What’s the purpose of customer journey mapping?

By Charlie Williams | 21/01/2019

Organisations are increasingly using customer journey mapping as a tool to profile and add value to their customer experience programme.

The main purpose for conducting this exercise is to provide a tangible and visual representation of the customer journey. Businesses often find that by elaborating on each touch-point and throughout each stage of the customers’ life cycle it provides a truer picture of the journey and the experiences each customer is having.

Defining the destination

Businesses can only implement improvement strategies once they are able to define the destination and install an organisational-shared vision. There needs to be a integral understanding of what good (customer experience) looks like, which is communicated internally with key stakeholder to enable and define mutual aims, goals and vision.
The ideal experience should be defined using an outside-in perspective, from the eyes of your customer. Often businesses will use diagnostic insights, customer feedback and online reviews to shape the journey map and create a stand out understanding of the experiences being delivered.

Share the road map

In the interest of business alignment and installing a shared vision, the customer journey map is a tool that requires sharing internally.
Whilst conducting customer journey workshops or exercises, businesses can often discover that operations or departments are running in silos, with each department only taking ownership of their key responsibilities. Journey maps provide clarity on these key responsibilities, however by reinforcing shared goals it removes the silos and brings departments together, untimely installing a more streamlined and consistent customer experience delivery.

It’s important to keep in mind that failure to create this ‘shared view’ of the customer journey can often lead to duplicated effort, poor exchanges in information and no common standards.

Navigation on the move
As advances in technology shape the way customer interact and choose to do business, keeping a close eye on the emerging trends and insights will demonstrate new and better ways of implementing the customer journey. Therefore the map should not remain as a static structure, it requires a level of flexibility and fluidity that can quickly adapt to new processes and systems. Like all maps it should be used as a guide, but have the adaptability for new routes if needed.

A customer journey exercise brings structure to the customers’ journey and gives the business an opportunity to map out and consider the business aims, goals and vision and the best route to achieve them. It forms part of a purpose driven coalition from which the top-level management can share their business aspirations and ambitions through creating visual representation. Ultimately, the customer journey map must be journey of customer empathy; it should focus on the company from a customers’ perspective – putting you in your customers’ shoes. It reviews each touch point and highlights the areas of customer interaction that require immediate focus, helping businesses enhance their customers’ experiences by prioritising the core changes required for delivering excellence.

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