Someone else's shoes.pngEveryone knows Zappos.  Not everyone knows Zappo’s took its name from zapatos, or “shoes” in Spanish.  One of the reason’s for Zappo’s success is that they not only supply shoes to customers, they work hard to walk in the customers’ shoes, literally and figuratively.

It is the figurative part that makes their call center great - - and can make yours great as well.  Understanding the customers’ journey, walking in their shoes and getting inside their heads and hearts, is key to better service and enhanced customer loyalty.

The best way to do this is through Customer Experience Journey Mapping, an exercise that has helped many top contact centers attain better results.  As organizations look to become more customer-centric, mapping is an excellent way to understand the customer’s needs and expectations, and the realities of dealing with your customer contact function across all channels.

Take a step back, take out some marker pens and put yourself in front of a white board with a well-chosen group of colleagues armed with sticky notes.  Recruit your team members from the contact center, marketing, social media, shipping, and technology to get a 360 degree view of how you deliver the customer experience.

Start talking and drawing lines and boxes; figure out what it is like for your customers to interact with your company through different channels and for different reasons.  Doing this in a focused, structured way will help identify barriers that influence different outcomes.

Just mapping technology is not enough; the process and people aspects need to be thought of as well and incorporated into the experience.  Understanding who your customers are and their level of interaction will help you meet their expectations.  Creating customer “personas” (or specific customer types) is a useful way to get everyone on the team thinking about what it is like to be a customer with a specific set of needs and expectations. Identifying ‘Moments of Truth’ along the journey that represent positive interactions that leave lasting impressions are enlightening and can spur a lot of good suggestions.

You will start by reacting to the current situation and the historical data you are able to collect.  As you move through the Journey Mapping process, you will invent proactive ways to lower your customer’s efforts and reduce costs for your company.  Your map will be become more defined and more useful.  You will be able to pilot “fixes” and see what impact they have on your customer satisfaction surveys and other metrics such as abandons, transfers or opt outs.  Be sure to quantify the improvements and celebrate the money saved and the satisfaction points gained.

We can all do things better.  Customer Experience Journey Mapping is a way of structuring your improvement initiatives to provide your customers with better service at lower cost, and to raise the consciousness of people inside your organization regarding the customer experience.

Take a walk in your customer’s zapatos.  We guarantee you will learn a lot.

Click here to learn more about our Customer Experience Journey.

Amy Novak and Bruce Belfiore work with BenchmarkPortal and consult for clients desiring assistance in their Customer Experience Journey Mapping efforts.  You can contact them at or

Topics: Contact Center Articles