How To Overcome The Most Common Hurdles In Customer Journey Mapping

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CJM or Customer Journey Mapping is becoming the most popular and increasingly accepted practice, as a growing number of businesses using CLM CRM software platforms are discovering the advantages (and challenges) of this process.

However, unless business organizations can drive change as per the output of CJM, this process can be a costly and also time-consuming exercise, with no lack of hurdles and obstacles to success, that most businesses will experience along the way.

Therefore, what are the biggest pitfalls that organizations should keep a watchful eye for tackling the biggest roadblocks to CJM success?

Here are a few frequently raised questions that we found while driving action from CJM to engaging the stakeholders in the process and how we solved these biggest CJM challenges for users of our best small business CRM software platform ConvergeHub:

Question #1

“Our company’s Customer Journey Maps are developed by our marketing departments, those that have mostly never been used to trigger stats or tactical business-wide actions. Where is it that we might go wrong?”



There are 3 points we would like to highlight over here.

Primarily, the output that you need to get from the CJM is creating a customer-centric frame of mind throughout the whole organization.

This is exactly where businesses most often land into a pitfall, as they try to identify, isolate and focus on a particular flaw in the journey, that deals with just one silo area of their business, when in reality the true purpose of Customer Journey Mapping is to change our outlook as an organization using a CLM CRM software. This actually implies that you need to engage all business units in your organization in the CJM process, not just marketing.
You need to look at operations, executive leadership and human capital as well, to remain certain that the total customer journey from end-to-end with your brand and at every single touch points is associated with the process.

Secondly, developing a customer-focused mindset in your organization also means changing the culture in your organization. Previously, companies were extremely ‘technology-led’ which means organization had these robust business technology software platforms, and they would create their customer journey and processes around these CRM systems and customer databases, be it Salesforce or any other efficient Salesforce Alternative CRM platform.
However, in the present times we all know that the ‘Customer’ is mightier than these technological platforms, and so organizations in all industries do understand now that companies need to drive their business processes around their customers instead.

Nevertheless, as businesses have already invested millions of dollars on these modern-day technological functionalities and databases, they have somewhat become very inflexible and rigid, and this tradition in organizations makes it very difficult for them to change their mentality and culture and consequently their customer journey.

However, now to implement a customer-focused mindset in the organization companies need to look at what is just and right for the customers, rather than what is proper for their systems and processes that they have already implemented and had in place in their company, which is one of the key reasons why organizations do not always completely embrace Customer Journey Mapping in their businesses.

And lastly, Customer Journey Mapping process can be cumbersome and painful.

In other words, implementing a companywide CJM process will make yourself and your employees look at themselves in the mirror, and for it to be successful your teams have to admit that they have got themselves wrong and remain prepared to embrace a change.

Since the stark reality is that the process your organization thinks is the ‘right’ Customer Journey will not be the actual journey in most cases, which brings success.

Question #2

“We have already created a CJM, nevertheless we do not have any process in place to take the map’s findings and deploy them to create new ideas and develop engaging experience for our customers in the main stages of the journey. How can we build up a well-structured process?”

Before you think about taking a look at the structure of the process, you must most importantly understand a day in the life of your customers.
Customer journey maps visualize the thoughts, actions, and emotions of the customer’s experiences in all the actions and activities that they perform on a day-to-day basis, irrespective of whether that includes the company.

Therefore, as a brand, you then have to take into account what you desire to be the future state of your organization, and visualize what you judge and apprehend will be the thoughts, actions, and emotions your customers will want to experience for all future interactions with your business.

Hence you need to look at where your work culture is today, and where you want it to be in the future and only then develop the structure that will support the CJM process, which is more like creating a service-level blueprint outlining the key factors that will be responsible for delivering that world-class experience to your customers which includes process, people, and technology and also the main milestones and deliverables need for success of that pre-supposed experience to your customers.

However, you must always remember that you should never focus on too many areas, but only concentrate on the touchpoints that will surely deliver the highest return for your brand, after an achievable, clear and most vitally measurable milestone that will guide you through the process.

Another most pertinent factor in creating the process is the frequency that all members of your organization will meet for proper implementation of the CJM process.

Many organizations in the present times have put significant value in Customer Journey Mapping and have made it a part of their organization’s DNA, as it has evolved to be an ongoing daily process for such businesses.

However, there are also many brands those that want something more structured and are committed to meet on a monthly basis to review their ongoing processes, customer lifecycle journey, and the milestones and objective that they have set to make their CJM a success.

Therefore, while it is true that every company will build different structures, the commonality remains in the fact that you just have to look at the present-to-future state and come to a decision as to how it will be most appropriate for you to execute your pre-defined service blueprint.

