Mapping the customer journey involves detailed planning and engagement from all levels of your organization. You must create and deliver a pitch to executives to earn their support. Then, establish a cross-functional Customer Engagement Council and plan the steps to mapping the customer journey.
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And once finished, move on to the next step: Quantifying the customer journey!
Create and deliver the pitch
At the beginning of our webinar, we polled our audience with a simple question:
Do you have customer journey maps that are operationalized and institutionalized across all customer-facing functions in the company? The results were not surprising:
|Working on it as we speak||33%|
|What are you talking about?||5%|
The results show that more companies need to become better engaged with their customers by making their customer journey map actionable. Begin by pitching the idea to your executive team:
CMOs today are faced with an increasing responsibility for their customers’ experience. In fact, 23% of B2B CMOs see improving customer experience as one of their top three objectives. Why are they doing this? In its 2017 Global Customer Experience (CX) Benchmarking Report, Dimension Data found that 71% of organizations cited customer experience as a competitive differentiator.
More and more organizations are realizing the benefits of paying attention to their customers’ buying journeys. Does all this extra work pay off? Yes! Dimension Data reports that 84% of organizations working to improve customer experience report an increase in revenue.
Mapping out your customer journey helps shift from an old-world funnel-centric framework (where the focus is on closed/won) to a customer-centric framework (where the focus is wholly on the customer).
Establish a cross-functional Customer Engagement Council
Once you’ve gained the support of the executives, it’s time to get to work. Establishing a Customer Engagement Council is important because mapping the customer journey is a team sport. Different perspectives are required in order to create one consolidated understanding of a customer’s journey. You cannot and should not do this alone.
Every customer-facing part of the company should be included in this council (with regards to above the line activities). When it comes to below the line activities, everyone should be included. One very important perspective to include is that of the customers themselves. No one knows the customer’s journey better than the customer.
The Customer Engagement Council will provide input, gather feedback, keep the journey on track, and maintain timing. The input they provide will involve sharing expertise from their own client interactions in order to help build the initial customer journey. They can share expertise from their functional area to map how the company relates to the customer journey.
They will gather feedback from customers, working with customers to validate the journey as the journey is being mapped out. They will also guide the completion of the initial customer journey as they work to continuously validate the journey over time. And they will maintain the timing of the project. This is not a project that can be completed overnight. Plan for 3+ months.
The steps to mapping the customer journey
So now you have your Customer Engagement Council. What are the actual steps you need to take to begin mapping your customer journey?
Mapping the journey begins by understanding above the line and below the line activities. Above the line activities are everything the customer does, sees and experiences – expressed 100% from a customer perspective. Below the line activities are everything you need to do to support and optimize the customer journey, including:
- Stakeholder R&R
- Continuous improvement
There are four major steps to map the customer journey. These steps should be led by the Customer Engagement Council.
- Build the draft customer journey
- Validate the customer journey
- Operationalize the customer journey
- Continuous improvement
To build the draft, start with a baseline. Using an internal, cross-functional team, create and socialize the initial draft of the customer journey. Substantial focus groups and/or interviews with customers should be used to validate the initial draft of the customer journey. Absorb, socialize and document the feedback you receive so that you can incorporate it into your final customer journey.
To operationalize, begin developing a customer-centric technical infrastructure and always ask: “Does this serve our customers well?” Determine stakeholder R&R and consider how your data, metrics, and reporting can play a role in your new, customer-centric environment.
Now that you have a new customer journey and are working in a new customer-centric environment, it’s time to focus on continuous improvement. Every six months, regroup to validate and update your mapping. In this fast-paced, high -ech world, customers are always finding new ways to research your products / services and learn what’s available to them on the market.
The burden is on you to keep up!
- Learn how to quantify the customer journey and measure its impact on your business
- Read about the 7 key stages to successful lead management, Establishing a KPI Roadmap, lessons in Customer Experience, or the first steps in the revenue marketing journey.
- Learn more about our services that have helped hundreds of companies with their customer journeys and improving their customer experiences!