Interest in customer journey mapping has skyrocketed in recent years.
Today’s podcast interview guest, Ian Williams of UK-based Jericho Consulting, worries that it may just be a fad. That companies are doing it just to say they have, rather than to actually improve anything for the customers.
Seems crazy that companies would invest in a process such as journey mapping without following through. But maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m sure every consultant who’s worked with big organizations has seen money invested, work done, recommendations made, only to have the process stop there.
I suppose as long as they’ve paid the bills it shouldn’t bother me when it happens, but it does. My colleagues and I put a lot of effort into trying to help our clients improve and succeed; it’s not all about the money! But I digress…
According to Williams, companies should start by doing Voice of the Customer (VOC) research to find out what’s really troubling their customers. You can collect this information from:
- your contact center records,
- interviews with customers and others in your target market,
- social media listening.
Then move to journey mapping, focusing first on your most important customer segments. Look at what their actual journeys are, and, based on your research, what their ideal paths would be like.
From there, start mapping out your internal processes to see how they are affecting the customer’s journey. Where are the misalignments with what customers desire?
Don’t Confuse Customer Journey Mapping With Process Mapping
The terms “customer journey mapping” and “process mapping” often get thrown around as though they meant the same thing, but they don’t.
Customer journey mapping takes the customer’s point of view. What do they experience from the time they start thinking about using a product or service like yours, all the way through to the post-sale service, support, and possible future purchases.
Process mapping, on the other hand, looks at what’s going on inside your organization.
The problem if you start with process mapping is that you won’t see the frustrations your processes may be causing customers. So while you might make things more efficient internally, you may well lose sales and goodwill.
Once you know what the customer’s ideal journey is start examining your processes to find out how to streamline them so that not only will you have happier customers, you will be more efficient and cost effective.
That’s the great thing about customer experience process improvement: it can increase sales AND lower costs! Cool!
Customer Journey Mapping: Where’s The Customer In All Of This? (Image courtesy of integrationtraining.co.uk)