Customer Journey Maps Must Come Before Transactional Customer Feedback


Transactional customer feedback is a very effective way of improving business performance. With it you can diagnose problems and processes that are driving customers away and reinforce the drivers of customer loyalty in the business.

But how do you decide which transactions should be included? If you start the design of your customer feedback process top down with a Customer Journey Map, you will make better design decisions.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

Customer Journey Maps document the interactions that customers have with your business before, during and after their relationship with you.

With so many practitioners using them, there are many different forms of customer journey maps; none of them right or wrong, just used in different ways.

Some are circular, some include the Awareness phase of the marketing cycle, and others include estimates of the customer’s emotional state at each point in the process. All however, attempt to understand and document the customer’s experience with the organisation.

My preferred approach is to map out the trackable elements of the customer experience and include some internal processes. This allows clients to easily apply the customer journey map information to the design of the transactional customer feedback data collection process.


As you can see above, we split the map into two sections: Customer initiated and Company initiated. We also include some internal processes that the client does not see so that they can be picked up in the next stage.

Why Use Customer Journey in Customer Feedback?

One of the key benefits of transactional customer feedback is gathering information around each of the key touchpoints in the business. If done in a consistent manner you can then apply Pareto analysis to the feedback on each touchpoint to determine where to invest your time for maximum benefit.

Merging Journey Maps and Customer Feedback

In complex businesses you should not attempt to translate the entire touchpoint map into active transactional customer feedback data collection on day one. This is simply because some data will be harder to access than others. You are better off prioritising your data collection to focus on the more important, easy to collect data first and then build out to the complete map over time.

If you try to start with 100% coverage of your customer journey map you may never get the process up and running. At the very least you will delay the launch beyond when you could be acting to improve the customer experience.

When you have constructed your journey map you should analyse it to prioritise touchpoint data collection using the following four factors:

1. What Data Do We Have Access to Today?

First determine what data is actually being collected in a usable manner. For each touchpoint identify which system (manual or automated) records the customer’s transition across that Touchpoint. Then determine if you can extract that data in a useful way.

Examples of a transition across a touch point include:

  1. Account manager switches the prospect status to “sold” or “lost” in the CRM system. This is relatively easy to extract.
  2. Shipping system issues a consignment note. This would also be a very easy transaction to capture.
  3. Contact centre representative leaves a text note in the customer record about a call from a customer. This would be very difficult to extract and use because it is a free format text.

You can see that even though the organisation might record the transition across the touchpoint the data might not be easy to use. Focus initially on data that is easy to extract and use.

2. Which are the High Value Interactions or Moments of Truth

In any customer journey there will be more important touchpoints (e.g. customer places order) and less important touchpoints (e.g. customer downloads user manual).

Try to focus initially on the higher value touchpoints for your business. This may be difficult to determine empirically because you will have no initial data but use the knowledge and skills in your organisation to make an educated guess.

3. Identify the High Volume Transactions

Initially you should also look for high volume transactions. In a transactional customer feedback environment this will provide more reliable data more quickly and allow you to act sooner.

Also, improvements in high volume transactions will often have a larger combined impact on the overall business than changes in low volume transactions.

4. Capture High Value Customer Segments

Focusing on important or large customer segments is like focusing on the high volume transactions. It will naturally focus you on the important parts of the business.

Update the Customer Journey Map with Targeted Touchpoints

At the end of this process you should have a customer journey map that shows the prioritised data feeds that you want to drive into your customer feedback process.

Now the task is relatively straight forward. Simply work with your data analytics or IT team to methodically get each data feed up and piped into your transactional customer feedback system.

They don’t all have to be completed on day one. Just lay out a plan to bring them all into line at some point.

Using the customer journey map to plan out your transactional customer feedback execution ensures that you start collecting the right data about the right touch points in the right order. That will help you to drive the maximum impact from the continuous improvement process.

Writing the Perfect Customer Feedback Survey Invitation


bigstock-Vintage-Typewriter-41977552You already have a great survey invite subject line and now you need to follow that up with an email body that drives people to start the survey.

The invite doesn’t have to be long and complex, in fact it should be short and to the point but to be most effective it must include some key information.

At all times remember the goal of the invite: to persuade the respondent to provide their feedback on your organisation. That’s it. Nothing more. Don’t add words into the invite that do not directly help you achieve that goal. [Read more...]

