Four reasons why I love mapping customer journeys

I’ve recently been doing lots of customer journey mapping, from “as is”, to “to be”,  and “dream state” customer journeys.  It’s really rather exhausting (especially when we are doing via video conference) and involves a huge amount of thinking, debating and re-working.  At the same time, it’s a very satisfying process, with lots of lightbulb moments when you realise just how bad your customer journey really is.  Working with people from product, digital, customer service & success, sales and marketing creates rich conversations heated debates and innovative solutions.  Here’s four things that I observed that make this whole process so rewarding!

You re-connect with your customer – Whether you are launching something new, or you are reviewing what you already offer customers, there is nothing like customer journey mapping to help you truly see your experience through the eyes of a customer.  So much of what we do is from a product or process perspective, and created with a view of how WE want the product consumed.  Customer journey mapping forces us to be realistic and pragmatic, and accommodate the gaps we spot.

You get to measure emotions as well as actions – Anyone who knows me will say that I am someone who always goes with his heart.  This is true – my passion for getting things right for the customer (and our people) at times gets me into trouble!  But at the same time, I like things to be tangible, and I always want to prove my ideas and theories. The journey mapping denies the moments of truth that need to be tracked, in order to help customers move through the customer journey.  So customer journey mapping is a great way to combine heart-thinkers and head-thinkers by measuring not just what customers do or don’t do, but how they feel when they do it (WHAT + WHY).

You connect internal functions behind the customer – Traditional businesses become, over time, siloed.  Service blames sales, who in turn blame marketing, and ownership of what happens to customers goes out the window.  Customer journey mapping brings together the various customer facing functions to represent all views and create a seamless journey for the customer.  Furthermore, it connects the customer-facing teams with those behind the scenes (product, finance, tech) at various levels to plug gaps in the delivery of the experience.

You shield customers from internal processes – one sure fire way to get me to loose my temper is to force me, as a customer, to wade through your clunky internal processes.  It drives me CRAZY that so many businesses STILL impose their inefficiencies and bureaucracies on me.  If I am paying a company, I don’t expect to live through their internal pain and daft processes.  Only customer journey mapping can fix this – by living the customer experience, you get to see the cringeworthy moments of your products and services, with fudged fixes and sticking plaster solutions that stop your customers being successful and falling in love with you.  Probably the most satisfying aspect of mapping the customer journey when you spot a “Doh!” moment and turn it into a “Wow!” moment.

Finally, a great tip on running journey mapping or process mapping session remotely, I suggest using the excellent which is a super simple and very intuitive online whiteboard and post-it note tool!

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