Exploring the Customer Experience: A Reflection on the Importance of Customer Journey Mapping
Communication with customers is fragmented as different people and teams engage with customers during various stages of the customer lifecycle. For instance, the sales team engages with customers during the sales phase, the implementation team during solution implementation, the marketing team, customer success team checkin later, and at times, executives may engage with customers. Customer journey mapping can be used by companies to improve the customer experience. Mapping the customer journey can provide a better roadmap for customers. The goal of customer journey mapping is to identify areas where customers may face challenges or frustration and to find ways to improve their experience. However, there are common mistakes that companies make that can hinder the effectiveness of this exercise. Here are few of my thoughts on it,
The first mistake that companies make is to focus too much on touchpoints and not enough on the overall customer journey. Touchpoints are the individual interactions that customers have with a company, such as sales interactions, marketing interactions, escalations, or customer success manager cadencence calls. While touchpoints are important, they are just one part of the customer journey. To truly understand the customer experience, companies need to look at the journey from the customer’s perspective. Mapping the customer journey beyond touchpoints can help companies identify areas of improvement that may have gone unnoticed.
Another mistake that companies make is relying on assumptions instead of gathering data. To truly understand the customer experience, companies must gather data from various sources, including stakeholders like sales teams, project teams, renewal teams, and customer success teams. Involving every stakeholder is important. Their customer insights can provide a wealth of information that can be used to improve customer experience.
For example, a company may assume that their customers are happy solely based on usage statistics. However, the customers may have plans to replace the product due to a new executive strategy. Communicating with the appropriate stakeholders can help gather this information in advance and take measures to prevent churn. Alternatively, it can help identify potential sources of dissatisfaction and take corrective action.
A third mistake that companies make is not valuing diverse views. Customer journey mapping should involve people from different departments, such as sales, customer success, marketing, product support, and product development. Each department has a unique perspective and can provide valuable insights into the customer journey.
The fourth mistake that companies make is not using the insights gained from customer journey mapping to drive change and improve the customer experience. Customer journey mapping is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The goal is to identify areas for improvement and take action to make changes that will benefit the customer.
To summarize, customer journey mapping is a valuable tool for companies to understand and improve the customer experience. However, companies should avoid common mistakes such as overemphasizing touchpoints, making assumptions, undervaluing diverse views, and not taking action on the insights gained. In essence, customer journey mapping is just the start of creating superior customer experiences.