Customer interviews to determine customer journey

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Rachel Provan
Rachel Provan Member Posts: 17 Thought Leader
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edited December 2021 in Metrics & Analytics

Hi All!


I am working to create a customer journey that I can turn into a tech touch model.  In order to understand the customer journey, I think it would be a good idea to interview them rather than just assuming.  


Has anyone done this with existing customers?  If so, what specific questions did you ask them?  


Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited December 2021
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    @Rachel Provan 

    What a great idea! Yay! ?

    As you pointed out, in-depth customer interviews are really the only way to reduce the risk of introducing bias in terms of understanding the customer's experience.

    The biggest challenge in creating your interview guide will be to construct questions that don't lead the customer to the responses you or your team would like to hear. 

    This is one of the toughest things to overcome when a company is interviewing its own customers. It's called confirmation bias. It sneaks in and can end up inadvertently guiding the customer's responses down a path the customer wouldn't have gone down if they'd not been lead by the types of questions they were asked.

    This confirmation bias, along with understanding how to establish trust, probe the right questions, creating the right questions, asking the questions in the best order, analyzing all the interviews and creating the reports, are why many companies outsource their customer interviews.


    On first glance, customer interviews look simply but there's a reason why professional companies only run interviews, focus groups and surveys. It's because to run interviews well it's more complicated than it first looks. Just think of the difference between a cook and a Michelin Star chef. Both of them cook food but only one is trained for years to be an expert.

    I'm attaching some info I hope will be helpful for you

    1) here's a webinar on customer exit interviews -- the process is the same as interviewing around customer journeys

    https://youtu.be/tIMAKxV5TFM


    2) here's a checklist (below) to see if your company has the capacity and capabilities to properly run customer interviews


    3) we can chat about where you're at with the process and where you're looking to go.

    Helping CS teams with all their customer feedback (interviews, surveys and focus groups) is what our team does. 

    Whether we chat or not, I'm thrilled to hear you're considering talking to your customers in a formal way to gain a better understanding of their perspective. Both you and your customer will benefit from it. ?







    Hi All!


    I am working to create a customer journey that I can turn into a tech touch model.  In order to understand the customer journey, I think it would be a good idea to interview them rather than just assuming.  


    Has anyone done this with existing customers?  If so, what specific questions did you ask them?  


    Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  • Will Stamatis
    Will Stamatis Member Posts: 9 Seeker
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    edited December 2021
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    Hi Rachel,

    I'm about 50% through this process myself-check out this CLN post for a more detailed checklist (attached file).  Hanbyul has also done some really cool work treating the Customer Journey with a UX lens. 

    If I can give one piece of unsolicited advice: ensure that whatever journey you're building for your customers is tied to key actions CSMs complete. It's one thing to build a nuanced flowchart with branching logic based on segmentation etc....but what are CSMs actually doing along the journey to facilitate growth and expansion?

    Happy researching!
    Will
  • Rachel Provan
    Rachel Provan Member Posts: 17 Thought Leader
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    edited December 2021
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    Hi Anita,


    Thank you so much for all that.  I definitely understand the value of outsourcing it, I just don't know that I can make my CFO see it that way.  Still I'd love to set up time to chat about it to learn more.  

  • Rachel Provan
    Rachel Provan Member Posts: 17 Thought Leader
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    edited December 2021
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    @Will Stamatis - what a goldmine!  Thank you so much!
  • Richard Jeffreys
    Richard Jeffreys Member Posts: 4 Navigator
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    edited December 2021
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    Hi Rachel,  

    My favourite way is simply to sit with people, observe and ask them to explain what they're doing and why. No questions, just observe. Ensure you understand their journey, which often starts before and ends after your company's involvement. There are obviously persona considerations but I've found this method provides significant insights. From this you can conduct the types of unbiased VoC sessions that others have suggested - understanding the 'why's' and the emotions that will lead you to design improved journeys. 


    I know this is very tough to do in normal times, more so now, but you should consider it if at all possible - perhaps ask another person at your customer to record this for you.  You don't need a huge amount of these sessions either as themes will develop quite quickly  


    I hope this helps. 


    Richard