Creating customer journey maps for enhanced CX

  • Posted on May 7, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Mishel Justesen.

With COVID-19 on our doorsteps, we are all faced with a “new normal” that is constantly redefining our daily home and professional lives. The only thing we can count on right now is change, and it has forced large and small organizations to re-evaluate how they engage with their customers while keeping revenue flowing ethically and empathetically.

With these new challenges, how do organizations communicate differently and how can technology enable this communication? Leading with empathy, you know that the first step is to understand your customers. Then, you need to be ready to meet their communication expectations when and where they need you. An excellent way to truly learn what your customers need from you starts with a customer journey map.

What is a customer journey map?
A customer journey map is a visual tool that enables an organization to document how customers experience their brand versus working from assumptions. It is built from the customer perspective and can take some time to create, but the investment will pay for itself. The benefit of truly understanding how your customers experience your brand lays the foundation for more empathetic and meaningful interactions.

Don’t start with an inside-out perspective
It is important to start your customer journey mapping process from your customer’s point of view, not from a “this is how the customer engages with our organization” perspective. Imagine stepping into your customers’ shoes to uncover the problem your customer is trying to solve. Leverage the data you have from surveys, social listening or behavioral data from your website to understand how customers engage with your brand.

cx strategy

Caption: Don’t stop at the fulfillment phase of your customer journey. Ensure that you include the journey that happens after your selling process is complete.

Starting your customer mapping journey
The first step of your customer mapping project is to start with the end in mind. Ask yourself whose journey are you mapping and why? If you have defined personas, start with those personas and map touchpoints, barriers and motivators to each of those personas. Consider re-evaluating your persona criteria with the “new normal” in mind. Listen to what your data is telling you and adjust your personas as needed.

cx strategy

Caption: Customer journey maps are all about the journey of your customer through the business. This example includes the emotional experiences customers have at various touch points.

Sharing is caring
You cannot go through the process of customer journey mapping without speaking with your customers. You need to understand the journey through their eyes. Ask your customers to be painfully honest about where a “make-or-break” moment happened while engaging with your organization. The good news is that you can gather these insights while maintaining your social distance. Schedule time to for a phone call campaign or use online surveys to gather feedback.

Where does the technology fit it?
Now, let’s get back to the technology part of this challenge. While companies have a wealth of technology solutions available to be able to engage with their customers, technology can also enable bad experiences very quickly for your customers. That is why it is important to understand your customers before you make the investment in upgrading and integrating your marketing technology platforms. A customer journey map can be your guide for how you need to adjust your technology strategy.

It is also imperative that you have a plan for measuring the success of the new customer experience (CX) that you will be building. To do this, you’ll need to understand where you are starting from. Do you have a set of customer experience KPIs that you can work from? If not, it’s possible to turn to your technology stack to give you a starting point. Why not start by understanding how usable your website is? Do you have customer satisfaction survey data or Net Promoter Scores available from survey tools? Don’t get too bogged down in the details here, all you need to do is understand where you are starting from and use this information to build and ultimately understand the success of your efforts.

Learn more about Avanade’s strategic digital marketing strategy and technology services to help you keep up with the demands of your customers in a rapidly changing business environment.

Dan Stevens

This is great foundational advise, Mishel! Using this framework can significantly enhance the customer experience throughout the customer journey - especially when you define what those success metrics are. 

May 14, 2020

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