The work with customer journey mapping and the understanding of your customer journey is important for any company that wants to be customer-focused. Our experience is that companies that work professionally (and actively!) with their customer journey have 5 clear advantages within the CX area.
“We know our customer journey and which contact points are the most important!”
This is how most companies answer the question whether they know their customer journey. If the answer is based on facts and documentation, you can just go back to the good work you are doing with your customer journey. However, if it is based on a hunch and a sense that you already know your customers’ needs and how you deliver at the critical contact points, there should be warning bells.
Our experience is that, in most cases, companies do not (unfortunately) have a clear picture of their own customer journey and are not aware of how they deliver at the critical contact points. Very few companies have a thorough, professional insight into their own customer journey. Being a customer-oriented company requires that you regularly consider the customers’ needs and understand their journey through your company. And it requires that you regularly revisit your customer journey.
Try asking yourself:
It is difficult to call yourself a customer-oriented company if the questions above cannot be answered with a definitive yes. If you can answer yes, you are presumably working in a professional and structured way with customer journey mapping, and this means that you are benefiting from certain clear advantages in the area.
5 benefits of customer journey mapping
Our experience in the CX area shows that there are a number of benefits that we see time and again with companies that take a professional approach and are focused on their customer journey.
1. Achieve a common understanding of the elements and interactions that constitute the actual customer experience
When you start working with your customer journey, you achieve a common understanding of the most important and significant elements of the customer experience. This is important because it gets the departments/employees to focus their work towards the same common goals in the company, and it prevents excessive silo thinking, which would lead to a fragmented view of the customer experience. The companies that have a common understanding of the elements that constitute the actual customer experience also manage to use their resources most appropriately. Again, this results in the best possible customer experience, and in the end, it can be critical for customer retention.
2. Get an effective tool for prioritizing your efforts. With journey mapping, it is possible to assess your own performance at the central contact points and for the journey as a whole
Know your own strengths and weaknesses! Only then will you know where to focus your efforts and generate improvements. Companies that are not aware of how they perform at the key contact points in the customer journey risk having a very poor customer experience at some of the most important and essential contact points – making customer retention very difficult. Apart from being an advantage to your customer journey, it can also have a more direct effect on your top and bottom line. You will quickly be able to see where to focus your improvement efforts. This way, you can take full advantage of your resources and gain the most from your customer journey.
3. Generate overview of where changes and/or improvements are necessary in the customer journey and design the “right” customer-centric experiences
When you want to change something, it is often because you have a presumption that there is something you can do differently and better. With a customer journey map, you can get feedback from the customers for your selected areas of the customer journey. This way, you will know where to make changes to the customer journey since it will identify where there are problems or challenges. If a development occurs, for example technological or legal, which results in a change to the customer journey, customer journey mapping can be used to map a future design. The fact is that ongoing work with customer journey maps makes it easy to plan your delivery to the client going forward and thus gain a competitive advantage.
4. You will establish a common picture, language and culture about the customers and their needs across the whole organization – frontend as well as backend
The companies that work professionally with their customer journey mapping find that they establish a common picture, language and culture with respect to their customers across the whole organization. When everyone – regardless of whether they are in marketing, finance, management etc. – has the same perception of the customers and the customer journey, everyone starts to slowly develop a common and customer-oriented culture. Cultural perspectives are always a long-term process, but the first step towards a common customer-oriented culture in the company starts with a general agreement and understanding of the company’s customers – both frontend and backend.
5. Planning and management of the company’s customer experience activities/programs surrounding/based on your customer journey
When you work professionally gaining an in-depth understanding of your customer journey, you will also discover where there may be potential for improvement. From that knowledge, it is possible to plan and initiate the ideal activities/programs internally in the company which will generate the necessary improvements to the customer journey. This should thus be seen as a tool for the internal work with strengthening your internal competences in the company for the affected and relevant areas, which should help improve the overall customer journey. For example, if you notice that the company’s level of service in the customer support department is inadequate, you can quickly prioritize work in this area (because in the example we assume that this contact point is critical to the company).
If you are in a company that is not mature in this area and does not work in a structured and focused way with its customer journey, we recommend starting by gaining a common understanding of which elements of the customer journey you think are most important (cf. point 1). Then, you can create an overview of your current customer journey through fact-based knowledge, and this can be used to generate the necessary improvements, which will slowly spread and be rooted in different parts of the company and in the culture.
The professional work with the customer journey is slow, but in our experience, there are 5 clear advantages of striving to be even more customer-oriented than you (presumably) already are right now.