On recent travel for work, I found myself thinking about my customer experience at a hotel. I was staying at a hotel in a major international chain. (Yes, I admit it – I collect the points.)

I noticed that one of the ceiling tiles in the bathroom had brown stains from what appeared to be a water leak at some point in the past. I thought that was a little strange, as replacing or painting that drop tile would have been relatively inexpensive, probably under $10.

I looked around my hotel room after this, and I noticed that there were some cobwebs hanging in one of the corners of the room-small cobwebs, but cobwebs none the less. These two items made me suddenly wonder what else might have been overlooked in my hotel room. I won’t elaborate, but you can probably guess the items I wondered about next.

This all made me start thinking about my experience as a customer with this hotel. The hotel staff had been friendly and efficient. My check-in was pleasant. The front desk clerk spoke to me by name and thanked me for my frequent stays with the chain, and my encounters with the cleaning staff were nice as well. However, they missed some of the key touchpoints on my customer journey.

Every company has multiple touchpoints on the customer journey at which they engage their customers. Understanding these touchpoints is an important step in ensuring that your customers’ experiences with you are positive. Some of these touchpoints will include speaking with an employee either face-to-face or over the phone. Other touchpoints will include a customer’s use of your website, calls into your IVR and contact center, emails, chat sessions or social media. Others may include having a customer on site at one of your facilities, such as a bank, retail store, or a hotel lobby and a hotel room.

An example of a Customer Journey map, with the vertical midpoint reflecting a neutral customer rating.

I recommend that you take an inventory of the Customer Journey for your customers.  Here is one quick version with four key steps:

  1. Identify Touchpoints where you interact with your customers. Don’t think in terms of checking off the box for the standard items such as, “Did the employee greet the customer by name and thank them for their loyalty?”  Think instead of steps that a customer experiences and items that they are likely to remember. In my example above, the hotel room could include multiple touch points (e.g. cleanliness of the bathroom, comfort of the bed, state of linens, amenities, Wi-Fi service, etc.)
  2. Map out the Customer Journey with customer ratings (perceived or actual, based on actual customer responses if possible).  Rate each touchpoint on a scale, such as 1-10, or you can use NPS (Net Promoter Score), CES (Customer Effort Score), or some other rating method, as long as you’re consistent. The effective range on this scale should include extraordinary on the high end with very good, good, neutral at the midpoint, bad, and horrible on the low end. Also identify the minimum point below which no interaction should be rated.
  3. Match your brand values to the Customer Journey.. Look at the key messages that you are sending for your brand-marketing messages, advertisements, billing statements, and what you communicate to your employees-to make sure that those values are represented with the expected peaks on the Customer Journey. Should those values include something like making sure that the customer loyalty is mentioned and the customer is thanked by name?  Or should it include items such as a very clean and comfortable hotel room?
  4. Allocate resources or reallocate resources to ensure that you spend more time, training, and resources on the touch points that match your brand values. You should ensure that you are not providing experiences lower than the minimum on all touchpoints, but you do not have to have every touchpoint in the “extremely satisfied” range or rated 10. If you are not receiving satisfied ratings on the touchpoints that match your brand, then you should not expect high satisfaction ratings from your customers.

Groupama, a Genesys customer’s Customer Journey focused on the ‘Service Factor’ lead to quality improvements, increased efficiency and effectiveness, and an optimal customer experience. For more information on Customer Experience Management or to find out more about Genesys’ Business Consulting engagements for Customer Experience, contact your Genesys Account Executive.