Touchpoints are vital to the overall customer experience. It is during these moments, when a customer reaches out to you to conduct business, that your company has the opportunity to really put its best foot forward and leave a lasting impression. When too much emphasis is placed on these moments, though, it can actually have a negative impact. It will leave the customer feeling like the only time you truly care about them is when there is something to be gained by you.

What You Really Need to Focus On is the Entire End-to-End Customer Journey

Chat automation and other forms of artificial intelligence are effective in boosting customer engagement. The micro-experiences these tools create, however, do not account for even a fraction of a customer’s entire experience with your brand. If your company defines the customer experience by only a series of touchpoints, you’re missing out on a valuable source of information.

Looking at the Truth, the Whole Truth

When you look at the entire story of the customer’s journey, you gain a much better understanding of what truly happens from start to finish. A customer’s story is based on an assortment of elements. And while you may want to create the story yourself, it is essentially written by the customer because it is their point of view that truly matters. Many times, your customers’ stories will be created according to some type of objective reality. Although touchpoints will play an important part in their stories, there are many other elements that help create the background and details of their experiences, including:

  • Introduction to your brand (kind of like going out on a first date)
  • A few ups and downs (perhaps the customer couldn’t find your contact information on a receipt (negative), so they went online to Google your number (positive))
  • The end of the story tends to be long and drawn out; it will consist of either the customer walking away from your brand dissatisfied or making a connection
  • Once the connection is made, there are still many elements that come into play and impact how the story ends, including product satisfaction and your maintenance policies

By following a journey-centric approach in your customer contact center, you’ll enjoy cross-functional operations and innovative processes. You’ll go from focusing on chunks of the customer’s story to gaining a bird’s eye view of what happens behind the scenes during the research, introduction, connection, and follow-up parts of the customer’s journey.

Your Story Gets Told Everywhere

Whether you realize it or not, the stories that customers create about your business are told on a regular basis. Their experiences with your self-service portals and even your interactive voice response (IVR) system will play a large part in how their stories unfold. Being that you aren’t the creator or the storyteller, you need to be doing all you can to influence the creation process in a positive manner. For example, if you provide a support ticket system for IVR customer support now, you might develop a way to steer your customers toward self-service portals. But when customers are trying to have an issue resolved, phone support is vital. If it is inconvenient to use, you may be creating a negative experience for the customer, which is sure to be a part of their story.

After you develop a perspective that enables you to see the customer’s journey from their perspective rather than yours, you can  create an roadmap to a better customer experience. This plan will need to cover policy changes that need to be initiated to improve the customer’s story. All in all, you’ll gain better control of how the story plays out.

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