A customer journey map is a very simple idea: it's a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your organization, whether it is a product, an online experience, retail experience, a service, or any combination thereof.
The more touchpoints you have, the more complicated — but necessary — such a map becomes. Sometimes customer journey maps are “cradle to grave,” examining the entire cycle of engagement.
Without understanding the customer journey or the customer’s perspective, it is impossible for organizations to make the changes necessary to augment the customer experience.
While this might seem like a blatantly obvious statement only 19% of organizations engage in customer journey mapping exercise as part of their CEM programs. Moreover, only 23% indicate that the development of channel engagement strategy is included in their overall CEM programs.
On the other end of the spectrum, customer feedback management is a core component of most CEM programs as organizations are looking to tap into both solicited and unsolicited feedback to get a true gauge of shortfalls or gaps in the existing customer experience.
While feedback is essential in addressing customer issues, it should be paired with exercises around customer journey mapping and experience design to enable the servicing organization to proactively modify the experience delivered. This is preferred as opposed to reacting to negative feedback.
A customer journey timeline is just a starting point; we need to look at what’s happening at each stage. A framework that has been found to be consistently useful is to look at:
Actions: What are customers doing at each stage? What actions are they taking to move themselves on to the next stage?
Motivations: What is the customer’s motivation to keep going to the next stage? What emotions are they feeling? Why do they care?
Questions: What are the uncertainties, jargon, or other issues that prevent customer’s from moving to the next stage?
Barriers: What structure, process, cost, implementation or other barriers stand in the way of moving on to the next stage?
Fleshing out these aspects is best done when grounded in customer research, preferably including in-depth interviews and in-context observations. Surveys and focus groups tend to gloss over too many details that are critical to really understanding the experience. Ask customers to map out their journeys for you, when visiting them for research.
Note: The customer journey is usually non-linear. Someone may jump straight from awareness to purchase if they are not inclined to do research and have a strong recommendation from a friend, for example. Or they may spend a long time working through their research process for a single expensive purchase.
There is no single right way to create a customer journey, and your own organization will need to find what works best for your particular situation.
However the frameworks provided here are a good start at understanding the journey that your customers travel through as they engage with your company, brand, products, partners, and people.
In the upcoming, mize sponsored webinar, Winning Strategies in Customer Experience Management, research analyst Sumair Dutta, Chief Customer Officer at The Service Council, accompanied by Dr. Phil Hendrix, Director of immr and Analyst GigaOm Pro and Brooks Cutter, Program Manager at mize will take a deep dive into Customer Experience Management and some of the methodologies, such as Customer Journey Mapping, used to arrive at bettered customer proficiencies.
If you want to learn more about Customer Journey Mapping, and Customer Experience Management for your organization this complimentary webinar is a great way to get started. If you’d like to attend the webinar all you need to do is register today, and leave the rest to us.
The event is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Registered parties receive a complimentary copy of The Service Council whitepaper entitled, Customer Experience Management, Strategies to Succeed, as well as the recently published infographic based on the findings of The Service Council whitepaper.