The business case for mapping your customer, patient or owner journey using a customer experience model is clear and compelling: Leaders are increasingly competing on customer experience, not on price or product.
“Customer experience leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards, drive higher brand preference, and can charge more for their products,” according to Forrester’s 2017 U.S. Customer Experience Index.
Leaders outshine on CX because they’ve put in the time and effort to identify and begin working to improve all of the communications and other interactions along the customer’s journey with their brand. Companies that map and manage customer journeys outperform other organizations, including speeding up the sales cycle, cutting customer service costs by more than 20% and receiving more than three times as many customer referrals, the Aberdeen Group found.
Want to realize these types of benefits? We’ve developed white papers, which you can download by clicking on the titles below, for vacation ownership and healthcare that delve into each industry’s customer journey, spotlight pivotal steps on the journey including friction points and pain points, and offer tips for improving the journey.
For hospitality companies, Nordis is leading a forum at ARDA World on May 7 on the owner journey and would love for you to join us. Sign up here.
Some fundamentals about the customer journey
For a quick, high-level overview on the customer journey, let’s start with a definition: The total of all contacts, also called touchpoints, that a customer has with your organization and brand.
You may be thinking you already have a good handle on this and could sit down and map it out in no time. Well, then, you aren’t doing it right. Because:
- The journey has to be from the customer’s perspective, not the company’s.
- Everything counts. Touchpoints occur in a variety of channels, functions and time periods, from reading discharge instructions, wait times and paperwork at the doctor’s office, the steps and processing time to log in to an online account, receiving a bill and staying at a resort or hospital.
- The sum of the experience is greater than its parts. Even if some touchpoints are great, they aren’t enough to make up for others that are lacking or actually bad.
- One size does not fit all. Every step of the journey should meet a particular customer’s needs. Millennials may want to conduct all of their interactions on their smartphones. Patients undergoing cancer treatment follow a different path than those having knee replacement surgery.
Start with customer communications and payments
As important as it is, journey mapping only gives you the current state. The goal is reorienting your organization around mapping and managing customer journeys to “deliver customer experiences that create and sustain loyalty,” the Forrester benchmark for superior CX. It won’t happen overnight, but you can jumpstart the improvement process with two levers that drive customer experience for better or for worse: communications and payments.
“How well your company communicates with your customers has a surprisingly large impact on your brand’s overall customer experience. In turn, this outsized influence translates into a revenue impact that can be a game-changer for your bottom line,” according to Read My Lips: Clear Communications Can Mean Billions in Revenue, a July 2017 Forrester report.
Focusing on customer communications and payments offers an opportunity to secure some early wins and build momentum for enhancing other stops on the journey. They have the virtue of representing touchpoints, generally uncoordinated yet important, all along the journey. Companies also can leverage tools and technologies at their fingertips for managing communications and payments to deliver enhanced experiences and operational improvements.
The Expresso customer communications management system lets you break down departmental silos by centralizing development and distribution of digital and print communications on a shared platform. Integrated with ExpressoPay for fast and secure online management of electronic payments, Expresso can make it easy to coordinate and collaborate on communications and thus improve the customer experience. Customers benefit from messaging and communications that are consistent, targeted and coordinated for maximum impact. You can also boost customer satisfaction by providing options for receiving communications, paying bills and managing accounts through the channels of their choice.
Stay tuned for more from Nordis on the customer journey. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the customer journey and how we can help.