As we continue to invest in technology, let us not forget the fundamental “3-legged stool” of people, processes, and technology. All must be in alignment. Consider that the technology should complement your business, allow you to get closer to your customer or client, and deliver an improved experience. The technology will only be as good as the team and processes behind it.

When you think about how to deliver a great customer experience, you have to be focusing on another “leg” - the journey. When you get this nailed down properly through the journey map process, the customer will trust doing business with you and continue to return.

As a reminder, when you do your journey map:

  • You cannot be building a map based upon assumptions.
  • You must do the research rather than thinking you know what is going on with the customer.
  • You must use hard data.
  • You must validate that you have outlined and addressed the entire journey the customer experiences.
  • Have you covered all of the points in the journey and surrounding the journey which may also have an impact?
  • Remember, this is not a process map of your internal operations. The journey map must be the view focused on the customer.
  • Finally, have you validated the journey map and defined key metrics to measure the experience?

As the “new norms” continue to evolve, the customer experience must continuously remain in your focus, along with the challenge of how to use more technology in ways that make your customer’s journey even easier. By combining innovative technology solutions, journey mapped processes, and upskilled employees, you are ensuring the future of your company looks bright for many years to come.

This article first appeared in HDI.

Dennis Gershowitz is a a featured contributor for HDI and leads DG Associates. He also has served as vice president and general manager of Alfa Wassermann and vice president of operations of Timbrel Systems.