Author: Evan Struke
The economy is ever-changing. Competition is high. It is more important than ever to understand your customers and their journey with your products or services. This understanding paves the way to optimizing business strategies that can increase customer satisfaction and maximize business results.
A CX (Customer Experience) journey map provides an illustration that highlights a customer’s current experience. It’s a helpful tool for bringing clarity to potential changes that create a more positive and impactful experience.
Journey Map Foundation & Stages
By using CX journey maps, an organization begins to understand how customers experience its products or services from the very first touchpoint through their entire relationship with the business. They provide a visualization of the steps customers take, bringing alignment on where operational adjustments can be made to provide a more successful experience.
Over time, these efforts can bolster and support organizational goals such as increased revenue and reduced customer churn. They improve alignment between the customer and these goals by recognizing Moments that Matter and identifying pain points and moments of delight.
By understanding these moments, a business can pinpoint upstream and downstream impacts in the customer journey and adjust strategies to capture the most value. For example, if our email communications team understands the calls driven to the customer service team as a result of their emails, they can adapt the content to address likely customer questions.
In doing so, customers’ expectations are set sooner, reducing the time spent downstream by the customer service team trying to obtain or retain them. Likewise, our marketing team may see an opportunity to clarify the messaging of our products or services, alleviating questions that develop upstream.
In creating a CX journey map there are two functional stages: Understanding the current state of the customer journey and mapping a future, optimized journey.
Kicking Off the Journey
Depending on your business, there typically are five stages an end-customer goes through:
- Learn – about your product or service
- Onboard – by selecting, purchasing, receiving, and activating
- Use – the product or service
- Support – received to use the product or service
- Leave – based on the experience
The first step in understanding the current state is to conduct internal information and learning sessions. During these sessions, stakeholders from across the organization come to the table to align on current customer touchpoints. These sessions can also be used to identify strategies and tactics needed for departmental success.
Employee perception is only a single piece of the puzzle, however. For a holistic perspective, it is equally important to consider customer perception. Customer feedback will then refine the current-state journey map.
Given that customer and employee perception can differ, it’s common for team members to question which experiences add the most value for customers. A workshop can be a great format to bring everyone together to begin the discovery process.
At RevGen, we offer workshops to jumpstart the journey mapping process, helping organizations to outline their current state. We include existing customer feedback and apply it within the workshops to ensure the customers’ view is instilled throughout, increasing employee confidence, and leveraging Moments that Matter to lay the path towards an optimized, future state CX journey map.
Planning for The Future
Once the organization aligns on the current-state journey map, much of that same information can be used to optimize the future state. Those same departmental strategies from earlier meetings will be key, as will the customer feedback. Competitor intel and customer concept testing or focus groups are also good guides.
The next step will be defining the front- and backstage interactions that drive pivotal adaptations during the implementation of this optimized journey map.
The frontstage includes all touchpoints where the customer interacts with the product or service. For example, if our product is a mobile app, not only do we need to consider the customer touchpoints of the app itself, but the experience within the various app stores.
The backstage includes actions and tools the business uses or must create to produce and support the frontstage interactions. Together, both have an important role in driving customer experience and must be reviewed carefully to ensure they support the optimized customer journey.
Service blueprinting is the counterpart tool to a CX journey map that showcases step-by-step instructions in high detail. When defining your implementation plan, service blueprinting is useful for sectioning the larger journey map into manageable build and rollout stages.
When used in tandem with a current state CX journey map, it helps identify ways to improve existing customer experience and supports future state guidance around product development.
Both of these tools enable your organization to harness the value of CX journey mapping that can drive significant improvement with your customer experience strategy. To get started on your journey mapping or to define your implementation plan, reach out to RevGen to schedule a chat with one of our CX experts.
Evan Struke is passionate about helping clients drive meaningful value by keeping the customer at the heart of digital delivery and transformation.