Comms Business Magazine talks Digital Transformation with Avaya’s Strategic Accounts SE, Paul Wakefield and discovers that a strategic and structured customer journey plan is a key part of successful outcomes.
Comms Business Magazine (CBM): What is the role of a customer journey map and why should telecoms companies include these maps in their business transformation plans?
Paul Wakefield (PW): A customer journey map puts the user at the heart of an organisation’s thinking. It shows changes in customer behaviour and demonstrates the need for the entire organisation to adapt to new challenges. While there is no organisation-wide or even industry-wide standardisation of customer journey transformation mapping, there are key steps that should be incorporated into a company’s plan in order to create a successful and effective customer journey map.
The telecoms industry is changing. This is because of how people are consuming information via their media services. Content is no longer the preserve of networks or satellite television and this cultural shift has turned the customer journey on its head. In many cases, the telecoms industry is using journey maps to understand how this shift is happening currently and then anticipate any industry changes in the future.
CBM: What are the most important steps towards transforming your business communications plan?
PW: Keep the focus on customers’ needs and solving their problems. Ask yourself: What can be simplified? Where can value be added? How can self-service be enhanced? Establish a new way of working, embed it into organisation, and guide frontline employees in making the customer experience the best it could possibly be, no matter where they are on their journey.
CBM: How can businesses ensure they are capturing quality data?
PW: Integrating multiple sources of data is key to creating a single unified customer view. The data from your analytics can also do more than predict customer behavior, it can shed light on your infrastructure’s current condition. A lack of usable data can be a sign of issues within your infrastructure, whereas good quality, current and integrated data centralises user insights and completely connects the customer journey.
CBM: How should businesses keep customers informed and happy during transformation and overcome challenges when developing customer journey maps?
PW: It is important to recognise your customer’s journey as part of the transformation. Once this is established, the initial architecture can be strengthened and a roadmap that is kept firmly in mind and part of the day-to-day operations can be created. Not only will this roadmap enable you to focus on customer needs and solving their problems, but it can also be used to identify opportunities for future innovation.
First, identify the barriers. Find out what is stopping them delivering the desired experience and what is within their direct control. Finding the answers to these will help shine a spotlight on specific areas that can then be immediately adopted, owned and acted on. Areas that require broader cross-organisational support need to reinforce the infrastructure and ensure the continuing progress of the transformation plan. In addition, look for pressure points that might trigger customer complaints, stress or negative comments or reactions.
CBM: How should businesses implement a customer journey map and how can progress be measured?
PW: It’s important that steps are mapped and sequenced properly and that appropriate change management communications are wrapped around the new journey map to facilitate its implementation. A journey map should be both informative to the internal implementation team and actionable. This comes from creating a common understanding of the data that goes into creating the journey map and creating a common customer experience language and mindset within your organisation. Implementation should begin by developing a phased, cross-organisation change plan by prioritising key interaction points and ‘moments of truth’ that could result in customer dissatisfaction. Then you should identify milestones where company engagement is counter to what customers said they expected.
When changes are made to a business, it’s important to consistently document the impact of these changes and share the customer reaction. Be sure to measure periodically, in particular after any significant alterations.
Keep this record up-to-date and reflect on the changes to technology and consumer behavior. This will help you to make fast, informed and agile decisions in order to refine processes and sustain momentum throughout the transformation period.