If you’re looking to reduce customer effort (CES), increase customer satisfaction (CSat), and improve Net Promoter Score (and who isn’t?), mapping the customer journey is an essential step towards success. Improving the customer journey has the potential to not only increase customer satisfaction by 20%, but also to lift revenue by up to 15%, while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20%.

Customer journey maps should be designed with specific customers in mind and, ideally, based on a deep understanding of your customers’ experiences. A useful journey map should include customer details such as: behaviors, thoughts, and feelings throughout each step of the journey. This allows you to optimize for a more customer-centric experience.

Mapping the customer journey is no easy task; it requires dedication and organization. But if you’re looking to get a jump-start on the process then keep these 4 key steps in mind:

1. Clearly Identify the Goals of Each Journey

The goal of your customer journey map is for the organization as a whole to understand how everyone’s role can directly or indirectly impact the customer experience. There are a complex number of narratives that can take place during any customer journey. It’s important to first decide the end-goal of each interaction. When you’ve clearly identified your goals, it becomes easier to correctly navigate each journey, and decide which areas of the organization are involved in making them successful.

2. Use Customer Data to Synthesize the Journey

Now that you’ve determined the goals of each interaction, it’s time to begin making productive changes. A key starting point is to look for common issues and trends in your customer feedback data/surveys. By asking customers open-ended questions like, “What problems, if any, have you encountered during a recent experience with customer service?” allows room for details, rather than a simple “yes” or “no” response. Customer feedback holds the key to existing problems in the customer journey, and will be integral to remapping the experience.

Additionally, each customer should have a detailed “persona” profile, which best represents the customer segment they fall in. This unique identifier can help you to effectively determine what their customer journey looks like. For example: Millennials may be more inclined to begin their journey on a mobile app or online, whereas, a Baby Boomer might be more likely to use the phone first. This information will play an important part of personalizing the customer experience.

3. Chart the Customer Journey by Channel

The multi-channel customer experience has raised a number of questions about how call centers should effectively measure the customer journey. More than ever before customers are moving across channels and devices to find support and purchase products. In fact, 65% begin their purchase path on a smartphone, 61% of them continue on a PC/laptop and 4% continue on a tablet. Meanwhile, 63% of customers purchase high-value ($200 or more) items using multiple devices. Therefore, tracking the customer journey from each device is the only way to truly know whether or not customer touch-points are working in synchrony, or if your customers are pulling their hair out when they navigate from one to the other.

By understanding each channel journey, you are more likely to implement the streamlined experience that customers desire.

4. Evaluate the Journey and Design New Experiences

Test the customer journey map. Everyone in your organization will have a slightly different perspective on the customer experience, and each will represent a different customer segment. Start with teams or individuals who are customer-facing, and work up from there, identifying each interaction in great detail. When you feel confident in your internal testing, it’s time to involve your customers. The customer journey might not be perfect yet, but customer feedback will be instrumental in getting you there. Use this input to make final changes with the experiences that customers want most.

If you need help executing these 4 steps, contact EPIC Connections’ veteran call center experts; they will guide you through the customer journey mapping process quickly and painlessly.