30 November 2012
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Getting the most out of customer journey mapping

The best way to start improving the customer experience of a (business) organization is to map out the current customer journey. A customer journey map outlines all interactions, touchpoints and information exchanges between customers and (employees of) the company. But then the map must be used as a tool to improve customer experiences significantly. How can that be done? Three board members from Strativity Group Inc. wrote a series of articles on how to do customer journey mapping right.

Some highlights from their articles:

“A recent Forrester Research report discusses a customer journey mapping phenomena that we have also experienced in recent years. Many companies show interest, jump on the bandwagon and create a map detailing the complexities of their customers’ journey. Then what? According the Forrester report, in most cases, little to nothing happens next.

How is it that great intentions of customer experience professionals oftentimes dwindle to little action or impact? Is there something wrong with the customer journey mapping methodology? Was the final map not detailed enough? Did we miss something? These factors might have made a small impact, but the real reason for the little impact has to do with the intention.

[…]

Customer journey maps are a tool. Like any tool, they cannot create your customer experience strategy nor transform your customers’ experience for you. Journey maps are designed to assist you, not replace you. Just as a bicycle cannot transport you from point A to point B without you pushing the pedals, a customer journey map cannot transport you from point A to point B without your input.”

“Customer journey mapping is just the tip of the iceberg of customer centric transformation. Done right, it will be a cornerstone of a great positive change that will improve the customer experience and employee engagement. Done poorly, it will be the “program du jour” that will be abandoned as quickly as it was created.”

These are the 10 things you have to do to get it right, according to Strativity:

  1. Clearly define your objectives.
  2. Cross-functional alignment.
  3. Clarify ownership.
  4. Prioritize touch points.
  5. Monetize.
  6. Co-Create.
  7. Understand the holistic customer journey.
  8. Think cultural change.
  9. Stop the overwhelming effect.
  10. Get the right help.

Two issues frequently arise that limit the effectiveness of journey mapping efforts:

  1. Organizations fail to prioritize the different touch points (‘moments-of-truth’) in the customer journey map.
  2. Organizations fail to understand the employee view of the journey in addition to the customer view.

Journey mapping can be a useful part of the process to understand and improve the experience companies deliver to customers. However, its use depends on whether companies take the next step and understand both from a customer and employee perspective the importance of and pain experienced at each of the touch points in the journey. Only in this way will companies be able to decide where to invest its resources to maximize the benefit both to the customer and the company.

The customer journey mapping exercise is helpful because it applies a systematic approach to documenting a typically unstructured customer experience. At the highest level, the customer journey map allows you to understand when, where, and with whom interactions occur.

However, for a map to be a successful customer relationship management tool, it must provide more than a visualization of the customer journey, it must provide you with a detailed summary that includes:

  • Clearly identified customer needs and the motivators of each touchpoint.
  • Listing of tools customers utilize at each touchpoint.
  • Summary of customer segments that have exceptions to the journey.
  • Listing of organizational tools that measure success at each touchpoint.
  • All touchpoint owners.

In conclusion, a customer journey map by itself is an excellent visualization tool that aligns the organization, but it is only once organizations invest in converting the journey map into a customer relationship tool to identify moments-of-truth that your customer experience strategy can be impacted.”

Source: “Customer Journey Mapping: Doing it right” ~ Part I (president Lior Arussy), Part II (director Michael Starr) and Part III (Research director Ed Murphy) – Strativity Group

Customer journey (11)