Boost your customer service with a customer journey canvas: 5 best practices

Customer service
April 19, 2021

Did you know that 74% of Dutch consumers are more likely to order at a webshop after they’ve had a positive experience with customer service? This insight is a result of a survey by Trengo that took place among 1000+ consumers. It shows us that good customer service is essential for the growth of your business.

If you optimize your customer in every stage of the customer journey, you can turn a one-time customer into a returning one.

A Customer Journey Canvas plays an essential role in boosting your customer service. The canvas helps you to align your customer service with your customer’s needs in every stage of the customer journey.

In this article, we share five best practices you can use to create a Customer Journey Canvas. This way, you’ll boost your customer service and grow your business.

What is a Customer Journey Canvas?

A Customer Journey Canvas gives you an overview of your customer’s needs. It provides you and your customer service team with action points for your customer service teams in different stages of the customer journey. With a Customer Journey Canvas, you’ll make sure that your customers receive the best customer service possible during the entire customer journey.

A customer journey canvas for customer service

The canvas gives you the following insights:

  • Customer needs: what are the basic needs of your customer at every stage? Write it down from your customer’s perspective.
  • Key moment: what does this exact moment look like for your customer? You can add screenshots of your webshop or the communication channels they have to use in this stage.
  • Actions: how can your team offer the best service at every stage?

Five best practices per stage of the customer journey

With the following five best practices you can get the most out of the customer journey canvas.

Stage 1. Awareness

In the first stage of the customer journey, your customer is aware of a problem or challenge and is looking for information that will help them. You can look at the Awareness stage as the first impression the customer has of your company.

Let’s take an example: Mark would like to start running but has been struggling with severe back pain for years. He’s looking for sports shoes that provide good support. That’s why he searches Google for ‘best sports shoes to avoid back pain’.

It’s now up to you to convince Mark that you understand his problem best and want to solve it.

Best practice

Mark probably has a lot of questions. Such as:

  • What makes a sports shoe provide good support?
  • Should the sole of a sports shoe be flexible or not?
  • Why can a good sports shoe make a difference when it comes to back pain?

To get these questions answered, he will start doing online research on your website and other online sports sellers. This research will also cover this stage. However, the customer may still have questions regarding an interesting article on your website.

In this case, live chat is the best channel to use. Live chat is easily accessible for the first contact. You can answer the questions that Mark has at the exact time he is asking them. This means you should respond quickly. You can use tools like chatbots, quick- and auto-replies to support you with that.

Stage 2. Consideration

In this stage, Mark is aware of the different options he has. He’ll start doing more in-depth research on pricing, reviews, competitors, and product details. He may list the webshops that have the best delivery times and return policies.

It’s now up to your team to get ready with answers to these questions.

Best practice

Mark is looking for more in-depth information. The best way to offer this is by creating a help center with answers to frequently asked questions.

Mark may have the following questions:

  • What is the shipping time?
  • What does the return process look like?
  • How can I follow my order status?

In this stage, it’s important to monitor your social media. More and more customers are asking questions via Instagram or Facebook. Be active on your channels, and answer questions or clarify uncertainties. This way, you come across as a professional and engaged brand.

Stage 3. Decision

In this stage, Mark is ready to make his choice. He added the sports shoes to his cart. Ka-ching!

But, wait…

It turns out, 46.1% of cart abandonments occur at the payment stage. This can happen at the following moments:

  • At the checkout login (37.4%)
  • Once Mark sees shipping costs (35.7%)
  • When Mark needs to enter their billing address (20.9%)
  • When Mark needs to enter their shipping or delivery address (20%)

It can go wrong for different reasons. Maybe the customer doesn’t like to share personal information, the discount coupon doesn’t work, or the preferred shipping date is missing.

At this point, it’s up to your team to offer fast service and reach out with proactive support.

Best practice

In this stage, Mark needs fast support to finish up his order. If you’re not there to help, you might lose him as a customer.

Make sure that your customer service team is available via:

  • Live chat: this is the fastest way for support. All Mark needs to do is click on the chat widget to start a conversation.

Tip: you can automate your live chat by setting up a chatbot. But when you do, make sure your customer can still choose a real-life agent over the chatbot.

  • Phone: by picking up the phone, Mark is sure he’ll receive an answer immediately.
  • Email: has Mark already abandoned his cart? You can send him a follow-up email. Emails sent within 3 hours after the customer’s visit have an open rate of 40% and a click-through rate of 20%.

Stage 4. Retention

Awesome. Mark has bought his sports shoes in your webshop. Good job. But will he remain a customer in the long run?

This stage might be the most important one of the entire customer journey. By doubling down on customer retention, you increase your customer lifetime value and boost your revenue. That’s why you should try your best to gain trust and build a long-term customer relationship.

Best practice

It’s time to send Mark an email asking for feedback about his purchase. You can think of the following questions:

  • It’s been a week since you received your sports shoes. We are curious about your experience. How many extra miles did you run?
  • Thanks for purchasing the sports shoes. How did you experience your purchase?

In addition to asking these questions, you can refer to a feedback form so Mark can help other runners finding the perfect sports shoes as well.

For building a customer relationship, it is important to stay in touch. Encourage your customer to follow you on social media. It’s the perfect place to share tips on product usage and maintenance.

Stage 5. Advocacy

In this last stage, you’ll make Mark an active advocate for your brand. You want him to tell everyone about his shopping experience and amazing sports shoes.

So, how do you get him to this stage?

Easy. If you’ve offered good service during the whole customer journey, chances are he is more than willing to give you something in return. All you have to do is ask.

Best practice

You can send Mark an email including one of these messages:

  • Hi Mark! Thanks for your feedback. We’re glad to hear that you love your new shoes. You would make us very happy if you share your experience on Instagram using #newshoes. Chances are, you’ll spot your picture on our website during your next visit. 📸 We hope to see you soon!
  • Hi Mark. We’re glad to hear the sports shoes fit you very nicely. Did you already share your experience with your friends? This discount code gives you and your friends 10% off on your next purchase. 💸Enjoy your day.

Start creating a Customer Journey Canvas

You can start with creating a Customer Journey Canvas right away by downloading this free template:

If you would like to get the most out of this canvas, I suggest you look into multichannel customer service as well. This way, you’ll find out which channels there are and how to connect them all in one inbox.

Good luck with boosting your customer service! 🚀

Liselot Hofman   Share article from Liselot 🚀

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