Question #3



“We hold creative workshops regularly to tackle and manage the customer journey map that brings lots of output, but the stakeholders involved in these workshops hardly ever seem to do much with them. How can we resolve this issue?”

Workshop outputs should mandatorily become your organization’s MBOs (Main Business Objective). In reality, CJM is a cycle, for it is not a process that you just perform, spend few days in a workshop and then assume that you have resolved all your CX (Customer Experience) issues.

True CJM process must be a part of your ongoing businesses’ DNA. Hence, it has to remain as an executive’s ongoing objectives in your company.

Therefore, although workshops are excellent, and their outputs may be great, nevertheless the key to success of the CJM process is to ensure that those individuals are being managed by an objective after the conclusion of the workshops.

Adhering to the MBOs are the only means that can assist your organization in clearly defining your service blueprint, your customer charter and bring transparency in holding the appropriate people who are accountable for ensuring that they execute on their objectives.

Question #4

“The workshops that we do to analyze the CJM are generating many ideas to prototype, evaluate, test and refine the process, but we cannot address them all. How can we find a clue as to which ideas we should prioritize?”

This is not an easy thing, because if you are conducting CJM in the right way it always tends to highlight a number of dark areas that require your attention immediately.

Now, how can you prioritize them?

In our experience, there will always remain some low hanging fruits that require low investment and represent quick wins, but bring high Returns on Investments (not financial ROI but it is about the Experience your customer has with your brand).

Therefore you need to find where you are going to find the greatest return for your customers.

Well, this is not definitely an easy process, since when you have many stakeholders (like operations, marketing, finance, and the C-suite), all of them will have different priorities and their own focus and egos.

Nevertheless, the best way to solve this issue is to look at your business processes in the mirror and think “what can we do that is right for the customers” since it is the satisfaction of the customers which should always remain in top priority for every member in your organization.

Question #5

“The output from our CJM needs a more significant overhaul of our business than we anticipated, and there is a reluctance to make the required investment. What we can do about it?”

As a creator of best small business CRM software, we can confidently say that for 80% of businesses, Customer Journey Management that the organization processes have been designed without the customers in mind. Therefore, to get to the position whereby the customer is at the core of everything, the legacy technology platforms that they have in place needs to be changed.

This is why so many startup and small business organizations are so successful in providing world-class customer experience because they are able to design everything around their customers by using modern CLM CRM software platforms and do not bear the burden of any legacy technology installed in the business processes of their company.

For example, many prospective customers of our best Salesforce Alternative CRM software talks about digital transformation and SJM but they look at the outputs from the customer journey mapping exercises and the costs associated with it not fit for their business.

However, this is the exact reason as to why many brick and mortar businesses are dying as they just cannot keep up with the likes of online retailers, but nevertheless, they are still not prepared to make a financial investment, or rather accept a short-term hit in order to achieve a very long-term goal.



Therefore, before implementing CJM in your company remains aware that there will probably be an expense at the end of the process for purchasing easy to use CLM CRM software which will prove that you as an organization are really interested in enhancing your customer’s experiences.

Takeaway

Some of the most helpful metrics you could track with CLM CRM software for increasing CX in CJM includes:
– Net Promoter Score (NPS)
– Quantitative assessments of customer emotions
– Customer satisfaction measures
– Measures of the helpfulness/importance of specific touch points

Conclusion

While there is no silver bullet, for aiding businesses to enhance opportunities, identify engagements, increase conversions and bring in eye-popping ROI, shifting your organization’s perspectives from inside-out to outside-in can surely help in increasing your brand’s Customer Experience by creating, following and improving the journey map of your consumers and better understand your customer’s wants and needs for a rapid business growth.

1 COMMENT

  1. Patricia, there are some misconceptions about journey mapping that need to be addressed.

    According to our research with customer experience professionals, the three critical journey mapping best practices are: 1. Involve a broad cross-functional team, 2. Involve customers, and 3. Select the right journey to map.

    You discuss the teams issue in your first question, when you correctly call out that journey maps done by one department are flawed. But you completely miss the second, in apparently recommending the flawed belief that journey mapping is a workshop. Instead, journey mapping is a process to infuse the voice of the customer into your organization. Yes, there are workshops. But they’re hardly the most critical component.

    I really don’t understand your point that the outputs of the workshop should be your executives’ MBOs. Instead, the existing organization’s areas of focus should drive the selection of the journey to map (the third best practice).

    I’m particularly baffled by your contention that “the true purpose of Customer Journey Mapping is to change our outlook as an organization using a CLM CRM software.” Journey mapping is designed to infuse the customer’s voice into decision-making. Software may (but typically isn’t) an output from the process. But even when it is, it’s only one small component of most journey maps.

    You have some good nuggets here that are clearly informed by your experience implementing after a bad journey mapping process.

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