In today’s highly competitive marketplace, providing exceptional customer service is crucial for businesses to thrive and succeed. One effective strategy that companies utilise is customer service mapping. This approach involves analysing and visualising the entire customer journey to gain a deep understanding of the customer experiences and identify areas for improvement.
How we design our mystery shopping programs is a common question we receive at Above Benchmark. Customer service mapping is the quick answer. Our first step is to thoroughly research our client. Following this, we assist them in mapping out their customer journey, identifying their benchmarks, and setting customer service goals. This information is then used to develop their mystery shopping program.
So what is Customer Service Mapping?
Customer service mapping is a walk-through of the various touchpoints and interactions that customers have with a business throughout their journey. It involves mapping out every step, from the initial point of contact to after-sales support. This approach helps businesses identify what’s working well, potential issues, stalling points, and areas of improvement in their customer service.
Benefits of Customer Service Mapping
Understanding the customer journey: Mapping the customer journey allows you to gain insights into how your customers interact with your business at different stages. This understanding helps you avoid issues, provide appropriate support, and optimise the customer experience. Customer journey mapping is not only intended for the average current customer, it can also be used to understand a desired demographic.
Insight into processes: The customer journey typically involves multiple departments within a business. By mapping out the journey, you can identify areas of handoff and collaboration between different teams. This enables you to foster a culture of cross-functional collaboration and break down the steps.
Improving customer satisfaction: When you have a clear visualisation of the customer journey, you can proactively address any issues or gaps in your customer service. Is there a step where the customer’s engagement with your brand may falter? By doing so, you enhance the overall customer experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Identifying opportunities for innovation: Customer service mapping highlights areas where you can introduce new technologies or processes to streamline customer interactions. By identifying these opportunities for innovation, you can stay ahead of the competition and provide points-of-difference.
Steps to creating a customer service map:
Identify customer touchpoints: Begin by identifying all the touchpoints where customers interact with your business. This includes initial marketing communications, website visits, product/service selection, purchasing, delivery, and post-sales support. Ask your team about their processes and how they handle customer transitions.
Gather customer feedback: Collect customer feedback through surveys, reviews, emails, interviews, and social media comments. This input will help you understand the pain points and challenges customers face throughout their journey with your brand.
A customer experience audit is a great way to begin. Look at how your customers interact with your social media, your website, live chat, etc. Ask your customers about themselves and where they heard about your business. Customer satisfaction surveys can be designed and implemented by Above Benchmark to assist you with this step. These are not only intended for current customers, but also potential customers and lost leads.
Visualise the customer journey: Once you have gathered the necessary information, start mapping out the customer journey. Use a flowchart or other visual representation to show each step of the journey, including customer emotions, actions, and touchpoints at each stage. An example of a customer journey map is below:
Source: Digital NSW
Analyse and identify areas for improvement: Analyse the customer journey map and identify pain points, bottlenecks, and areas where you can enhance the experience. Focus on aligning customer expectations with your service delivery.
Such an analysis can be conducted through a mystery shopping program. Incorporating mystery shopping into the customer journey mapping process allows businesses to gather specific details and objective observations, helping them identify areas of improvement and optimise the entire customer journey.
Additionally, mystery shopping helps in the creation of accurate customer personas by mimicking real customer experiences and enabling businesses to empathise with their customers’ needs and expectations.
Implement changes: Based on your analysis, develop strategies and action plans to address the identified gaps and how to utilise identified strengths. Improvements may involve training employees using strengths as examples, implementing new technologies, revising processes, and celebrating the wins. The efficacy of these strategies can then be tracked with a consistent mystery shopping program.
Continuously monitor and refine: Customer service mapping is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your improvements and refine strategies based on customer feedback and changing market dynamics.
In conclusion, customer service mapping provides businesses with valuable insights into the customer journey, allowing them to identify strengths, as well as areas for improvement. By focusing on delivering exceptional service at every touchpoint, and tracking this with a consistent mystery shopping program and customer satisfaction surveys, companies can build customer loyalty, drive business growth, and gain a competitive edge in the market. Embrace customer service mapping and take your customer service efforts to new heights!
Our team would be happy to discuss how Above Benchmark can assist you in mapping customer journeys, gathering insights, and analysing data. Be sure to read this article about the benefits of a Mystery Shopping survey and contact us for a no-obligation chat.