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Understanding Customer Journey Mapping – Part 3

In the third and final part of our series on Customer Journey Mapping, Director Stuart Pearce, explains that if journey mapping is to drive change, you need the right people, attitude and project framework.

Customer journey management should be viewed as a never ending, continuous cycle of activity to drive demonstrable improvement to the customer journey.

The trouble is there are many examples of why journey mapping doesn’t ultimately derive that change. A primary reason is because the wrong people are driving it – or it isn’t representative enough.

What’s the right journey mapping team?

Who should be on your customer journey mapping team is the most important question to answer.

If teams don’t feel they’re part of the process, then they won’t own the insights. And if they don’t own the insights, they’re unlikely to own the action.

Some organisations are actively creating roles for a ‘Head of Customer Experience’ or a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) to drive journey mapping strategically.

For me, the Head of Customer Experience/CCO role, with an overarching responsibility for how marketing, sales and operations interact with customer, is the best person to take leadership and ownership of journey mapping.

But where these roles don’t exist, then typically the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), CEO or Head of Customer Insight (analytics) picks up the reins.

You also need to put together cross-functional teams with these three key business areas and their relevant functions:

  • Marketing – Customer insights & experience, Product Managers, Digital Analytics & Marketing Communications
  • Sales – Retail staff, Telesales, Key Account Managers, Customer Support & Contact Centre
  • Operations – Field staff, Logistics, Inventory.

You also need input from other support functions like Finance, QA, HR and Procurement, dependent on the stage in the customer journey lifecycle. A customer on-boarding journey would involve teams from Finance, credit control, invoicing, for example.

The Desire for Success

If you just intuitively throw yourself into a customer journey map without wider engagement internally and externally, the exercise will be doomed to failure.

Defining the right cross-functional team is the most important factor, but the team also needs to be in the right frame of mind:

  • It must be aware of the need to change
  • It must want to change
  • It must know what to change
  • It must have the ability to change
  • The need for change must be continually reinforced by senior leadership.

The desire has to be there.

The risks of getting it wrong

So, if you are truly committed to be customer-led you must adopt an “outside-in” approach. Your culture, process and systems must be built around your customers’ needs.

You will first have to break down team silos, where each team holds their own customer view and perceives the greater responsibility.  Without a shared approach on strategies, processes and messages, the Customer Journey Mapping project will fail.

Whoever takes ownership of project, they must be supported at the highest level and be recognised that if this works, then so will the organisation.

The Journey Mapping Framework

Here is a recommended 8 point plan to kick start the Customer Journey Mapping project structure

1.       Define your objectives

Beginning with the end in mind will define your path to success. Keeping your strategic goals at the forefront will ensure your journey maps set off on the right foot.

What do you want to achieve? Fix an issue or create something new or better?

2.       Clarify ownership

Who from each department will be empowered to own the changes and outcomes defined by the journey mapping project?

Oh, and which role has overarching strategic responsibility (see below)

3.       Engage the Top Team

Without senior management commitment to embed this in the core organisational strategy, the project leader will not have full buy in from the top team.  Conflicting or silo-ed priorities could remain.

4.       Define the Project Scope

What are the specific processes and customer segments to be examined as part of the journey mapping process?

If you don’t segment customers you will end up with generalities. Variations exist and there is no single path through an experience. Think about the individual customer and not a generic process. This sharpens the focus but also widens the scope of the research.

5.       Talk to your teams

Examine existing customer service feedback and get a wide cross-section of internal teams to comment on existing processes. Start engaging on identifying key interactions, inputs, and outputs within the business first. It helps breaks down those silos ahead of going to the customer.

6.       Draft your customer journey map

Sketch out a high level outline of the key stages and interactions in the customer’s journey. This could be the entire customer lifecycle of a customer or for a specific stage.

7.       Talk to customers

Engage with and listen to each customer segment’s feedback to get their view the overall journey and its component stages. This can help validate, reveal missed or correct assumptions, so this is a vital part of the process.

You may be agonising about a broken touch point internally, but it may not register with the customer, so prioritise what they say is important to them.

In this way, the changes and results will be more impactful.

8.       Build the final customer journey map

Update your draft journey map with the customer research. Detail every step, the emotional states throughout and the moments of truth with the strongest emotional response (positive or negative) to what you’re doing.

What are the opportunities to improve here?

The Right Approach

The Customer Journey Map should be part of your organisation’s DNA. It should be reflective of your brand your business culture and your sensitivity and responsiveness to your customers in how you shape its future success.  It should also be written in a language so everyone understands it readily.

Want to embark on Customer Journey Mapping but not sure where to start?  Do you need further guidance on embedding cultural change in your organisation?

Journey4 has extensive experience with engaging teams in a wide variety of sectors with Customer journey mapping to effect profitable change.

For more information and case studies about our approach, fill in an enquiry form or call us on 01823 451 199

Missed the other Customer Journey Mapping blogs in this series?

Part 1

appingPart 2