A really good and interesting strategy exercise companies should do regularly is to track the end-to-end journey customers are taking “through” the company. Ernest Hemingway said: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Probably the best way of doing this is to literally act this customer journey out in your teams. It is only when you understand the customers’ true experience, perceived problems, and feelings that you can improve their overall experience.
Alex Rawson and Ewan Duncan highlight this need of understanding a customer’s end-to-end journey in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review. They have found that companies are prone to optimise the different touch points they have with customers, but they seldom get to the root of the problems customers facing. Companies need to use their data-driven analysis to identify the journey customers are making and engage the entire organisation in redesigning the total customer experience.
There are new and great tools coming to the market to facilitate root-cause analysis of the various customer interactions to visualise social behaviour. I am involved with a customer interaction startup called interAnalytics. Its software understands human, conversational interaction through a Natural Language Understanding system and is able to automatically detect, analyse and visualise social behaviours. Good interaction analytics can be used to rescue customers who are thinking about leaving, to further activate customers who are satisfied and to ‘move’ the normal distribution of customer satisfaction to the right so that the churn zone becomes a thing of the past and the satisfaction zone is full of promotors and evangelists.
However great these type of tools are, it does not replace the need to truly understand the end-to-end journey your customers are in.