Journey mapping is the key foundation for an intelligent, customer-centric framework.
It serves as the basis for understanding your customers – what they are trying to achieve and how best they achieve it – which then lays the groundwork for aligning operations accordingly to efficiently service customers and deliver on their desired outcomes in a repeatable and scalable manner.
As such, companies recognize the strategic importance of customer journey maps and are incorporating them into their regular business practice.
Whereas once it was viewed as a frivolous undertaking, and usually conducted by marketing or some Customer Experience (CX) initiative group working in isolation, companies are now regularly mapping out their customer journey across the entire customer lifecycle and with the involvement of the entire organization.
Advanced companies know that instituting an intelligent framework that centers on the customer and their product/services adoption journey helps them grow revenue smarter and faster.
In a study conducted by Forrester, they found that companies that employed a customer-centric approach grew revenue 14% faster, compounded annually, then their competitors that were not focused on the CX.
And HBR found that customer-centric leaders are 25% more profitable than laggards.
At DesiredPath, we see companies that are not customer-centric spend over 100 times more on resource effort retaining and protecting revenue than customer-centric leaders.
In other words, mapping out the customer journey is important.
The biggest mistakes and gotchas that companies make when journey mapping:
They do not map out the journey from the customer’s perspective. They map how they think or want customers to use the product, in isolation from the customer’s business context. That is, without considering everything else about the customer’s experience and that they have other things to do and think about. The product/service may only factor as a small portion of their responsibility.
They do not include a cross-functional team of people to map out the journey or validate the map with customers. Companies that include a cross-functional group of people, not just customer-facing roles, gather varied perspectives that creates a better, holistic customer journey and understanding of the customer from their point of view. Successful companies also validate their journey maps either by requesting feedback from customers on the resulting map or they invite them to participate in the mapping process.
They map their journey and then do not incorporate it into their operational framework. Too often companies enthusiastically map out their customer journey only to file it away after a few actions, if any, have been completed. Successful companies first use the journey map to build an intelligent framework that aligns operations accordingly to drive customers successfully through the customer desire path. Then they continue to observe the journey, observing how it evolves as customers do, to respond in an agile manner to the customer’s emerging needs. By implementing an intelligent framework that continually observes the journey, companies can learn from the patterns of its most successful customers and use that to consistently deliver and improve customer desired outcomes in a repeatable and scalable manner.
Bottom line: Journey Maps are Critical for Customer-Centric Organizations
Journey maps are critical for creating customer-centric business models that drive smarter, faster revenue growth.
Make sure that your company maps the journey from the customer’s perspective, includes input from participants across the entire organization as well as customers, and implements an intelligent framework the continually observes and understands the patterns of your most successful customers.