Find your path to customer’s hearts with a customer journey map.

What do you do when you feel lost? Or Do you want to find a new way? Maybe you use google maps or your GPS. We need a plan to find the way, whether the best way, the faster, the scenic, long, busy, free route, and many options.

Most of the time, we don’t have a GPS or Google Maps to show us the direction our business needs to go. We need Journey Maps when we feel lost managing a business, or we may be lost our way to the customers’ needs and wants, or we need to get on track again.

Tons of research and experts agreed that customer experience drives profits. As a company manager, you need to focus on profits, saving costs, and managing resources. Prioritizing resources, taking opportunities, deciding where to start, and how many resources to invest requires a solution that is easy to implement and cost-effective.

Customer journey maps are a visual representation of the interactions between humans and your company. It is a tool that customer experience practitioners use to help a business like yours.

In a technology context, journey maps are about the steps a human follows to accomplish a goal. A journey map is all about the user and its actions, the storyboards, and use cases; in customer experience, we add the service journey to align offline and online processes.

How do humans use and experience the technology, and how do we capture those moments or interactions? Simple, use a customer journey map that will include technology, processes, people, and physical evidence.

There is a relationship between journey maps and understanding your customers, prospects, or ideal customer. A journey map will provide an overall view from where you can draw a plan; it will give you and your team a “360 view” of your company relationship and the human aspect of that relationship.

There are two approaches you could use today:

  1. Map individual interactions to pilot a customer experience program. It is the faster and easier route to start, provide quick wins, buy-in, and less resistance. It works well to adapt to sudden market changes as a pandemic or industry disruption or digitalization.
  2. Map the overall experience with a high-level customer journey; this works well for an established company or a small program for a new company. A high-level customer journey map provides the starting point to understand the relationship between the service promise and the service delivered. It is a long-term approach with quick non-structural changes at the beginning for quick wins and adds cumulative value over time.

Two points I want you to remember customer journey maps are living documents that adapt. And CX is a continuous improvement program.
As the customers or users evolve and market conditions change. Using customer journey maps keeps an alignment between your business promise, users’ or customers’ expectations, and how your employees deliver on that promise. And it will keep your business on the path to your customer’s and user’s hearts.


Customer journey maps give that emotional connection, that most business lacks. We talk about gain and losses; with a customer journey, we speak of awe and pain. We humanize technology and business, we see beyond profits, and we create human connections that are meaningful and productive.

Top 6 customer experience best practices that leaders in EdTech need to know

Technology companies use human-machine interaction approaches and occasionally forget that customer experience goes beyond the product, and it encompasses all areas of the business. Many Edtech companies fail to follow customer experience practices that are fundamentals to engage teachers and students.

Customer experience is all interactions a customer, former customers, and prospective customers have with your company. It is not only about customer service, user experience, or marketing; it is end-users, influencers and decision-makers, those using your services, and those that left because they were unsatisfied—understanding the customer experience as an ecosystem is fundamental. Hence, customer experience is all interactions that a human has with your brand. It is not a project; it is a continuous improvement program.

As an Edtech leader or individual contributor understanding the best practices is a great way to engage with your target audience and make your voice heard. One mistake we commonly make when trying to excel in customer experience is to explain complex issues with many details, thinking that it will be easier to understand when it is actually more difficult to retain and digest.

Here are some customer experience best practices that leaders in Edtech can follow, trying to keep it simple:

1.        Benchmark your customer experience, understand your organization’s maturity level, create a clear vision for customer experience, a customer charter, define its strategy, and understand teachers’ and students’ actual needs and perceived needs.

2.        Provide choices based on your customer preferences. Maintain an agile customer journey mapping to add emotions and humanize your brand and technology.

3.        See customer experience as an investment, collect data by talking to teachers and students, leverage your customers’ voices, employees, and market, use the feedback to create action plans, and measure the results to demonstrate value.

4.        Create a culture of make it easy for customers to do business with you, reduce red tape, break down silos, and drop old fashion practices that add costs and pain.

5.        Be responsive, balance self-service options with real human interactions, and have a crisis management plan ready to go—a task force to tackle market changes.

6.        Use technology to deliver human experiences, balancing the right amount of automation, and assessing the impact on people, processes, and technology. Keep that personal touchpoint open. Not everyone is an early adopter.

Remember, sometimes, customers need to win, and the ultimate goal should be to generate good profits. Customer experience is beyond deploying surveys; it is a combination of all interactions within the customer journey. Don’t forget about incorporating the human voices into your brand promise and technology.

