A leading global provider of telecommunications products and services was losing business customers at a worrying rate and the reason was clear: the customer experience was broken, from sales to service. The product range was complex and difficult to understand. Multifaceted pricing and laborious registration processes made it difficult to buy things, and – even if you became a customer – flawed billing processes and support systems made it all a pretty torrid experience.
How did it come to this? The answer is simple and familiar: as companies grow and develop to meet the challenges of a changing market, serial acquisitions can create a complex legacy of products and service channels. In this case, there were multiple online portals for ordering and managing products and services, each with different experiences, credentials and capabilities. Without a clear vision for the business customer experience, there was no benchmark for quality control or improvement.
The big question was, how could we map out a new vision of the customer journey that would work in the real world?
We worked to re-imagine the customer experience from first principles. Where conventional customer journey mapping tends to be linear and logical, human beings are not. That’s why we used recent advances in behavioral economics and motivational design to anticipate and account for the ‘predictable irrationality’ of individuals making decisions in the real world.
For the first time in a long time, the company had a clear vision of the optimal digital customer experience which everyone could sign up to and aim for. Suddenly, everyone from product development, customer service, back-end architecture and UX design were on the same page. This made it possible to plan a program of prioritized change and progressive alignment that would turn the vision into reality for business customers. What’s more, everything that was done – routine maintenance and support, as well as innovative development and systems implementation – would be set in the context of the shared vision of what the customer experience should be.
Our task was to build a deep understanding of the current customer experience, to develop a picture of what it should be, and then provide scenarios of what it could be, given existing constraints and business conditions. We carried out in-depth interviews with business customers and a wide range of internal stakeholders and subject matter experts, from account representatives to technical support specialists. Step by step, through rolling collaboration and consultation with everyone from product managers to technical architects, we visualized an endstate customer journey that everyone could agree upon and work towards.
Within six months, we created separate journey maps for a range of customer experiences, all the way from online sales and registration to billing and service management. With that single, shared vision, it was possible to design the changes to technology, business processes and culture that would turn the theoretical ideal into a practical, profitable reality. And that’s exactly what we did next. We mapped what the customer journey would look like in an ideal world and now we are helping to make it happen in the real one.
We use a distinctive approach to customer journey mapping that recognizes and allows for the ‘predictable irrationality’ inherent in human behavior. Conventional customer journey mapping takes a quantitative, logical and linear approach to the process, with emphasis on identifying process bottlenecks and maximizing efficiencies. Unfortunately, people are not always rational in thought or deed.
KPMG’s Multi-Dimensional Mapping helps clients understand the complete customer journey in all its complexity by exploring what is really going on when people are making decisions. The sensitivity of this approach liberates us from simplistic personas and gimmicky emoticons; instead, we engage with the complexity of human motivation in a meaningful and usable way.
As we worked towards the all-important shared vision of the end-state customer journey, we were using behavioral economics, game science and motivational design to provide the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’ of customer actions and choices. This means we could close the gap between theoretical ideal and practical reality.