Mapping The Customer Journey

We all know there's a big difference between wanting to deliver good customer experiences and actually taking steps to do it. But most companies haven't crossed that divide. Executives consistently tell us that customer experience is important to their overall strategy, yet most also admit that their firms don't have a clear understanding of target customers or systematically incorporate customer needs into their decisions. That leaves employees to design experiences based on things like personal opinions and internal politics. It's no wonder customers aren't impressed.

In Bruce Temkin's and my latest research, we look at a key tool to move from ambition to action: customer journey mapping. We define customer journey maps as documents that visually illustrate customers' processes, needs, and perceptions throughout their relationships with a company. The journey mapping process helps firms align around a shared vision of target customers, identify broken moments of truth, and get the insights they need to improve.

The customer journey mapping process involves five key steps:

  1. Collect internal insights
  2. Develop initial hypotheses
  3. Research customer processes, needs, and perceptions
  4. Analyze customer research
  5. Map the customer journey

Obviously, customer journey maps won't provide much value if they're not put to use. Our research uncovered three categories of best practices for effectively using journey maps: widely sharing customer journey maps, taking action on the insight, and sustaining the learnings over time.

While we talked to a bunch of companies about their journey mapping efforts as part of this research, we'd love to hear about your experiences. Have you mapped your customers' journeys?

Comments

Journey Mapping the DNA of Customer Experience Change Management

We can certainly vouch for the importance of Customer Journey Mapping in Customer Experience. At Emirates we have been using mapping for some time now to create commonality of understanding, consistency of message and create customer centricity, that in times of rapid growth, can sometimes be overlooked.

Perhaps of interest to other practitioners in the translation of the Journey Maps into the DNA of the organisation is the successful work we have done in bringing it all to life and creating new conversations around visualisation. We have created a new "visual" language that is used to describe the customer journey physically and emotionally. This visualisation has greatly enabled us to speak cross functionally, cross-culturally (142 nationalities), drive a customer centric agenda and introduce a common platform for thinking "outside in".

Mapping is essential. Visualisation brings it all to life functionally.

Customer mapping a real estate - builder's perspective

Hi!

Great to hear that a lot of organizations are looking at these "journeys". Can someone recommend a tool that is available for this?

I work in a real estate firm. We are looking to develop a CRM system for the sale / post sales processes followed. Any recommendations?

Discreet Vs relationship view

We are looking at this issue. Our key challenge (in banking) is that our customers have lots of different intereactions with us over the course of their relationship, so we need to look at the overall experience plus the detail of specific interactions.

re: Mapping The Customer Journey

Hello,

We've just completed a major project around mapping the customer experience pathways around several interactions. A very rewarding experience in the sense that the process as much as the output were very revealing.

Regards,

Mike

Mapping The Customer Journey

Hi Mike,

I'd love to hear about your experiences. Please email me at amcinnes@forrester.com if you're available to talk. Look forward to hearing more!

Andrew