Either way, just because it’s become well-used should not mean that your organisation should overlook it or become complacent with it – quite the opposite.
Walt Disney called it long ago - “whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” It’s worked out pretty well in his businesses.
So what is a customer journey in the digital world? The online polling company SurveyMonkey offers the following definition:
“The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer”.
As a consumer myself, I’ve become interested in observing customer journey experiences when I make online purchases or carry out banking or other online administration.
It would not be right to drop specific names on a company blog, but based on Survey Monkey’s definition I’ve experienced some excellent customer journey experiences from the outside looking in; equally there are some that leave a lot to be desired. By way of an inexact calculation, I would say that around one third rank as excellent, one third rank as average, and one third rank poorly.
It got me thinking – how often do sizeable organisations hold up a mirror to ensure they are offering their customers the leading experience in their journey to buying a product or service? I would be intrigued to know, since my own rough estimation, around two thirds of organisations I have spent money with rank as average or poor when I roughly applied them to the criteria of the above definition and have therefore either done a poor job of evaluating this experience, or have simply overlooked the importance of it as a tool to differentiate in the market, and for increasing and retaining revenues. Some CEOs take the view that “today, companies should compete as much on customer experience as they do on product and price”.
When I was mulling how easy this would be for an organisation to accomplish in practice and learning from some of the use cases of MEGA’s own customers, it occurred to me how important it is that different people across an organisation are involved in such a project in order to make it a success. With stakeholders including the CIO and management team needing to make data-driven decisions, business analysts scrutinising and improving the processes and workflows, solution architects redesigning applications to execute the processes through to the business architects seeking to align capabilities with the wider strategy, the need for a best-in-class Enterprise Architecture tool becomes even more apparent.
For Digital Marketing Magazine, customer journey mapping “can enable organisations to identify pain points across different areas of the website or blockage points the might be impeding the customer journey. Once these have been identified, they can then work to address the problem”.
And herein lays the problem. Identifying these pain points from the consumer side of a process is a relatively straightforward task – think virtual mystery shopper.
Analysing them, fixing them and using the data to segment different sections of your customer base, building the resources, infrastructure, applications and workflows, and organising the outputs into a coherent and efficient process is another matter entirely, and this is obviously more complicated the bigger the organisation.
In our research, we have noticed that lower priced entry level solutions offer features such as neat drawing tools, decision diagrams and business modelling canvases – but without a centralised repository pulling in data sources from across the whole organisation it is impossible to truly map a 360 degree view of the customer journey and the application and technical architecture that drive it. Because of this, it’s important to take into account what it is that you’re expecting from your tool, and how holistic you want it to be.
For independent research and advisory firm Aragon Research, “until recently, capturing the voice of the customer has been either relegated to face-to-face customer focus groups or point in time surveys - or in the worst-case scenario - walking away to a competitor. Now, with the ability to map the customer journey and capture the customer’s rational inputs, sentiments, real emotions, and responses, organizations are better equipped to successfully and proactively retain their current client base and target “best customers” to win new clients.”
To explore the potential benefits of a re-evaluation of your organisation’s customer journey and associated processes, you can download the full Aragon Research report to discover why MEGA is a leader in customer journey mapping and also find out about: