Attention spans are short in many executive offices. As a result, marketers are somehow expected to distill complex decision trees made up of customer rational behaviors and emotional choices into simple pictorials. Balancing this desire for Instagram when the reality is an epic two-hour movie leads people to customer journey mapping in an effort to provide a snapshot of the customer experience that can be easily digested.
With the ever-growing number of approaches to customer journey mapping, we find that the best of these combine a clear-eyed and customer centric philosophy with a comprehensive effort across departments and a data-driven methodology grounded in reality. Without these elements what you have is a storyboard: nice to look at but impossible to implement.
Journey mapping is not meant to be easy. It can be difficult not only to get the right people in the room, but then to get them to agree on what the current customer experience is and how best to portray it. Prioritization of initiatives that come from the mapping process can also be tricky in terms of balancing customer strategy with internal politics. In larger companies, organizational silos tend to push customer experience issues outside of their immediate control onto the back burner year after year.
But fear not! The one thing the mapping exercise will give you — without fail — is a set of “quick wins,” things that can be done right away to ease some of the pain. In many cases, the map points to opportunities to increase revenue or free up budget to devote to addressing larger pain points.
Quick wins are brilliant! They allow your team to:
- Breathe a sigh of relief — some of the pain will be eased as soon as these items can be addressed
- Get the attention of executives who have many fires burning
- Act quickly to build momentum and keep the journey mapping effort top-of-mind
- Use early successes to rally the disparate groups when it does come time to work on the hard stuff
Many examples of quick wins come to mind based on my experience with clients. One resort-based retail establishment suffered from customers being dropped off by a bus for a strict 15 minutes of shopping. The bus driver would enter the shop after 15 minutes, shout that the bus was leaving, and as a result people who were in line with items to be purchased would drop their stuff and leave. During the journey mapping process, an operations manager from another part of the resort suggested that the retail staff might hand out coupons to the customers encouraging them to shop in the online store at their leisure, thus alleviating stress and providing the added benefit of not having to fill their luggage with souvenirs. Retail staff were thrilled that they were now able to interact with customers and share stories about the destination, rather than frantically try to ring up as many people as possible before the time was up. And, in many cases, the company was able to collect emails and additional information for future marketing purposes.
Quick win cost savings and process improvements are only the beginning of the benefits that come from journey mapping. The personal connection made between diverse participants who are focusing on a common goal of customer centricity, rather than competing for resources and dollars, facilitates an ongoing environment for collaboration and change. The process solidifies the teams dedication to improving the customer experience and empowers them to focus on the biggest issues with the confidence that comes from already having achieved some measurable success.
Okay, Ill admit the gratification may not exactly be instant, but there is a lot of good that comes from a journey mapping exercise. Try it and see!
Don’t know where to start? Get some best practices here.
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