Over the years, as enterprises started designing their customer journeys, we began to hear and attend more design thinking workshops. During these sessions, a group of employees gets together to understand their customers better and visualize the journey of customers through different purchase or service paths. As an outcome, customer experience teams end up with multiple journeys and start tracking each journey to improve the experience of customers continuously.

A couple of months back, we talked with an expert, Valerie Peck, and she explained why “dynamic” experience design is vital to improve customer experiences and why the design workshop is just the beginning.

During the global pandemic, we have witnessed that customer needs shifted overnight. Companies had to make changes to their essential journeys and episodes during this time. They may need to make further changes as the situation evolves. Ensuring that customers experience the journey as designed can be made possible through feedback from users or customers. With that feedback, companies can be more confident in both the quality and the consistency of customer experience. A dynamic customer journey design mechanism would have made this shift easier.

So how can enterprises make sure to design customer journeys that are dynamic?

What is Dynamic Journey Mapping?

What if companies could understand exactly where things are going right or wrong, and make sure that customer experiences are effected at minimum when things need to change? That is where mining the data and then layering that data comes in the picture. Through dynamic journey mapping and VoC measurement, companies can pile all the information together and understand what interactions are taking place on each moment of truth and understand pain points associated with the interactions with that specific customer.

A living map allows you to understand the changes in customer behavior as well as different groups of customers with different expectations. Documenting the front stage, which is the customer experience, with the backstage of what the company is doing, has shown success over time. The dynamic map allows you to start seeing the differences in behavior and how you need to interact with your customers to understand both macro CX, which is acquisition, retention, and growth, as well as micro CX, communications, and the user experience.

Companies need first to understand the segmentation by the value of the customers. So, how much revenue or profit they are producing for the company, their expectation and needs and lastly their behavior; meaning how and where do they interact with your company. Which is another data flow, when well aggregated, that can give the company a great picture of who they should focus on, what they need, and where companies might find them. So mapping each of these allows lots of different use cases to understand things like the most profitable spend and what might companies need to postpone.

Through a dynamic journey map, companies can start taking action and eliminate pain points as they go through the experience. It gives the ability not only to affect both VoC and NPS but to create a living map where companies can have continuous improvement monitored. In terms of customer growth and profitability, having a living view vs. “wall art” allows the organization to understand what’s going on quickly, taking action if necessary, and how that action is improving.

Managing “outside-in” data to keeping the journey dynamic

So how can VoC programs dynamically feed into this continuous discipline by bringing the outside in perspective for customers? VoC programs indeed automate a loop for continuous customer experience improvement. It begins with listening to the VoC across selected journeys and touchpoints. Surveys, open-ended text, voice, visuals are all possible sources for getting feedback from customers when they interact with the company.

AI-based machine learning models today make it possible to understand the topics and sentiments in verbatim and voice feedback. Root causes of dissatisfaction and their quantitative impact can now be reliably analyzed. These insights do not stay in silos anymore and are shared across the organization in multi-level, domain-specific dashboards.

Finally, when something goes wrong, automated tasks are triggered in real-time to alert the related employee or team for taking improvement action.

Through listening smart, acting in real-time, and sharing insight into the organization, a VoC Program dynamically supports the experience design and journey management discipline at three levels:

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  • First, it enables real-time action to fix issues. If there is a smell in the store or if there is a delay in the delivery of a product, VoC programs trigger actions to fix the issues in real-time, even before they affect customer loyalty. For example, a banking customer talks about the dissatisfaction with the returns from the investment account. AI-based text analytics analyzes NPS score and customer feedback in real-time for sentiment and topics. After identifying the customer’s dissatisfaction with the investment account due to low returns, an alert is routed for potential product churn. The proactive care unit contacts the customer for retention.

  • Design Improvements: It is good to fix individual cases one by one, but what if there is a systemic issue? What if a significant portion of your customers believe that they have been misinformed? Then, the company may need to intervene and make changes in the journey design and processes. The VoC program this time provides in-depth insight into the root causes of dissatisfaction as an invaluable input to the experience redesign process. For example, a retailer gathers customer feedback through a VoC program. Instead of just asking “what were we missing,” the retailer lets the customer tell his/her story and, as a result, has more insight to take action. Let’s say that the customer responds, “there was not enough variety, and the product quality was mediocre.” The retailer not only knows that the customer is dissatisfied with product quality but also knows about the insufficiency in product variety as perceived by the customer. By continuing the conversation as a dialogue, the retailer can continue to ask “for which products, would you like to see more variety.” A dialogue like this one seems to be very typical between a customer and a seller. However, when there are tens of thousands, even millions of customers, it is impossible to have such conversations with every customer. That’s where AI-based machine learning technology comes into the picture to help you have these conversations for more in-depth insight from your customers to redesign their experiences.
  • Strategic Investments: Typically, CX professionals face a myriad of customer experience issues to address. Some are minor, some are critical. VoC programs provide input on specific CX improvements to determine which problems have the most impact on business results. In our final example, a telecom operator faces the challenge of deciding where to invest its limited budget and resources for CX improvements to get the most business impact. Through the VoC program, the company knows how much influence each of these areas has on crucial business KPI’s such as NPS and average revenue per user. They know that a 1% increase in satisfaction from data speed will likely increase NPS by 2.1%. On the other hand, a 1% decrease in satisfaction will probably drop NPS by 3.4%. It is now much easier to make an investment decision to increase data speed. Below are examples for each level:  

Many companies build a VoC program, measure NPS, and design one ‘wall art journey’ and say they are done. Yet, a living journey perspective, continuously updated and informed by BOTH inside-out and outside-in data, is needed. VoC brings in the outside-in perspective to dynamic customer journey management by:

  • Taking proactive actions for fixing issues before it is too late
  • Increasing insight and quality for design improvements
  • Understanding the business impact of CX dimensions for strategic investments

To learn more about how “dynamic” experience is vital to improve and better manage customer experience, make sure to watch our on-demand webinar here.

If you have a specific question, feel free to contact the author directly.

Author

Gurol Kurt

CEO, Alterna CX

Before starting Alterna CX, Gurol was a customer experience director at Telia Sonera, the Nordic telecom company overseeing customer experience transformation of 7 countries.  Prior to that, he was a partner at Peppers and Rogers Group, a niche management consulting house known as the authority for customer centricity, working with clients in North America and the Middle East.

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