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Customer Experience

10 steps to map a customer journey for your service desk - part 1

By Wes Heemskerk on June, 20 2017

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Wes Heemskerk

Service Management Consultant

Improve your customer experience by mapping out customer journeys to give you an idea of how your customer percieves your service delivery.

To be able to deliver optimal services, you have to understand what your customer wants. The easy way to start seeing things from the customers perspective is to map out their customer journey, so that you can find areas where you want to make the process smoother.

1. Start with one customer journey

You can consider many different customer journeys that can help determine how a customer experiences your service, but nail down one to start off with. Your will want to focus on just one for quick, measurable results. Choose a journey that you know is currently far from smooth and plays a decisive role in how your customers experience your services.

Describe this customer journey as specific as possible. Focus on a specific disturbance that occurs in your service delivery. For example, trouble signing in, moving a workplace, requesting a new laptop, or arranging a meeting. A good suggestion for a first customer journey is the onboarding of a new employee, as this process tends to not be so smooth in many organizations.

2. Engage all parties that play a role in the journey

As we wrote about recently - a lot of different departments play a role in onboarding. IT provides the laptop and accounts, Facilities work on the desk and an access pass, HR handles the contract and personnel administration. Make sure you involve all departments from the beginning when preparing a customer journey. The service throughout the customer journey then becomes a joint responsibility. When it appears that a crucial bottleneck lies with a particular department, give this priority.

Sometimes you are not dependent on a department but a supplier. Involve your vendors on this customer journey. They are further away from your customer and have less realisation of their role in how your customer experiences your service.

3. Decide what type of customer experience you are pursuing

This is important. It's not a good idea to start mapping customer journeys if you are not fully in agreement about what the Service Experience is that you are seeking.

Here is a thought experiment. Assume the employee only stays in his role for a month. How would you like your customer to look back on his employment after this month? Are you aiming to just remove the biggest frustrations and score a 7/10 in customer satisfaction? Or does the employee go away bragging about how fantastic the Service Delivery was?

Not every department attaches as much importance to a flawless service. Sometimes this isn’t even a realistic goal – and maybe a net 7 is a great achievement. The most important is that you reach consensus with all parties about what level you are aiming for.

4. Create a persona

It's important to know who your customers are and what they think is important. To do this, you create a persona: a fictional person who serves as a stereotype for your client. You will want to make this person as “alive” as possible. You give him or her a name, job, hobbies, ambitions and frustrations. This helps you better estimate how to best help this customer. Would he rather prefer a ready-to-use solution or to self-solve problems? Does he prefer to communicate via phone, email or the self-service portal? Anticipating the behavior of your customers makes you able to give more seamless service.

If your customer group is very diverse, with many kinds of personalities, you may need to make multiple personas. But one persona is a good start.

5. Experience what your Customers experience

There are many ways of getting feedback from you customers. For figuring out your customer journey, the best way is to find a number of customers who meet your persona and have recently gone through the customer journey and ask them for a deep interview. Even better is shadowing customers as they go through the journey, to see the experience live. 

Ask them to describe what they expected from their customer journey and what their expectations were. Ask how enrollment went: how were the waiting times? Was everything in place as expected? What was missing? What communication channels did he use for this and why? Questions like these can also give you more insight to the personas you created, and mean you can back them up with data instead of assumptions.

Next up: how to map your touchpoints, emotions and discover your opportunities

You now did all the groundwork to map your customer journey. In step 6 to 10 I'll show you how to inventory all touchpints, emotions and opportunities for improvement.

Read steps 6 - 10 to map your customer journey

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