Top 7 Reasons Why Companies Should Pursue Customer Journey Mapping (CJM)

Not long ago I have heard someone state that “customer journeys haven’t reached their destination”. I can see where this comment comes from… Today, Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) possess a number of challenges: it’s complicated, businesses may struggle getting the required data to map their journeys, and as journeys are dynamic and ever changing, it is difficult to keep them relevant.

In order to assess whether companies are “reaching their customer journey destination”, it’s important to define what that destination should be.  In other words: Why is it that companies should consider customer journey mapping? In my opinion, there are 7 key reasons why companies would want to pursue customer journey mapping, and these are the following:

  1. Better understand the end-to-end customer experience: As Forrester Research analyst Martin Gill states in his March 2014 report “Manage The Cross-Touchpoint Customer Journey”, companies should optimize the journey, not the touchpoint. Why? Typically because it’s in the journey experience that customers often face inconsistency of information, find out that the company won’t really deliver what it was promised, are deferred to another channel only to find that this effort won’t solve their problem, etc.
  2. Improve cross-functional processes: Analyzing the end-to-end customer experience allows companies to identify areas for improvement from a cross channel perspective. For instance, it was only when analyzing the purchase journey that a major US telco provider realized that it was driving customer dissatisfaction as their website prices were significantly different to those they were advertising in their retail channel.
  3. Reduce customer effort and improve the CX: It is often found that when customers provide feedback on their experience - the more times and touch points they mention, the poorer the experience. In fact, customers that in their feedback mention a cross channel interaction are 6 times more likely to be detractors and 2 times less likely to be promoters. Learning about high effort journeys during key stages in the customer lifecycle can help derive powerful insights as to how to improve the CX.
  4. Reduce silos: Today businesses still operate in a departmentalized fashion and by doing this they often affect the customer experience. By connecting the dots across the different sales and service customer touch points, companies are slowly breaking down barriers, and reducing silos.
  5. Reduce unnecessary contacts and improve the CX: By identifying the common contact paths, companies can pinpoint opportunities to reduce ‘unnecessary’ contacts, with the potential to increase profits, drive service innovations, and improve the CX. A point in case is the approach that Air France and KLM have taken with the etags, where they allow customers to self-serve to get their luggage tag.
  6. Improve marketing efficiency through more personalized content: By understanding common customer paths and being able to predict customer behaviour, companies can better tailor messages for potential up-sell/cross-sell opportunities.
  7. Achieve Better ROI: By gathering information on the volume of customers that are typically impacted by different journeys, and analyzing the impact that these journeys have in key metrics (such as customer churn or upsell), companies are better equipped to understand how complete customer experiences correlate with business revenues. Taking this approach is strongly correlated with business outcomes.

As described above, the destination of customer journey mapping is ambitious and impactful, all revolving around improving the customer experience while improving the company’s bottom line. There are clear reasons why companies should pursue this effort, but the journey isn’t easy, hence why some companies haven’t yet reached their customer journey destination.