Skip navigation
All Places > Industry News and Best Practices > Blog > 2016 > September

1.jpgKey Takeaway: Effective customer journey mapping + customer engagement optimization = success.


Understanding customer journey mapping is a critical step for businesses as they move increasingly toward omnichannel (see our recent white paper for more on that trend). Yet many customer engagement professionals remain foggy in terms of what exactly the customer journey is and, just as importantly, how to best leverage it for customer engagement optimization.


What Is Customer Journey Mapping?

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that there are several popular definitions of customer journey mapping. Siddharth Gaikwad, practice head of digital experience at Dell digital business services, told Knowledge@Wharton that it's "the definitive first step in the process of converting a current 'as-is' state to a future state that promises an enhanced customer experience."


Gaiwad added that customer journey mapping incorporates the "customer's expectations, experiences and reflections" across every touchpoint with a company.


Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 2.05.37 PM.pngThe more precise your customer journey mapping, the more effective your customer engagement optimization efforts will be. The Salesforce UK blog emphasized this point, noting that understanding the customer journey equates to knowing when to expect customer interactions at every potential touchpoint. This in turn empowers companies to deliver a seamless experience to customers across channels.


Customer Journey Mapping Missteps

Those are the benefits, but they aren't guaranteed. In many instances, companies make mistakes with their customer journey mapping efforts which can significantly undermine these advantages.


For example, it's important for businesses to focus on analytics and metrics throughout the entirety of the customer journey. It's not enough to be aware of how your customers are engaging with your business - you need to measure how these interactions deliver relative to their expectations and, as the Salesforce UK blog noted, your brand promise. Customer journey analytics (also known as customer engagement analytics) will prove essential in this capacity.


Another common mistake in this area is to focus too heavily on understanding the here and now without also looking ahead to the future. Matt Kresch, writing for Microsoft's Dynamics Community, emphasized that this is a major mistake for customer engagement broadly. He asserted that customer support expectations and preferences change over time, and companies need to recognize and keep pace with these developments.


Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 2.05.22 PM.png

In terms of customer journey mapping, this process should be not just descriptive, but also prescriptive - businesses can use this tool to determine their customer engagement goals for the future, as well as better understand interactions as they happen today.


Collectively, these two points highlight the simple but underappreciated fact that customer journey mapping cannot be effectively pursued without a complementary focus on customer engagement analytics. Together, these resources can go a long way to position companies for success in an increasingly omnichannel world.


How does your company approach customer journey mapping?

pci-compliance.jpgWith more than 40% of worldwide Internet users buying products or goods online, companies with e-commerce platforms have a responsibility to protect sensitive consumer information (credit and banking information, mailing and email addresses, user names and passwords, etc.).


But identity theft and fraud are all too common in a marketplace of more than 1 billion online buyers – and counting.


To ensure the safe handling of customer information in the call center, an interaction analytics solution can prove critical.  Interaction analytics reduces liability exposure by taking immediate action on any legal threats and de-escalates situations that might otherwise spiral out of control.


Take a look at 3 ways interaction analytics helps to maintain PCI compliance for call centers.




This post originally appeared on CallMiner.

If you’re not achieving your goals for the customer experience, you’re probably not measuring at the correct level; learn what that level is.



Companies want to give and get value through the customer experience—what are your goals? To deliver proactive customer service? Reduce customer support calls? Increase customer loyalty? Sell more through each customer interaction?


To achieve your goals, you’ll need to measure the fine-grained elements of your customer interactions. Only an up-close view—not a high-level view—will show you how to actually improve.


Where most companies get it wrong (really wrong) is they spend copious resources tracking the consequences of their customer experience (dashboards, Net Promoter Scores, etc.). But, they barely consider the factors that cause those experiences.


Outcome Metrics:

Outcome metrics are your results. For example, after a hotel stay, you might get a survey with the Net Promoter question: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Your answer—if you answer at all—will be a result of your experiences at the hotel. Outcome metrics, whether satisfaction or Net Promoter Scores, allow you to track progress over time. They’re indicators of general performance, but they’re limited. They’re limited because they’re not the tools that will help you to improve.


Nuanced Metrics: The tools that show how to improve.

