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Customer journeys: A map keeps your brokerage going in the right direction

January 14, 2022 / Katharine Gebhardt

80% of customers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products, according to salesforce.com. As a brokerage, you have a lot more one-to-one opportunities with customers than a big corporation. Lots of large organizations sell insurance 24/7 and online, but you’re selling something they cannot – the personal experience.

This makes your customer experience worth investing in. You can make sure the experience is as smooth and rewarding as possible for your customers by completing a review of your customer journey.

The average consumer now uses up to 10 channels to communicate with businesses. The experience is much more complex than it used to be. The customer journey pulls together all the touchpoints and makes sure you’re creating the smoothest ride possible.

What is your customer journey?

Your customer journey is every touchpoint a consumer or customer has with you over the course of doing business. That could be your social media posts, website and newsletter. But it’s also how you answer the phone, what your storefront looks like and how you handle their business.

Is it the same as customer experience mapping?

A lot of sources use the terms customer journey and customer experience map interchangeably. They are different, though. Gus Svendsen wrote a great article that defines the differences. He explains the journey as the universal steps from acquiring a customer to retaining them. The experience map is the tool you use to audit your customer journey and it is variable. Really variable, as we’ll discuss below.

What’s the value of looking at the customer journey and experience?

When you look at the journey and experience, you’re auditing the customer’s experience, but you’re also auditing your success in how it was delivered.

Here are just a few benefits of looking at the journey and mapping out customer experiences:

  • Close gaps - You can easily identify the gaps that people could be slipping through – gaps you didn’t even know where there.
  • Fix pain points - You’ll see the pain points for customers and be able to address them.
  • Do quality control - When you look at the entire experience through their eyes, you can benchmark your standards to what is actually being delivered.
  • Reinforce your brand - When you define your touchpoints, you can make sure each one reflects your brand.
  • Provide omnichannel service – You’ll see opportunities to offer a service option that you may be missing now.

Just like other maps, one map doesn’t fit all

Your customer experience roadmap is a lot like a vacation roadmap, in that it’s different for everybody. Not every traveller wants to go to the same place for their vacation. Not everybody starts out from the same place. Some people want to fly, others want to drive or take the train.

Just like a map for any other journey, your customer experience maps have to account for different starting points, endpoints, and different preferences for getting there.

That means you’ll need different maps for different groups of customers, with options for different starting points and end destinations.

How to start on your journey

Lots of marketing services, like MailChimp, HubSpot and the Invision App, offer templates to help you record your journeys and maps. These are great tools, but it’s not a simple fill-in-the-blanks exercise. Various authors declare it’s anywhere from a four to eight step process.

Regardless of which process you decide to follow, mapping your customer experience typically involves:

  • Defining the journey.
  • Naming the touchpoints.
  • Including the customer action at each touchpoint and detailing how you respond (including personalization and branding).

For illustrative purposes, Mackenzie Corp has a resource that outlines the six steps of their process. You may consider using this as a guide to help you get started, but as mentioned above, there are many resources available.

When you do begin the process, you may find creating your customer experience map is an excellent activity for your team to do at a retreat, or a smaller group of individuals could complete it over the course of a longer period.

Every great journey starts with a map

Leaving on vacation without a map can be kind of fun. But a map for a customer experience is a necessity. Without it, you may be missing opportunities, and possibly letting consumers slip through the cracks, without even knowing it. It’s worth investing the time in considering the customer journey and mapping the customer experiences at your brokerage.

This is one case where you can cast spontaneity aside without fear of missing out – in fact, you’ll be getting a lot more out of your customer experience when you follow the map.

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