The “What’s Next” of Customer Journey Mapping

by Jeannie Walters

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Journey Mapping Case Study in Action

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Customer journey mapping can be a powerful tool to truly understand your customers, innovate around new ways to serve them, and identify gaps in their journey. But, that’s only if the map is used as a tool and not an artifact.

CX teams spend months on a journey map only to have a beautiful poster on the wall that only tells part of the story. Some will conclude journey mapping doesn’t work because they witnessed how a lot of hard work resulted in a well-designed artifact which hasn’t served much of a purpose.

And yet, 86% of senior-level marketers believe it’s very important to create a cohesive customer journey. Creating a journey without a map is like…sailing on the ocean without a compass. Yes, some things will work out, but many things will not.

If you are embarking on a journey mapping initiative, or if you have one of those beautiful posters on your wall, now is the time to ask…what’s next?

In this article, I’ll share some ideas for ways to use your customer journey map both today and tomorrow.

Share what you know, with whomever you can!

Most leaders today require data to make decisions. But that data is often still locked up in siloes or not translated into meaningful information about the customer. Sharing your customer’s real journey helps leaders across your organization see beyond their own departmental roles and responsibilities.

Presenting the very idea of journey mapping can spur a better understanding of how important it is to see things from the customer’s perspective. Encourage others to use journey mapping techniques to uncover gaps in the processes and services offered to customers.

Your map will help others learn, which will only help your customers in the long run.

Dig into those moments that matter!

A great journey map tells you more than just what happened when. It highlights the moments that may make or break the journey for your customers. Identifying those great moments that lead to more loyalty, more purchases or more positive word-of-mouth marketing means an opportunity to create more of them!

Take a closer look at why those moments matter and what makes them successful. Is it the way something was executed or the way a touchpoint made them feel? Now, look for ways to pull those successful ideas to other parts of your journey. You can also amplify those results by turning a “7” moment into a “10” moment with a little intention and innovation.

Fix what’s broken

The flip side of the positive moments are the ones that disappoint. Now that you’ve found them, what will you do about them?

Once those negative moments are found, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start considering ways to fix them. In some cases, more research may be needed, or pilots can be rolled out.

Create an action plan and take care of them. Experiment and learn. That’s where real innovation happens and when challenges can become opportunities to serve your customers better!

Treat “journey map” as a verb, not a noun

This should be an ongoing part of doing business. After all, we don’t say “we did marketing once, so we’re good for a while.” Just like marketing, or budgeting, or delivering our products, we need to see mapping as an ongoing part of business.

The best organizations don’t check this off their list. They turn the journey map into a working tool used throughout their organizations.

Gathering a cross-functional team of customer champions who are dedicated to seeing these changes through is a great place to start. Ask your champions to help shepherd specific projects to completion and update the map again. Then share what you’ve learned all over again!

Conclusion: Journey mapping is about the journey

You’ve heard the expression that it’s about the journey, not the destination. That cliché applies to journey mapping, too.

Is your journey map ready to become a tool, or a relic? Plan ahead and you can give it the attention it deserves. That, in turn, gives your customers the attention they deserve, too.

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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