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Uncover 7 Crucial Insights With Journey Maps

There's no question: Customer Journey Mapping is on the rise.

A 2018 Quadient/MyCustomer global study of Customer Experience Professionals revealed that two thirds of respondents use journey maps. Most are still relatively new at it, with 32% starting in the last year and a further 30% in the last three.

Companies That Journey Map:

How Long Companies Have Used Journey Mapping:

Harvard Business Review defines Customer Journey Mapping:

"...a very simple idea: a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company, whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination. The more touchpoints you have, the more complicated — but necessary — such a map becomes."

What might you uncover that is so critical to company success?

Journey mapping your customer's step-by-step experience from their initial need through research, purchase, use and choosing to repurchase (or not) will inevitably uncover issues and opportunities that organizations can't unsee.

1. Outdated Policies

It's easy to overlook the ripple effect policies have on customer experience. Often written as a reaction to a few bad apples, they may be getting in your way of both customer and business success. Plus, if customers perceive policies weighted in the company's favour, brand trust erodes. Let's say you're a retailer whose policy of maximum three items in the change room comes up. You're likely to find this unpopular with customers who, like many of us, need to try on more than three pairs of pants, especially with non-standard sizes. Getting re-dressed and leaving the room to find the fourth or fifth pair isn't worth it and leave without any purchases, feeling a little down about themselves and the whole brand experience. In turn, you not only lost that sale but also may be skipped over on their subsequent shopping trips.

2. Where Customers Are Most At Risk

If your organization's bucket is leaking customers or prospects, Journey Mapping by persona may let you identify what is either poking or patching holes.

3. Where You're Wasting Money

When you know your customer's journey better, you may uncover things you can stop spending money on right away. The cost of having clunky systems, sending the wrong message, and/or focusing on the wrong customers all have a way of adding up. The sooner you find and fix those expense-wasters, the better.

4. Awkward Hand-Offs Between Teams

When the customer moves between siloed teams, it's common for them to have to repeat themselves or re-enter information. Journey mapping helps uncover where errors occur, why they put your relationships at risk and where removing duplicate steps improves productivity.

5. Inconsistent Experiences Between On- And Offline Channels

Companies that embark on digital transformations have so many details to manage that there is a tendency to lose sight of the non-digital experiences. When mapping is done using that persona's channel preferences, you will see what's been missed along the way.

6. Marketing Messages That Talk At (Not With) Customers

It's eye-opening when even customer-centric companies learn they still send emails from a DoNotReply email, or don't give a strategic heads-up based on where customers are in their journey. So often, small inexpensive tweaks make a big difference. Plus, they are usually testable and track-able if you're unsure of the payoff.

7. Places Where You're Rocking It

It's not just about fixing broken things. Mapping helps you see where you're in sync with what customers desire and what you can be proud of. You'll find great stories to build a customer-focused culture and people to recognize for being customer-centric. You'll be able to build on that success and momentum.

That's why Journey Mapping increases revenue and decreases costs.

As early as 2015, Aberdeen Group reported the impact of taking action from journey mapping.

Word to the Wise

Organizations that view mapping as a once-and-done exercise, do not see nearly these returns as those who take a systematic approach that goes through one persona and one journey at a time. They map real customers based on feedback and data, and not just their ideal customer. They start by mapping current state, to uncover issues and opportunities, then after further investigation, map future state to create a vision and action plan for improvement testing. They consider the maps as living documents from which to continuously learn and take action. It's in the combination of empathy, alignment and action that all the magic happens.

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