Enterprise Excellence Digital transformation

The fascinating world of the customer journey

According to a study we are exposed to 5000 pieces of promotional materials every day! In other words, it is not simple for a company to stand out and make new customers.
Ellen Van Caillie

Möbius, my very first week… An abundance of information overwhelmed me. Everything was new, interesting and challenging. Which direction exactly did I want to follow? That was a difficult one. Let’s try out a bit of everything! During the first week we were told that the start-ups were going to get their first assignment: the Multi Day Challenge, a project we were allowed to spend five days on. Ideal to start something concrete in anticipation of more projects.

Twelve different projects were presented to us and we were each allowed to give our top three. But how do you decide on a top three when everything is interesting? Again I asked the same question: What appealed to me most? Programming in VBA, industry 4.0, something about PWO (Personal Work Organisation)? I went for service design. I admit, I had no idea what it is exactly, but it was the only assignment with a supplement, which, in addition, looked extra attractive!

Curious, I learned about service design: I was introduced to personas and customer journeys. A hot topic, it soon turned out! Slogans such as “The Age of the Customer” showed me the importance of customer experience. According to a study we are exposed to 5000 pieces of promotional materials every day! In other words, it is not simple for a company to stand out and make new customers. And because of this endless promotional flow it is crucial to give customers an optimum experience. For instance, did you know that on average we tell 9 people when we had a good experience and 16 people when we had a bad experience? And that on average 12 good experiences are required to make up for a bad experience? Or that 78% of customers has once stopped a transaction or planned purchase because of a bad experience during the purchase process?

In short, thanks to customer experience a company flourishes or goes belly up. Not just the quality of the offered product counts, the entire customer process is taken into account in the evaluation of the ‘brand’. This is when the customer journey comes into the picture. The customer journey helps companies to picture the customer’s journey from start to finish. Every interaction between company and customer is mapped and a clear overview is provided of what a customer does and experiences when choosing, buying and using a product or service. Every step in the customer journey also shows which channel the customer uses and what his or her experience is. At best this so-called ‘mapping’ of the customer journey is done in co-operation with the customer. Companies can try to stand in the customer’s shoes, but is it possible then to understand the customer’s pure experience? Apparently not! 80% of companies is convinced they have a superior customer service, whereas it turns out only a meagre 8% of customers agrees with this. In other words companies aren’t able to gauge how well they are doing after all (nor the perception of their customers)!

In this day and age, you cannot imagine not having technology. In fact, it is becoming increasingly important. Technology should therefore not be forgotten in the customer experience story. ATAWAD or ‘Any Time, Any Where, Any Device’ perfectly describes how technology and how people work evolves. Whether you work from home, attend a meeting or are travelling, we constantly want to be in contact with people and have information at our fingertips, and we use any equipment close at hand for this: smartphone, tablet, computer, etc. Companies need to take advantage of this and make sure their customers are able to reach them via any desired medium, via any channel.

Service design, mapping the customer journey, everything concerning customer experience, following up the latest methods and technologies regarding this, etc. Thanks to my Multi Day Challenge I have found my way!

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Ellen Van Caillie