Improving service quality through customer journey analysis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of service theory and practice. 2016, 26 (6), 840-867. 10.1108/JSTP-05-2015-0111
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework based on customer journeys for a structured portrayal of service delivery from the customer’s point of view. The paper also introduces customer journey analysis (CJA) for empirical investigation of individual service experiences in a multichannel environment. Design/methodology/approach: The paper presents case studies for onboarding new customers on broadband services. CJA starts with modeling of the service process in terms of touchpoints. The individual customer journeys are reconstructed through methodological triangulation of interviews, diary studies, and process tracking. Findings: The paper provides empirical insights into individual customer journeys. Four types of deviations during service delivery are identified: occurrence of ad hoc touchpoints, irregularities in the sequence of logically connected touchpoints, occurrence of failures in touchpoints, and missing touchpoints. CJA seems effective in revealing problematic and incoherent service delivery that may result in unfavorable customer experiences. Practical implications: For a service company, the proposed framework may serve as a unifying language to ease cross-departmental communication and approach service quality in a systematic way. CJA discloses the gap between the planned and actual service delivery and can be used as a tool for service improvement. Originality/value: The framework provides concepts, definitions, and a visual notation to structure and manage services in terms of customer journeys. CJA is a novel method for empirical studies of the service delivery process and the associated customer experience.