Customer Journey Mapping – What is it and why do it?
I am frequently asked to explain what Customer Journey Mapping is and what its purpose is. Always happy to help, here it is.
At its simplest level a Customer Journey Map is a visual or diagrammatic representation of all the interactions and experiences a customer has with a brand or business, whether that’s a phone call, an online enquiry, a physical store visit, instant messaging or social media. Customer journey mapping is the process of creating that visual map.
Customer journey mapping helps businesses step into their customer’s shoes and see their business from the customer's perspective. It helps businesses gain insights into common customer pain points, how they can improve the customer experience, and define what customers, and prospective customers, need in order to use their services or make a purchase.
From a customer’s perspective, they want their experience with a company to be connected and seamless. They expect companies to know and remember, across multiple touch-points, who they are and what they are looking for, so that the necessary information is available and without the necessity to repeat or clarify their needs. A map helps reveal any disconnects or blockages in your business.
Going through the process of customer journey mapping is beneficial at any time but can be a particularly useful business tool during a period of significant change. And let’s face it, the times are a changing.
What are the benefits?
- Helping you see where and how customers interact with your business
- Focusing the business on particular customer needs at different stages in the process
- Providing an objective overview of your sales process
- Illustrating any gaps between the desired customer experience and the one actually received
- Highlighting development priorities and bringing those to life with your team
- Allowing you to concentrate efforts and expenditure on what matters most to maximise effectiveness
Customer journey mapping can be conducted in isolation as a standalone piece of research or form part of a larger consultation process, Voice of the Customer programme or workflow analysis. It can refer to an internal-facing process whereby an external Customer Experience expert helps key stakeholders and frontline staff identify all components of their workflows and customer touch-points, or it may also include outward-facing activity where a company’s customers are brought into the conversation.
Where possible, it is usually beneficial to combine both types. If you do not, you run the risk of placing the wrong emphasis on particular moments or processes, or worse, forgetting about some of the interactions that take place completely. Staff are too close to the business to see it as your customers do.
So how do you actually go about the process?
Well, there are many different techniques available to you but using an external third-party specialist is a good place to start! A good CX consultant would go through some or all of these steps, depending on the nature of the project:
- Extended consultation to collect as much relevant information as possible about the business and define the project scope
- Moderate a series of in-depth guided discussions with key stakeholders from your organisation. These interactive sessions mine the knowledge of the team to define the current customer touchpoints, pathways and expectations
- Talk to customers and establish customer expectations and satisfaction vs. current delivery of all aspects of the products/services of the business
- Conduct a full ICT review and staff training audit if relevant
- Produce a comprehensive report including map visualisation, gap analysis and recommended action plan
- Provide follow-up consultation expertise to aid implementation of action plan and facilitate any additional technologies required.
Here at Yomdel we pride ourselves on our listening skills and ability to really get under the skin of every business we work with so we can provide holistic, joined-up advice and solutions.
For more information please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org