By following these six-customer experience best practices, you will never lose sight of your customers. You will hit the right balance between people, processes, and technology, saving your business money and generating an evergreen process that will bring referrals and positive word of mouth.

Let’s connect and talk about customer experience.

Understanding Your Customers’ Needs and Wants a Consultant’s Point of View

As a consultant understanding clients’ needs and wants is at the center of my practice. To connect with clients, I need to know what they want, their aspirations, and deliver what they need, providing the best solution for their problems.

I am a service provider to B2B and a Customer Experience (CX) practitioner. My motto is the “360 view” of my customers — meaning — that I need to understand my clients and, subsequently, my clients’ customers.

My clients want to stay relevant and innovative and often look at other successful companies, hot industry trends, or new shiny products for inspiration. Perhaps, the motivation is staring at them all the time. A vital component of growth is customers.

Let’s define the difference between the client’s wants and needs:

Wants are all the expectations, emotions, and desires clients would like to achieve.

Needs are all the actual outcomes, behaviors, and tangibles clients would like to have.

“Listening to customers is essential and understanding their aspirations and behaviors.” Alicia Freites

Although the importance of being a customer-centric company is not a new concept, the right steps to achieve a customer service focus are still hazy. Most of the companies will try to look for solutions without taking into account their customers’ wants or needs.

As a CX practitioner, I will start by applying frameworks and tools and simplify the customer feedback loop, to incorporate the knowledge into your organization processes. As Steve Jobs notably stated, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology, you cannot start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to sell it.”

CX has evolved recently, with technology, organizations that are leaders in the market understand that they need to create products and services that are customer-centric.

With this philosophy in mind, Oliver Kipp, Chief Customer Officer, Maritz stated, “Failing to engage customers on more than just a rational level is more than a lost opportunity for a brand. It’s a failure to recognize that even the most basic choices people make are informed — both consciously and unconsciously — by their emotions.”

Those organizations that understand the emotional relationship between their brand, technology, and CX strategy are those that developed a competitive advantage. The leaders in the market are those companies that listen to customers and implement changes to meet customers’ expectations and mainly adapt their people, process, and technology to meet customers’ demands.

In Singapore, accordingly, to CX University, most of the population are digitally engaged, and companies need to adapt:

98% of the population owns smartphones,
83% start a search online when looking at new products and services
66% bank or purchase online at least once a week
49% search online while in the store.
54% agree that companies risk losing customers if they don’t offer a great digital experience
Canada is not far behind these trends.

How can successful companies understand their customers’ needs and wants and, most importantly, get value from it using technology?

Well, as I mentioned before, there are many frameworks and tools in the market that will help organizations become CX and compete, and all start understanding your customers.

Leading companies spend a lot of money and resources to understand customers, but I have three simple steps process for you to get you started in the right direction.

First, do your research. Do as your customers do. Use google to get industry reports on your business industry, select a benchmark that you think you could achieve within the next six months. For example: Do your customers expect real-time interactions? Are your competitors responding in real-time? Is that a benchmark that you could achieve in the next six months?

The second step is to analyze. Go back and compare how you are doing, is there a gap or you are outperforming the competition? Are you providing those real-time interactions to your customers, or are you failing? Ask your customers how you are doing. Prioritize possible solutions to address any gap between your service delivery and your customer’s expectations. Do you have the budget to deliver real-time communications, maybe you are providing it already, find out if you are giving what your customers expect? Once you collect the data, use a simple prioritization matrix to analyze your options, and determine where to start.

Finally, design the solution. From the prioritization list, choose one option that you could do today — “Quick Win” — that will ease the pain for your customers. And choose a second option, “Major Project,” that will take you at least six months.

In conclusion, you don’t need to spend a lot of resources and look beyond to find shiny or expensive solutions. Most of the time, the answers are staring at you. When you align your products and services with your customers at heart, you are on the right path to becoming a CX leader.

If you want to learn more about how I could help you, I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/afreites/

Research

CX Research is the process of collecting data regarding the rrelationship and interactions customers have with an organization.  The ears and eyes of the company, it is a crucial part of a CX program and can help companies closing the gap between the value proposition and customers’ expectations. The information collected provides insights and data, so decision-makers can take informed decisions, direct actions and build a customer-centric business model

Brand

Customers can engage in multiple ways with a brand, they expect to be served and be able to switch between different channels and media, seamless. As a result, customer expectations are higher than ever. Expecting consistent and continuous products and services with instant access, always, on any device. Companies need to align CX and Brand, Brand values and goals, and repositioning their value proposition.