September 26, 2016 by Rhianna
So many customers fail to really understand their customer’s journey. Many of us have case studies about our customers but case studies don’t tell the whole story. One of the best story telling tools we have is Customer Journey Mapping. It tells the story of the customer experience from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into the long-term relationship.
I have the opportunity to speak to many executives about their approach to customer journey mapping. I wanted to take the opportunity to bring some of those discussions to the rest of the SIIA community. Below are some key points to think about as you develop, present and leverage your customer journey map.
· What is the value of journey mapping? Why should we create customer journey maps?
o Because, a truly customer centric company starts with the long journey of determining what success means for the customers. A customer journey map can uncover opportunities for product differentiation, identify problems in the customer experience, and ensure marketing is having the right influence on the customers.
· Customer Journey mapping can be complex so where do you start?
o First, make sure your customer goals align with your company goals. You should focus on the customer goals that mean the most to your organization while keeping in mind the business needs.
o Some companies start with a high level map where others map for a number of specific customer segments. Whichever you decide, it is important to complete a journey map from the customer’s view point, not how you expect them to use your product or go through your process.
o Start by getting a clear picture of your customer profile or persona and what are their desired outcomes. Then take a touchpoint inventory to get a visual representation of how a customer not only moves through each stage of interaction with the company but also what is the experience at each stage. Identify who owns the service at each touchpoint. Once you take these initial steps you should have a blueprint of the journey from the outside in.
o Last, it is absolutely critical that the journey mapping process is a collaborative effort across the entire organization.
· What are some of the pitfalls of Customer Journey Mapping and how do you avoid them?
o One of the biggest pitfalls is selecting the wrong journey mapping framework. It comes back to what I said earlier, be sure you approach a journey map from the customer’s perspective and not an organizational perspective. However, as you do that, DO NOT assume there is one common journey for all customers. Finally, one of the biggest pitfalls is having a journey map and doing nothing with it. Journey mapping is not just an exercise, use it to focus on your objectives and how you can improve your customer experience.
· That being said, now that you have customer journey map, what do you do with it?
o Think about the best way to present a Customer Journey Map. Is in an infographic? Where does it live? Is it posted visibly around the office? Do you share it with your customers? The answer is YES to all of the above. I have seen some companies where the journey map is on every wall in the office to remind the team at all times the importance of knowing where your customer is at any given time in the journey.
· In today’s SaaS world can you be competitive without customer journey mapping?
o In today’s SaaS world if you do not truly understand the needs and preferences of your customer, as well as their behavior during the buying process you will have a very difficult time competing. Customer buy products and solutions but also customer experience. The investment into understanding your customer is the best investment you will make.
While customer journey mapping is infinitely more complex than what I covered here. The simple act of getting started with journey mapping will provide you tremendous, actionable insights into your customers’ experiences with your organization.
*SIIA members are some of the experts on customer journey mapping. For more information on SIIA and connecting with our experts please contact me directly at email@example.com.
Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA. Follow the Software team on Twitter at @SIIASoftware.