Customer Journey

What is a Customer Journey Map, and Why do it?

Customer journey mapping is the process of looking at every touchpoint and experience a customer has with your company from the first time they interact with you (even before!) all the way through to servicing their desired product or service. A customer journey should, ideally, never end.

Customer journey mapping helps you visualize how customers experience your organization, from end to end. 
- Tim Attinger, President, Ovation CXM

The goal of customer journey mapping is to find the optimal experience for customers by getting internal teams out of an inside-out focus, driven by their functional silos. Instead, The benefits of mapping the customer journey in detail is organizations can see a comprehensive picture of what it’s like for customers to engage with your organization as they move between different departments, teams and third-parties to get from point A to point B. It's effective in uncovering friction and opportunity, whether in a buying, onboarding or activation journey or in the support or servicing of their product or service. 

“A journey map that focuses merely on the purchase funnel, and not the entire end-to-end customer journey, is not a CX journey map. Those sorts of journey maps may assist with efforts to build awareness, inbound traffic and acquisition, but they cannot uncover the opportunities that influence customer satisfaction, loyalty and long-term advocacy.” 
- Augie Ray, Vice President Analyst, Gartner

Customer journey mapping puts companies in their customer's shoes

Tim Attinger, President of OvationCXM, said the most crucial benefit of customer journey mapping is to help companies put themselves in their client’s shoes - and to understand how it feels, good and bad, for a customer to go through a journey with an organization. Laying it out in detail helps identify and eliminate points of friction and design smoother interactions. According to Tyler Gerber, an OvationCXM expert who’s led dozens of journey mapping sessions, companies are often surprised by broken touch points or long delays in communicating with customers that went unnoticed before the journey mapping session. 

Watch our Standing Ovation CX Table Talk videos on Customer Journey Mapping.

A customer journey is a series of smaller journeys

A customer journey is made up of many smaller journeys strung together, yet separate. This is particularly true in most enterprises where teams are built around functional areas that deliver a narrow sliver of the customer experience using their own processes and platforms.

Each distributed team may be very good at enhancing efficiency by upgrading their specific workflows. However, operations and the individual journey is siloed from other internal teams and third-party partners, so the complete customer journey between functional areas becomes disjointed and bumpy, and the teams working so hard to support customers may not even know it. 

Organizations must be laser-focused on ensuring that customers are successful from the start. If not, the organization risks revenue, to the tune of over $136 billion a year in avoidable customer churn in the US alone. - Forrester

When each smaller journey remains separate from the others, both customers and teams are in the dark about what’s happened so far, what’s the next step in the process, and who’s responsible. Enterprises also remain blissfully unaware of friction points such as missed handoffs between teams, delayed communication, dropped balls and requests to customers to repeat information over and over. 

The research shows consumers have little patience for poor customer experiences… 76% of businesses we surveyed admitted to abandoning an onboarding process for a new financial product or service because it was too frustrating. The #1 reason they cited for their frustration? Too many people and organizations were involved in the process. A journey mapping session will lay that out on paper, making it obvious.

Customer Journey Map Session Questions

As companies visually lay out each step in the multiple journeys that make up a master journey, there are six questions a journey mapping session should answer:

  1. Who is the customer? 
  2. Who are they working with throughout the journey from beginning to end? 
  3. What team is delivering which step?
  4. What communications channel(s) are they working through?
  5. What systems are used by each team?
  6. Are there other third parties that deliver parts of the overall journey? 

Team members from across the organization and from every level should be part of the journey mapping session to capture all of the touchpoints and interactions from end to end. If third-party partner teams interact with the customer, they should be at the table as well. All of this information needs to be pulled together vertically and then threaded together horizontally to create a detailed journey map.

Turning Customer Journey Mapping into Journey Orchestration

Analysts tout the business benefits of being a customer-obsessed company, and other surveys confirm the profitability of focusing on customer experience. Seventy-nine percent of companies say customer journey maps have led them to become more customer-centric.

“An exceptional customer journey manages expectations and drives visibility to a customer, even though there may be different people and systems engaged in each step.”  
- Tim Attinger, President, Ovation CXM

Until recently, most existing CXM technology platforms, designed to help companies manage customer journeys, have relied on the voice of the customer (surveys and post-interaction data) to identify and optimize the customer experience.

However, as the research demonstrates, these insights don’t come quickly enough to prevent customer irritation from boiling over into attrition. That is why journey mapping and real-time journey orchestration tools, that can respond and guide interactions in the moment, are emerging as the new standard for elevating the customer experience.

CXMEngine is a CXM platform that helps companies manage the customer experience in the moment by connecting siloed teams across the ecosystem and orchestrating ideal customer journeys. Without rearchitecting existing legacy systems.

Learn more about CXMEngine.

Watch our Standing Ovation CX Table Talk videos on Customer Journey Mapping.