The best call centers put themselves into the minds of their customers. They take the time to learn who their audience is, what they want, how they prefer to communicate, and what prompts them to make a transaction.
These customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers. And by gaining a deep understanding of the customer journey, call centers can learn what it takes to provide exceptional experiences.
Although today’s customers can be tricky to understand fully—especially when it comes to the many various steps they take—the customer journey is something you can effectively outline if you take the time to do it right.
The call center customer journey starts when someone learns how to contact your company and ends when they achieve their goal. Every step, including research, outreach, and interaction with an agent, leads them toward this goal.
A customer's goal can be anything from purchasing a product to signing up for a free trial or finding an answer to a question. Each call center interaction is just one touchpoint along their entire journey with your brand. And every touchpoint matters.
So, how do you map the call center customer journey?
The key is visualizing the entire process. Each point on the map is an important event, interaction, or area of friction that happens during the customer’s experience with your call center.
To begin mapping out the complete customer journey, you need to grasp audience demographics (who they are), psychographics (whom they want to be), and what it takes to get customers from point A to point B. Here’s how to get started in five steps:
Get to know your customers—their demographics and expectations. You need to understand your customers personally. Put a face to your customer by creating a persona that your call center team can use to envision precisely who they’re interacting with. And the more detail, the better.
For example, don’t just say your primary customer is: male, 18-30 years old, and a manager. Instead, create a persona like this:
Once you know who your customers are, you need to understand where they are coming from. Knowing why your customer contacts you will inform how you handle each interaction.
For example, if the customer is new to your brand, they need a generic welcome greeting and a few prompts to guide their next steps. Contrarily, a current customer wants to know that you know who they are and are ready to help.
You can use a CRM, text analytics, and call monitoring software to pinpoint why the customer is contacting you so you can respond appropriately. It's also valuable to monitor trends on why customers get you to find ways to smooth out the process.
People want to engage with you when, where, and how they prefer across the entire customer journey. This is why a branded omnichannel strategy is so essential for your contact center.
Start by listing every potential touchpoint with your contact center, from social channels to paid ads, phone calls, emails, third-party review sites, and live chat. This is an essential step to ensuring you have all the insight you need into how your customers interact with you.
Finalize your list of contact channels, then establish clear communication guidelines for each to ensure your call center agents meet customers where they are, literally. For example, emails should be answered within 24 hours, while live chat should be answered in just a few minutes.
Every customer interaction is a chance to prove that your brand deserves loyalty. It’s an opportunity to differentiate your brand based on exceptional customer experiences. So figuring out what an outstanding interaction—one that results in a positive outcome—looks like is critical.
To do this:
The final step of the customer journey is to establish how you’ll resolve every interaction while delighting the customer. You need to track and analyze the right metrics and data to determine what works and what doesn’t. Measure everything from how well the agent recognized the customer’s mood to how well the agent met their need by the end.
And don’t be afraid to take the journey as the customer to see if there are any areas of the call center process that can improve. Test your mapping regularly to ensure that agent transfers are minimized, wait times are insignificant, authenticity is demonstrated throughout, and emotion is put into every interaction. You don’t want frustrating gaps or less-than-ideal experiences because something was missed.
Now that you know how to map the call center customer journey, what can you do to ensure that every experience is as profitable as possible?
By following these best practices and mapping the customer journey, this insight can highlight the most effective and efficient process for your customers to take from the first touchpoint to the last. And the better optimized this process becomes, the more likely you are to build loyal brand advocates.
With a clear understanding of your call center's customer journey, you can start developing a customer-centric experience at every touchpoint.
The eBook, Actionable Ways to Improve Call Center Customer Experience & Customer Service, outlines industry best practices to help you deliver a consistent, enjoyable experience at every step in your customer journey.