Boosting customer experience in the utility industry through customer journey mapping

The following is a guest post by John Hoggard, Global Utilities Principal at Quadient

Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) provides a visual representation of a customer’s end to end journey with a utility’s products and services.  It is a powerful tool for exploring customer interactions and experiences (also known as ‘touchpoints’) with your organization, programs, and/or services.

Journey maps describe a customer’s entire journey and ultimately provide a holistic view of what the customer is trying to do, what they’re going through, and how they’re feeling.

Examples of actual journey maps currently being created by utilities include:

• The steps a customer takes to explore and sign up for conservation programs;
• The touchpoints involved when a customer makes a utility bill payment at a third-party location, such as Walmart;
• What a customer needs to do in order to sign up for outage notifications and the process of receiving subsequent outage and restoration updates;
• The journey a customer takes to get reconnected after being shut off for non-payment; and
• The online process a customer undertakes to schedule a home warranty appointment, including subsequent correspondence related to appointment updates via preferred channels like SMS, etc.

Once these journeys are mapped, a utility can determine how to directly and positively boost customer satisfaction and support the larger organization in building and sustaining better communications and engagement.

As your utility explores opportunities to leverage CJM, keep these ‘best practices’ in mind:

• Start small and grow. Based on success, add more scenarios to map.
• Include customer emotions.
• Integrate your CJM maps with all customer communications management platforms.
• Make the maps shareable so stakeholders can collaborate within the CJM tool.
• Remember CJM is not a once-and-done process. It’s an ongoing exercise that provides long-term customer experience benefits.

In the immensely diverse and quickly changing utility landscape, customer journey mapping will be a critical ingredient for ensuring great customer experience outcomes.

John Hoggard is Quadient’s Global Utilities Principal based in Boston. Hoggard has more than 25 years of experience in the utility and public sector industries, with a focus on providing digital transformation management advisory services that optimize operations and enhance the customer experience. For a free copy of a software-agnostic “CJM Checklist for The Utility Industry,” please contact John at j.hoggard@quadient.com.

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