‘Customer journey map’ boosts service

customer journeyAs a top executive at Dow Corning, Carol Pudnos wanted to improve customers’ experience in dealing with the company. So she studied how customers interacted with Dow Corning every step of the way.

She developed a “customer journey map” to represent these step-by-step interactions. By identifying each key “touchpoint,” Pudnos and her team could assess to what extent the company delivered quality service when it counted.

To make the map more effective, Pudnos focused on what she calls “the risky moments, where if we didn’t deliver, we would lose customer confidence.” For example, a botched service call or a confusing explanation of a problem might drive customers away.

In drafting the map, the company interviewed customers and asked them to share their experiences. The discussions grew more animated as customers revealed their make-or-break moments when they expected Dow Corning to deliver on its promises.

Pudnos digested this information and created a simple way to measure the company’s customer service during these make-or-break moments. Her team also developed a list of questions that Dow Corning’s sales reps could ask customers to gain better insight.

Within a few months, the map made a sweeping impact inside the company. Employees sought ways to elevate their performance and address customer needs at crucial points in the process.

“People were challenging themselves on whether the organization was delivering on the steps, but not challenging the credibility of the steps,” Pudnos says. “That was good. It meant they were actually internalizing this guidance on how to look at the business.”

— Adapted from Chief Customer Officer 2.0, Jeanne Bliss, Jossey-Bass.