Step 2: Optimise the Journey, Not the Touchpoint
The problem is, plotting those courses can be challenging, because the so-called straight and narrow path spoken of by ancient sages isn't so straight and narrow anymore. In the digital age, every customer tends to interact across multiple channels and devices, and organisations can't simply focus on improving an individual brand touchpoint in isolation from the rest.
As tempting as it may be to reallocate resources in order to offer better service to customers through, say, your company's previously ignored Twitter account, all of your efforts will be in vain if those same customers then try to email you and don't get a timely response because the majority of your contact-center staff are too busy tweeting.
It is precisely these sorts of dangerous multichannel intersections that led Forrester to declare that companies should "optimise the journey, not the touchpoint" when creating their CX maps and plans. By focusing on the forest as a whole rather than on individual trees alone, you'll perceive crucial pathways that you might otherwise miss.
Step 3: Realise that the Journey and the Destination Are One
The real point of customer journey management is to ensure that every single step of a customer journey, across every single channel, is harmonised with the appropriate form of customer engagement to deliver the right business result. Sure, some interactions are more significant than others, and some cross-channel transition points are worth devoting more financial resources to improve, but you never know when any given customer's journey may be nearly at an end, or only just beginning, with your brand.
So you have to ensure that your staff is prepared to deliver the best possible experience that they can to every customer, on every channel. They need to have such a clear, bird's-eye view of that customer that they know where the customer has been and where they are likely to go next, in order to best help them on their way. If you truly value each customer to this degree, appreciating exactly where they are on the customer journey you've laid out for them, then "managing" that journey becomes simply a matter of helping them to take a single next step closer to your organisation-without rushing them and without selling them on anything more than what they need in this very moment.
In fact, when journey management is done right, the result is a customer engagement in which a customer doesn't experience a sense of being strategically "managed" or "served." From the customer's point of view, your company is simply responding to their journey in the most helpful, natural, and fluid possible way.
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