If you’re mapping or want to track your customer journey, there are plenty of things to be kept in mind – and plenty of pitfalls to be avoided.
While customer journey mapping may not a brand new idea, the last few years have seen a steep increase in the impact, the concept is having across the business, and critically, in the boardroom.
As is the case with many emerging disciplines, it’s easy to get carried away and run headlong into it without even fully understanding what your goals are.
Customer journey mapping needs to embrace much more than just a list of your sales and service channels. It needs to deliver a thorough understanding of what your customers are trying to achieve, and the steps they take to achieve it.
A true customer journey map provides a robust framework that encompasses the entire business, how each area impacts the customer and informs your Voice of the Customer (VOC) program to ensure you’re able to capture feedback at the right moments.
Here are some critical Do’s and Don’ts to bear in mind when it comes to mapping your customer journey.
DO have a robust plan. A journey map must produce value and drive change if it is to improve customer-centricity across the company. Are you going to use the map to boost the customer experience at specific channels? To engage employees? To refine and consolidate your brand? You will probably find that you can do more than you imagine at the start, but make sure you have measurable and achievable aims.
DON’T forget that your journey map as part of your broad customer experience program. Ensure that the feedback you gather through that program is linked to the touchpoints on your map. This enables you to spot the root cause of any issues effectively and take action quickly where you need to.
DON’T try to create your map in a vacuum. It’s important that you include people from across your company and from all levels. It’s a great rallying point for your business because you can see how different stakeholders fit within the framework and help them to understand their impact on the customer experience. For example, frontline employees have a pool of knowledge that must be included, and back-office areas like accounting or despatch will hold information about processes that directly affect the customer but are often virtually unknown outside their departments.
DO remember that your customers would see your brand as a single entity. They don’t know (or even care to know) that the website is handled by different people to the call center or the social media program. Or that some of your services are outsourced or in-house. As you build your map, think about all combinations of touchpoints that customers go through, and consider how well you can deliver your brand experience at each of them.
DON’T try to create a map based on generic customers. Create buyer personas, fictional characters who are trying to achieve something specific by interacting with your business. You may only require a handful, or you may need more, but the process of mapping the journey is much easier when you can focus on it.
DO remember that your customer journey map needs to show more than just the point of contact you’re defining. You also need to check, what customers are trying to achieve at that point, why they’re there, how they feel and what external factors might be influencing them. This will help you to build that meet customers’ needs effectively and efficiently.
DO remember that some things are beyond your control but will still impact how customers feel about you. It might not be entirely fair (roadworks outside your branch or your customer’s internet connection that makes your site slow), but the result is going to be the same. When you build your map, make a note of the things that have or can affect your key customer touch points. In some cases, you may be able to create strategies to mitigate against them.
DON’T forget to share. As well as your team of stakeholders from across the company, you need to ensure that the wider business understands what you’re doing and why. Most importantly, make it clear to your employees that they all have an impact on your customer journey. Whether directly or indirectly, they play a role in one or more of the key touchpoints, and being aware of that can be highly engaging for everyone.
DO review and renew/refresh your journey map. Once complete, you need to revisit and review the map on a regular basis. It may not need to amendment most of the time, but in some cases, a new branch, sales channel, or delivery company, for example, will have kicked in and you need to build that into your map. Otherwise, within a couple of years, you’ll have something that looks like an out-of-date atlas that doesn’t acknowledge a major road!