Has your Customer Journey Map Become an Artifact?

Morana Bakula

Break silos. Demonstrate business impact. Focus on customer engagement.

 Full disclosure, this is another article on customer journey mapping. However, let us reframe the conversation to focus on breaking down silos, making customer engagement the priority and quantifying business impact at every key interaction, beyond a single transaction. With our clients, we use a different kind of framework that considers the end-to-end customer journey.

mall shoppingFor years, companies have used journey mapping as a way to improve the customer experience. It has been a tool to identify customer pain points and moments that are causing friction within the customer experience. The thinking has been: “if we close these gaps, we’re removing the friction and creating a seamless journey.”

The trouble is, while the map creates a nice visual, it often ends up dormant, like a well-designed strategic artifact. While lots of great work is being done in customer experience, many brands are finding their customer journey work has lost relevance and purpose in moving the organization forward.

We frequently hear companies say:

“We’re spending a lot of time, effort and money on CX, but it’s not clear if our investments are paying off”

“CX outcomes we’re seeking aren’t happening fast enough”

“CX is still done in silos, so we aren’t differentiating the experience end-to-end”

In the absence of a comprehensive view of the customer journey, brands are stagnating in CX. To overcome this, brands must shift the conversation from customer journey mapping to customer engagement mapping.

Related Video: Is your journey map really telling the whole story?



So, what’s the difference?

Engagement is not static and it requires an interconnected view of the needs and goals of customers and brands. Customer engagement mapping analyzes the customer journey from five unique perspectives in order to help brands understand how to engage the customer throughout the journey, across every touchpoint – strategy and tactical planning through to execution.

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Person, Not Persona

While all customer journey work needs to begin with a persona, engagement mapping considers how every action and interaction between your brand and your customer is an opportunity to get to know your customer better. In doing so you can begin to tailor the human and digital experiences in a way that speaks to the individual person and not the persona.

Human & Digital

Customer journey mapping is usually focused on a specific channel. However, each customer interaction is an opportunity to deepen your brand’s connection with that individual at every touchpoint. Our lives are inextricably woven across both human and digital channels, and engagement mapping indicates whether the need, the issue, the solution or the point of connection is either human or digital and how one can enable a better experience with the other.

Functional & Emotional

Many customer journey maps look at functional components like price, location, the website, and product quality and value. The fulfillment of functional needs is clearly important but it is the fulfillment of emotional needs that creates meaning and memory. A customer engagement map helps deepen your understanding of the customer’s emotions at every interaction with your brand and provides visibility to how your brand can deliver its promise in those interactions.

Current & Desired

While customer journey maps provide an “as is” look at the customer journey, engagement mapping examines both the current state and the desired state. In one view, you can see what is currently happening at each interaction, what are the moments of differentiation, and what is the desired experience that is aligned to your brand. This allows you to get a clear picture of where you are today and where you need to be tomorrow.

Business Impact

Customer engagement mapping becomes a powerful tool to galvanize and focus your organization. This is done by clearly illuminating the areas of greatest opportunity and the tangible business results that can be achieved by moving from current to desired state. This allows you to make informed decisions about where to prioritize and spend your energy, time and money.

By employing these five approaches, brands can identify and remove existing customer experience barriers to unlock differentiation and drive meaningful business outcomes.