The customer experience consists of broad factors, such as connection and timing, which break down into smaller elements: the smiles, frowns, word choices, thoroughness of answers, and more. It’s these small elements that you can actually change. Nuanced metrics and methods are the tools that delve into these elements, uncovering your gaps, opportunities, and how to improve.


Quick Example:

Imagine you own a coffee shop and want to sell more coffee. A number of factors and elements are involved:

+ Product: Do customers like the coffee? Is it burnt or bitter?

+ Timing: How long do customers wait? And is there music in the background, so it doesn’t seem so long?

+ Connection: Did the cashiers focus on each customer? Or were they busy talking to each other?

+ Competition: Was a coffee shop on the next block offering free pastries?


You’ll increase sales revenue if you improve underlying factors like coffee quality, wait time and cashier attentiveness. But if you only look at your sales numbers, nothing will change.


Think of it like training to run faster.

To get results, you have to improve factors like: flexibility, endurance, and nutrition.


Each factor is comprised of myriad elements. For example, flexibility depends on: muscle groups, activity level and body temperature.


Devise a plan to improve each element and you’ll improve your speed. Simply measuring how fast you run will never tell you what to improve, or how. You can’t run faster overnight—but you can do 20 extra minutes of endurance training, 15 minutes of stretching, and eat healthier foods.


Wow VERSUS Satisfaction: Where Do You Need to Be?

How deeply you examine the factors and elements driving your outcomes depends on whether you need to satisfy or wow.


+ Wow: In a competitive market, or when customer experience is one of your differentiators, you’ll have to “wow” your customers. “Wowing” requires you to unpack the customer experience at a granular level.


+ Satisfaction: But, if you’re the market leader, achieving satisfaction is probably enough—and while you’ll still need to examine the details, you won’t need to scrutinize the subtleties.


Clarifying the Difference Between Satisfaction and Wow:

Customers are satisfied when their perceptions match their expectations. Customers’ expectations are set by your marketing messages, nearby competitors, and other companies comparable in your marketplace. Customers’ perceptions result from their direct experiences with you. Satisfaction is ok… but it’s NOT memorable.


On, the other hand, to wow is to exceed expectations. This calls for consistency, surprise, and customization. For more about “wow” get our free overview.


Whether You’re Aiming for Satisfaction or Wow, Know Your QCI™ Score.

At Interaction Metrics, we’ve developed the Quality of Customer Interaction™ Score. QCI™ is more actionable than NPS and other single-input metrics. This is because it accounts for multiple aspects of the customer experience, weighted by what matters most for each customer and their situation.Interaction-Metrics-Key-Measure


Customer Experience Metrics & Methods: Align Them.

Your goals, metrics, and methods should fit together like a puzzle, each piece complementing and informing the other. To get the clearest read on the customer experience, use a hybrid approach—because every method has pros and cons. For example, surveys are easy to do, but fall short because customers are rarely conscious of the details affecting their experiences.


Hybrid approaches also deepen insights. For example, to gain competitive edge, service evaluations pinpoint where you’re losing customers, while interviews uncover customers’ innermost thoughts and feelings.


Measure. Grow. Transform.

The best thing about using nuanced customer experience metrics with the right combination of methods is that next steps become abundantly clear. Next steps can be workshops, model answers, optimized interaction maps, director’s cut audio… the sky’s the limit.


Bring It All Together:

For any customer experience goal, whether that’s to increase conversion, inspire customers, win market share or anything else, you’ll need to:

+ Stop relying on outcome metrics

+ Embrace nuanced customer experience metrics

+ Combine metrics with the right methods

+ Apply powerful, engaging next steps


Let’s discuss your goals and the best metrics and methods for you with a free MetricsLAB™. Your takeaways will include: the pros and cons of different metrics plus a few preliminary ideas to advance your measurement. It’s 25 minutes. No strings attached. Improve your customer experience metrics. When’s good for you? Sign up here.


About Interaction Metrics

Interaction Metrics is a customer experience agency that maximizes the value of experience planning, satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping, customer interviews, and customer service evaluations.  Only Interaction Metrics Findings Reports combine actionable customer experience metrics with specific recommendations for how to improve.