Understanding the ROI of Customer Journey Mapping


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Customer journey mapping is, understandably, a pretty hot topic. Not just for customer experience professionals, but for all businesses. It’s easy to see why. As a proven framework for helping drive greater customer insights and improving internal efficiencies, there’s no mystery why journey mapping is so popular. In fact, Gartner Group recently predicted that 60% of large organizations will have in-house customer journey mapping capabilities by 2018, up from no more than 20% in 2015.

In another recent article, I wrote about the Customer Journey Mapping Hype Cycle . While journey maps clearly aren’t the only way to improve customer experience, they are a good way to start and – when designed and used correctly – are powerful tools to help your organization look at itself from the customers’ perspective.

As a result, you gain a better understanding of customer wants, needs and pain, and opportunities for improvement. Because the fact is, most companies that do journey mapping well are also doing the other things well that it takes to become more customer centric. So if your organization is among those that don’t yet have this capability, or have begun the process but have yet to truly embrace or leverage it, here are a few stats that might help move things along.

From Aberdeen Group’s report The CMO Dilemma: Bridging the Gap Between Love and Money, they compare results across a range of key areas for companies with a Customer Journey Management Program versus all other companies.

Among other benefits, they found that those companies that embrace journey management enjoy:

  • Greater Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)
    A focus on the buyers journey reaps over 50 percent greater return on marketing investments than for those that don’t.
  • More Positive Social Media Mentions
    Unsurprisingly, a focus on the customer journey typically means a better customer experience. Translation? Nearly 25 percent more positive social media mentions.
  • Greater Revenue From Customer Referrals
    Better customer experience also drives better and more positive word of mouth, driving over 2.5 times greater revenue from customer referrals.
  • Faster Average Sales Cycle
    If your business isn’t interested in speeding sales, you can ignore this. But if you are… those who manage journeys enjoy over 13 times greater cross- and up-sell revenue.
  • Greater Cross Sell and Up-Sell Revenue
    If cross- and up-sell revenue over 55 percent greater than your competition is at all compelling, this stat alone should be enough to get you started.

Results like these are among the reasons why my team and I spend so much time teaching the discipline of customer journey management to leading organizations of all sizes. After all, there are many ways you can begin this process. One, of course, is to talk to an expert about ways to embed this knowledge in your organization.

Which is why we spent most the last week at a leading life insurance company with an appropriately broad cross-functional team of business leaders. In addition to strong showing by business process leaders, was the largest single group (since they’ll be “owning” customer journey maps in this organization) we had representatives from the product, call center, investment management and marketing teams, and others.

After the three days, their VP Business Process Management summed up his experience this way – “I see how this approach can get us much better results – and save us months of time and effort – over the ways we’re defining and deploying solutions now.”

This type of response is common, and for good reason: because looking at your business like your customers do (from the outside-in, across their journeys) is one key to serving them better.


  1. Hi Michael, yes, agreed; however, a journey map – or rather the menu of touchpoints offered by the company, then chosen by the customers as I prefer to put it – in itself is meaningless. It needs to concrete actions by implementing/offering the processes in a way that the learnings are actually applied. Unluckily many companies still fail at this step.

    2 ct from Down Under

  2. Hi, Thomas – thanks for the comment. As I mentioned above (albeit briefly in this article..), when maps are designed and used correctly they’re powerful tools to help any organization look at itself from the customers’ perspective.

    And as you point out, using them correctly means applying insights and taking action.

    While as you know many companies do fail at this step, we’ve found that ‘early and often’ stakeholder involvement and broader socialization efforts radically increase the likelihood that insights are acted on… and that the process/people/data/technology improvements to deliver against those insights are implemented.



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