Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Customer Journey Mapping - Preliminary Questions

As mentioned in the previous post, a well constructed journey map is probably the CX manager’s most valuable tool.  That’s because a journey map: 1) can readily identify and/or clarify particular sources of customer dissatisfaction; 2) through its visual format, effectively communicates how the customer experiences a transaction, and how the organization delivers that transaction to the customer; 3) can help to inform the strategies and tactics of various functional areas throughout the company, including marketing, advertising, produce development, and customer service.

Given the many benefits of journey mapping, it’s not uncommon to see organizations plunge straight in and begin developing maps for various transactions.  Resist this temptation, and instead, focus on organizing your journey mapping strategy by addressing the following questions before getting started:

  • What is the overall purpose of your particular map or maps?  Is it to address a known CX issue?  To design a new service process?  To inform your overall CX strategy?  You’ll want to keep this in mind because the answer will, to a certain extent, inform the content of your map (e.g. the map may be constructed from a ground level, 10,000-foot, or 30,000-foot point of view).
  • Who will develop the journey maps?  If it’s an internal effort, is there sufficient expertise and objectivity?  If an outside partner is involved, is there sufficient budget?  Will confidential information be included?
  • What customer research do you have on hand to help with developing the journey map?  Consider deferring the development of your map until you have a reasonably good understanding of how your customer experiences a transaction and how they evaluate the effectiveness of various touchpoints.
  • What stakeholders will be involved in the creation of the journey map?  In addition to validating the map with customers, you’ll also need input from those functions in the organization that directly or indirectly support the delivery of the transaction.  Developing a journey map can take some time, so remember to secure in advance the availability and commitment that will be required of your stakeholders.  
  • From what customer perspective (persona) will the journey be mapped?  We’ll go into this in more detail in a future post.  Before developing your map, it’s critical that you identify the customer segment or type that’s experiencing a particular journey.  If you’re an airline, for example, the online reservation experience is likely different from the perspective of a seasoned business traveler versus that of an occasional leisure passenger.
  • How will the map be socialized within the organization?  Limiting exposure of the map to only those directly involved in its development severely shortchanges the journey mapping process.  As mentioned earlier, a well constructed journey map is not just a CX tool…it can also inform the business plans of other functional areas.  

Answering these questions in advance of your journey mapping activities should help you in preparing and executing your plan, and hopefully result in a more effective outcome.

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