Email Subject Lines that Drive Customer Feedback Survey Responses


bigstock-delete-button-18380024Before a customer can complete your meticulously developed customer feedback survey, they need to open the email invitation. You have precious few seconds to prevent their finger jabbing at the delete key and your subject line is your first defence. So make it a good one.

There is lots research into what drives higher general email open rates and we can leverage this to make sure that we can maximize the open rates of our client surveys. So let’s take a look.

[Read more...]

[Webinar] Using 5 Whys Root Cause Analysis on Customer Feedback


5 Whys is one of the most commonly used quality system tools. It is a simple and methodical way to identify the root cause of an issue.

When applied to Customer Feedback you can convert “interesting feedback” in to root causes and actions plans to drive improvement in your customer experience.

In this 30 minute webinar, we’ll teach you how to use this high value Customer Feedback tool:

  • Defining The 5 Whys Approach – What exactly is The 5 Whys Approach?
  • Customer Feedback Application – How to apply The 5 Whys Approach for Customer Feedback with practical examples.
  • Is it really for me? – When should you use The 5 Whys Approach?

[Read more...]

Post Call IVR Surveys: Popular But Not That Useful


After spending 15 minutes on the line to my bank the nice lady asks me if I will hold on the line after she hangs up to take a short survey. Sure what’s one more survey to someone who lives them 24/7!

After a couple of prompted button pushes to enter scores I get the chance to provide verbal feedback. I’m not the type to use circumlocution, I like to get straight to the point but I proceed with a relatively detailed account of a recent issue. I’m only half way through when I’m interrupted with a tone and being told that the recording has ended. Not a great experience.

Post call IVR surveys like this are the new in-thing with more and more organisations using the approach to gather transactional customer feedback.

The question is not whether they are possible, clearly they are, but whether they are useful. It turns out: not so much.

So let’s review how post call IVR surveys compare to email invites to web base surveys to see which is more effective.

[Read more...]

The Best Blog Posts of 2013

As we reflect on the year that was, we hope it has been a great and exciting year for each of you. I know that on our end it has definitely been a busy one but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

While 2013 is not over just yet, we thought that we’d gather together the most popular blog posts of the year. So sit back, relax and check out the posts which were the most engaging and interesting for the year.

[Read more...]

Are These the Worst (Real) Customer Survey Questions You’ve Seen?


I’ve seen a lot of customer surveys in my time and this is in the bottom 20%. If it came from a small company that didn’t know any better and didn’t have the ability to get good advice I’d understand. On the contrary this came from a tier one airline.

Don’t make the same mistakes. Here are the 7 important customer survey lessons you can learn from them.

[Read more...]

How the New Australian Privacy Principles affect your Customer Feedback Program


bigstock-Changes-Ahead-39806335Disclaimer: I will preface this post by stating that I am not a lawyer. The information below is my understanding from reading the documents and consulting with some specialists. It is provided in good faith and with no warranty of any kind.

You may be aware that the current Australian Privacy Principles will be replaced with the National Privacy Principles and Information Privacy Principles on 12 March 2014. The question is: how will this affect your customer feedback process and what do you need to do about it?

This is a difficult question to answer because at the moment there are no final documents to work from as they are still in a state of review. All we have at the moment are draft guidelines.

In this post I’ll be discussing the two elements, in their current form, that appear to impact the most on customer feedback programs.

[Read more...]

Crazy Domains and Buffer, their PR Responses: The Pain and The Glory

Net Promoter Failure

Net Promoter FailureIf you have a social media bone in your body you will know about the recent hack of Buffer. You may also have seen or experienced its response, I know I did.

In my opinion, and many others, Buffer did a stellar job in responding to a major issue. Almost as if to counter point Buffer’s success, internet hosting company Crazy Domains’ response to recent network outages shows how not to respond.

What Happened at Buffer and Crazy Domains

“Buffer has been hacked” – that’s not me being overly dramatic. That’s the subject line in an email they sent one hour after the incident took place. From my understanding a hacker was able to post to Twitter and Facebook using the Buffer credentials.

[Read more...]

The 3 Important Differences: Qualitative vs. Quantitative Analysis


bigstock-Brawl-2670840It’s Tuesday afternoon and you’ve just been handed a stack of customer feedback forms with a wealth of information and data to go through and analyse before Friday. You look at the forms; there are numbers, scales, and paragraphs upon paragraphs of commentary.

You pause for a moment and breathe. Where do you begin? What can you even do with all that information?

You want to get the best analysis possible – so the question is – Qualitative Analysis and Quantitative Analysis – which one is better?  Which will provide the best results?

[Read more...]