Customer journey mapping to drive successful transformation

Posted: 13th September 2021 Amy Russell, Junior Consultant

Successful transformation is driven by a desire to improve, rather than by a defined outcome. By enabling change to be led by the customer voice, through Customer Journey Mapping, housing providers can ensure that services are future-proofed, and transformation programmes are effective in meeting the needs of customers, as well as their wider targets.

Customer Journey Mapping offers an opportunity for organisations to understand the customer experience across a service or process. Customer Journey Maps (CJMs) capture the key stages in a process, the customer’s emotions, the ‘pain points’ and the possible opportunities for improvement.  All input into the maps is based on evidence taken from surveys, workshops, focus groups and customer feedback data to provide the customer’s true perspective. CJMs usually plot the experience of multiple types of customers, grouping them by several defining characteristics which impact how they interact with an organisation.

The insight provided by CJMs allows organisations to redesign processes and service offerings to better meet the needs of their customers, improving the emotions experienced by the customer at each stage and focusing actions which add the most value. Costs can then be reduced both through specifying key areas of focus, and by reducing time spent on remediating service failure.

CJMs can be implemented throughout the transformation process. Organisations can review existing processes and services to identify their strengths and weaknesses. New processes can be stress-tested to ensure that the needs of all customers are sufficiently met, and CJMs inform the training of customer-facing staff on what is expected from the service provided at every stage. They provide a tool on which to base training to ensure that residents receive a high standard of customer service, as required in the November 2020 Resident’s Charter.

Top tips for using customer journey mapping to improve your processes and service offerings:

  1. Analyse your customer base and get feedback from a representative sample within each of your identified customer segments. Do not rely solely on the experience of the vocal few but capture a broad range of views and experiences. To ensure realistic feedback, ensure that your customers can provide their views anonymously, and without fear of retribution.
  2. Where processes are to be redesigned, base them on the outcome of the customer journey maps. Identify your ‘standard’ customer, and tailor processes to provide them with the smoothest journey possible, eliminating ‘pain points’ and areas of low satisfaction. Ensure that this pathway is able to withstand changes to your customer demographic and technology to ensure that your change is future proof.
  3. Make sure you review all new processes through the eyes of each of your identified customer groups. Where any customer may be disadvantaged as a result of changes made, remove points of low satisfaction through including additional access or contact methods throughout the process. Where possible, these additions should integrate seamlessly into the main process.
  4. Develop service standards and KPIs based on what your customers value. For example, if your customers value having a specified appointment for repairs over the speed in which it is completed, use the percentage of appointments completed on the preferred date as a KPI, rather than a time-based indicator.
  5. Use your CJMs and customer analysis to inform wider service offerings and process changes, focusing resource where it provides the most value. These maps allow you to identify what your customers value and how they access your services, use them to tailor your offering to meet the needs of your customers, as defined by your customers.

If you would like to learn more about customer journey mapping or would like support to produce customer journey maps for your organisation, contact amy.russell@altairltd.co.uk.

Written by Amy Russell, Consultant, Altair.

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