Even with the very best of intentions, and an insurmountable volume of data, organisations are still offering boring, dull, lifeless customer experiences.

Why?

For most organisations, it is normal for the everyday focus of their business to look internally. This is astoundingly visible when a client attempts to interact with them through either a member of staff or through one of their products or services.
Each and every time a customer “touches” an organisation; However that is, it impacts customer retention, client satisfaction and in-turn the overall profitability of the business. In order to highlight, or better understand the viewpoint of the customer, taking the time to create a customer journey map can help an organisation to understand and appreciate the customer journey, thus enabling a much deeper relationship between the two parties.

The Meaning of A Customer Journey Map

This is a graphic or visual representation of your business, your services, your products or your brand from the perspective of a customer. It shows you the story or the journey they take whilst being associated with your organisation over a range of different business channels. In some instances, there is a requirement for a more data-driven approach; that is perhaps more narrative in order to better outline the nuances and intricate details which are linked with the customer experience. Although this story is always “how the customer sees it”, there is always a balanced approach which keeps in mind the importance of balancing the expectations of the customer, with the needs of the business.
A customer journey map is stimulated by customer research, each and every customer journey is different in some way and inspired by the viewpoint of their clients, rather than the people within the organisation itself. This is an exceptionally powerful tool which, if used correctly can enable an organisation to transform itself into a customer-centric company. One that doesn’t just transact business, one that is dedicated to long-term relationships with customers which are founded upon integrity, consistency and mutual respect.
The majority of businesses will have objectives, KPI’s or other goals that they wish to achieve. Using customer journey maps as a tool to support those objectives enables an organisation to keep the customer at the heart of what they are doing, and in mind when they are making important decisions that could impact upon them. Ultimately, these viewpoints and the feedback gained throughout this process can aid a company when looking for new opportunities to provide a better overall experience for both their new and existing customers.

How can it be used in business?

True customer engagement is about your business integrating with the life, or lives of your customers. It is about a synchronicity which exists between both parties. Often, people think that just by simply getting someone to “like” a post you have made, or through the action of them downloading something of interest from your website. These are customers interactions; this is not customer engagement. The latter delves into the how, and why behind your customers thought processes and decision making, it goes beneath the surface, rather than skimming over it.
Customer journey maps can be used to generate a general agreement between colleagues about how to deal with customers over a range of different channels. Collaborations cross-functionally are a really good way to encourage communication between teams that don’t always work together. Often, the different perspectives can results in great initiatives, particularly in larger organisations. Looking across the different channels in this way will give stakeholders from various areas of the organisation the opportunity to fully understand the entire customer experience, and not just focus on their own area. It helps an organisation to truly understand what their customers are thinking, and how they want to be dealt with, what they want to see, as well as what they don’t. In fact, customer journey maps allow a business to get answers to their questions; it can also help with questions that may crop up during product development and conceptual design processes.

Essential Elements for an Effective Customer Journey Map
There are things which you absolutely need to have, and then others which are “nice to have” included within your customer journey map. They are listed below:

Need to Have in your Customer Journey Map

Nice to Have in your Customer Journey Map


Customer Journey Mapping Process

Objective Review

Conduct Research

Brainstorming

Create an Empathy Map

Targeted Brainstorming

Find Focus with an Affinity Diagram

Put The Pieces Together

You have now reached the point where you can start to put the final pieces together. These are the channels, the touchpoints, the timeline, the highs and lows, along with the fresh new ideas that have been created by the team. All of which is focussed on how to improve the customer experience, and the future customer journey. You don’t have to set it out in any standard format, so it’s time to get creative!

Digitise and Refinements


Evaluation, Adoption and Utilisation

Recommendations

It is so important that you take the correct amount of time out to carefully and considerately go through the recommendation process. It is possible to outline and document in full, a customer journey in the current state, in around three hours, and a future customer journey in around five hours, making one day, for one persona achievable and realistic.
In order to get the best results out of this process, you need to have a good mix of people from across the organisation who are taking part in this exercise. Of course, stakeholders need to be present, along with individuals from different grades, or levels of seniority.
After the journey maps have been successfully digitised and created, be proud, show them off and shout about them as loud as you possibly can!

1 Comments
 
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muhammadwaqas
• 05/07/18 10:46:49

this is blog comment