Customer journey mapping is a big investment in most companies, and money is being left on the table. That’s because there are many more applications for customer experience insights than first meets the eye. While the sponsoring organization may feel like their hands are full in applying the journey map findings to their corner of the company, there are likely other departments that could benefit from the new-found intelligence. As the famous phrase in the movie Jerry Maguire goes: “Help me help you!”
Additionally, customer experience insights should be woven into strategies, organization structure, processes, policies, hiring and promotion criteria, training and performance assessment, and the general psyche of the company. Yes, there’s a reason why executives are still saying: “Show me the money!”
Apply Insights Everywhere: Application to front-line employees and customer touch-points, and conversations about how to un-silo processes and information are huge steps forward, yet insufficient if you seek to maximize business results.
DO THIS: Plan from the beginning to involve everyone in understanding and managing their ripple effect on customer experience.
- Based on the segmentation of expectation sets described in the first “do this” tip in Customer Experience Journeys: Map for Actionability, characterize customer experience personas by what they expect in each step of their journey, what pains they deal with, their typical workarounds, and their “wildest dreams” wish list. Plan your research accordingly. You can add demographic and psychographic characterizations secondarily to the expectations information. This type of persona can be useful to every functional area in preventing negative ramifications to customers and anticipating and creating value-enhancing aspects of the customer experience.
- Think of each customer touch-point as a long chain of value enablers/inhibitors going back into your entire company and the companies you rely upon.
- Value potential savings as strongly as potential revenue. By saving time, effort, worry, risk, and money for customers, you’re earning the right to receive higher share of budget/wallet and longer relationships with customers. By saving time, effort, worry, and money for employees, you’re enabling happier employees to enable happier customers. And you’re aligning the company to focus on value that’s rewarded by customers.
- Focus innovations on what the customers are trying to get done: what are they integrating your product/service with, and how can you make it easier and more successful for them? In this sense, innovations are not just new revenue streams, but also new ways to enhance the customer experience (differentiate your company), before, during, and after purchase or touch-points.
- Adjust your voice-of-the-customer methods to reflect what you’ve learned about customers’ realities, expectations, and preferences.
- Apply your customers’ goals to your executives’ and employees’ goals.
- Refine your corporate and business line strategies, processes, policies, organization structure, business models, promotion and compensation, training and recognition, messaging internally and externally, etc. according to what you’ve learned from your customer experience journey mapping.
NOT THAT: Even if your job role, as initiator of a journey map effort, may be relatively narrow, resist the temptation to use the map only within your organization, as other organizations DO impact your success, and most importantly, the customers’ success.
- Don’t confuse expectation-set segmentation with psychographic segmentation. If you believe that unhappy customers are caused by reality not living up to expectations, then one of the most valuable things your voice-of-the-customer research can reveal is how to recognize and proactively manage customers’ expectations.
- Don’t assume that customer experience personas initiated by engineering (R&D) are only applicable to that function (and vice versa for branding, advertising, marketing, sales, or service-initiated customer experience personas). Share insights widely and deeply to get everyone on the same page and reap the most value from your research investment.
- Don’t think only of “onstage and backstage” people, processes, and systems that contribute to and determine customer experience success. Be holistic, and get specific in order to drive ownership and action across the chain leading up to what customers see. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Customer journey maps are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. They are one of many alternatives you can select to understand your customers’ world. The purpose of understanding your customers’ world is to become their preferred source toward achieving the capabilities they’re seeking. That’s what creates a revenue machine with strong profit growth. Remember that popular practice does not necessarily imply best practice. A sensible approach to customer experience journey mapping — and all other voice-of-the-customer and customer experience intelligence methods — is what’s needed for sustained customer experience ROI.
- Customer Journey Mapping is part of VoC, Customer Insight & Understanding, which is one of the six domains in the body of knowledge advocated by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). (ClearAction offers a CCXP Exam Prep Course.)
- The concept of “Do This, Not That” is borrowed from the popular book “Eat This, Not That“, where the weaknesses of common practices and myths are brought to light and sensible replacements are recommended. (For assistance with CX journey mapping methodology or actionability, see http://clearactioncx.com/customer-experience-journey-mapping/).