Saturday, August 1, 2015

Customer Journey vs. Customer Experience vs. Employee Experience

The good Customer Experience management is a norm, but a great Customer Journey with exceptional Customer Experience offers the 'WOW' factor.


It is without a doubt that many organizations have come to the realization that in order to be successful within their industry, they have to focus their efforts on the Customer Experience, to build a customer-centric organization. However, what do you think Customer Experience is all about? What is the difference between Customer Experience and Customer Journey and can they be used interchangeably? Employees deliver the Customer Experience, should you also be mapping Employee Experience with the same rigor as Customer Journeys?






Customer Journey is the end to end set of activities and processes that a customer completes while acquiring a company's products or services. The customer journey is all of the things you do to take a flight from A to B, from the moment you go to the website to order tickets, to when you walk off the plane at your destination. Customer Experience can then be defined as a set of conscious and subconscious attitudes, feelings, and beliefs regarding said activities. The idea is to understand the Customer Experience in order to refine the Customer Journey. The Customer Experience is how you feel about the whole process. It is the sum of all thoughts, experiences, feelings, reactions, attitudes, etc, that customer have or will have in regards to using or potential using of your product or service. Customer Experience can be either overall (in regards to the entire product) or in regards to just one touchpoint with the product or service. The Customer Journey is a representation of the touchpoints a customer engages with a brand. 

Customer Journey Map is a visual interpretation of individuals’ relationship with an organization, service, product or brand over time and across channels. The experience dives much deeper into each touch point and the whole experience. The deep look uncovers the nuance and emotion of each touch point and the transitions in between. You need to understand the journey before you can focus on the experience. The journey is the path customers take. The experience is the fulfillment of a need that keeps them on the path to you, or the lack of fulfillment of a need that causes them to abandon the path to you and seek a different one, the journey is for awareness, the journey is for service received, and the journey is for retention, etc.


The employee can greatly influence the customer's perception of the company and its products or services. Statistically, the #1 reason for customers leaving a company is an attitude of indifference from a company representative. Companies have not yet understood the extent of the influence an employee has in any situation with a customer. One way to gain this needed insight would be to do an employee journey map and integrate that into the customer journey map to see where the disconnects are. It is these disconnect points that will reveal opportunities that will benefit not only the customer but the employee as well. Employee Engagement mirrors Customer Experience levels. And when as an organization you have the capability of doing Customer Journey Mapping, you can use this to map Employee Journeys! Said differently, the value a product or service has for a customer can be influenced by an employee he or she is in contact with.


Employee Experience itself has layers of optimization - direct work environment related and employment related. It's an interesting world emerging ahead of us. As far as digital and employee contributions, there is a clear trend emerging about the need for the coexistence of both to really deliver that branded experience. Fundamentally organizations need to understand whether their process or the elements of the process are commodity or intimate. Forcing customers through a commodity digital channel when it requires an intimate approach will never achieve high levels of satisfaction. So the conversation is how you use employees as mechanisms in a process to transform an input into an output for optimizing Customer Experience. The focus is then on required skills, knowledge and attributes of the employee. Where emotional intelligence is a differentiator then the selection, training and coaching (continuous development) of such employees is a core competence.

The good Customer Experience management is a norm, but a great Customer Journey with exceptional Customer Experience offers the 'WOW' concept as the necessary success factor to ensure you stay ahead of the game, particularly with your peers in business. Hence, you have to put the customer and the employee at the heart of everything that you do as a business - excellent employee experience directly influences exceptional customer experience, and great customer experience management is a differentiator for companies.

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