How to Improve Your Customer's Journey

With our self-service app, we have about 9% of the users that get stuck and do not get past “device in progress”.

The traditional property inspection may not impact the buying decision, but it absolutely impacts the renewal decision, because it can often be a “last touch” interaction.  If the policyholder’s customer journey is negatively impacted by the inspection it WILL impact retention.

This article by Simone Peterson, from Board of Innovation, looks at 5 ways to improve the customers journey. 

Here are the highlights and some personal experiences for each point:

Remove the pain point 

“Identify the points where your customers are having a hard time.”

With our self-service app, we have about 9% of the users that get stuck and do not get past “device in progress”.  Currently we do not have MixPanel or an on-board diagnostics tool installed in the app.  We were lacking insight into what was the problem.  But this weekend I took a support call from an older women, we will call her Janet.  Janet was caught in a loop where one of our “Next” buttons told her to completely fill in the screen, so she could proceed, but it brought it her right back to where she started with no guidance.   The “Next” button was the wrong button to select…but I am guessing about 9% of our users are experiencing the same pain point!

Raise the bar 

“Ask yourself, how can we exceed their expectations.”

My favorite example of this was needing to get a tire repaired at Discount Tire.  I got there 10 minutes prior to their 8am opening.  There were already 7 people gathered around the door waiting to get in.  I inwardly groaned, imagining all of us inside once it opened up, waiting for 2 service people to handle all the whole bunch.  To my surprise, when they opened the doors, there were 8 employees standing there, each one took a customer to their vehicle and got them all sorted and THEN brought us inside.  At least 3 of the customers were serviced without even coming inside.  What a pleasant surprise and one I remember at least 2 years since it happened.

Start Earlier, Finish Later

“Extend your start and finish lines by 1-3 steps and look for opportunities in those areas.”

This has me thinking.  What would be the outcome of a ½ day design sprint that looked at where is the insurance customer 3 steps removed from making a policy purchase?  Where are they 3 steps after buying car insurance?  I would start with overlaying a retail like experience, say shopping at a Nike Store, and using that to ideate around P&C insurance shoppers.

Cut the crap

“How can you minimize the effort (time, cost, number of steps, reasoning) that your customers need to take in order to enjoy the core of your service.”

This is where Insurtech startups are finding their traction.  Insurtech companies are particularly well suited to think “on” the insurance business versus spending most of their time “in” the business.  An insurtech is not going to be thinking of “this is how we have done it”, they are thinking about how they remove the “crap” as their differentiating value.

End with a bang

“The final touchpoint in your customer journey is likely to be vividly remembered by your customers.”

Ever been to IKEA and savored the 50 cent hot dog at the check out area?  This is the classic “end with a bang” and here is an interview which tells the story behind why we still get to enjoy it!

How IKEA improves their customer's journey

“Here’s why the hot dogs at IKEA are so cheap” From Business Insider-Nordic: “In Sweden, a hot dog costs only five crowns – just half a Euro (58 cents). This has been the case for many years, but then the IKEA board of directors said that things could not go on like that because the company was losing too much money.”

“Cheap hot dogs are supposed to give IKEA customers a "good feeling".  Ingvar Kamprad told the board, "It depends on how you calculate."”

“Then, after multiplying five crowns per hot dog by 10 million hot dogs using his calculator, he went on, “But there is much, much more behind this offer. In the end you have happy children sitting in the back of your car and the next time you come back to IKEA you have a good feeling. That's the most important thing."”

“So it just stayed that way.”


These 5 steps to improving the customer journey can be trans-formative because they make the consumer feel appreciated, respected, and valued!


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