Why investing in customer journey mapping is worth the effort: Sam Murton

Do you know the top five reasons why a customer would contact your company? If not, then I’d suggest that you could benefit from a customer journey mapping exercise.

Understanding your customer journeys and their experience at each touchpoint with your service can help increase business efficiency, consistency of experience and customer satisfaction and retention.

Here, we’ll take a look at what customer journey mapping entails, some of the issues it can help overcome and how your business can take its first steps.

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Customer journey mapping allows you to visualise every engagement that a customer has with your service, brand, or product from start to finish. It’s more than just mapping the steps in the journey however and also about understanding demands on your service and how a customer feels at each interaction, to obtain a 360 degree view.

Sam Murton shares her expert insightSam Murton shares her expert insight
Sam Murton shares her expert insight

Having visibility of your existing customer journeys allows you to both address issues and identify opportunities. For example, where are the friction points or roadblocks and how can these be overcome or lessened? Where is customer demand focused so you can optimise and direct resource effectively?

One company I worked with was experiencing a high level of dissatisfaction with their first tier of call handling, despite the fact that calls were being answered quickly and customer queries were being responded to. What journey mapping revealed however was that more complex queries were not being allowed to flow to the subject matter experts in the second tier of call handling, but instead answers were being passed back to the team on the front line - not creating a satisfactory customer experience.

This was mitigated by both upskilling the initial call handlers in the areas of greatest customer demand and by ensuring that more complex queries cascaded directly to the experts in tier two.

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Journey mapping is also helpful in understanding your points of difference, in terms of whether your journeys are differentiated from competitors in a positive way, according to customer feedback.

It can additionally provide the basis for innovation and understanding where you might want to evolve your processes, products or service to enhance the customer experience. Consumers increasingly expect a highly personalised service and this cannot be achieved without a detailed knowledge of how they interact with your business.

In the ideal world, journey mapping is undertaken by a specialist such as a business analyst but if this is cost-prohibitive then it’s initially about documenting your process flows. This needs to encompass every channel that your customers use and must be based on accurate data and information.

There are a multitude of software tools you can use for mapping including Qualtrics, Custellence, Clickup and Microsoft Visio and it’s a matter of identifying the one with the best features and functionality to achieve your objectives, as well as offering integrations to any platforms or systems you want to import data from.

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Although it’s a labour-intensive exercise, the more detail you have, the more useful mapping becomes, so it should not just incorporate data from your own IT systems, CRM platform or databases but should also include customer feedback and insights via methods such as surveys, product/service reviews or follow-up calls. This doesn’t have to just be in relation to your own business but can include insights on interactions with competitors.

If you are seeking to build a future-fit, resilient business, journey mapping can provide a solid foundation. It’s not by any means an easy task, especially with multiple channels, both online and offline, but in today’s increasingly experience-led market, it’s well worth investing the time and effort.

Sam Murton is Chief Operating Officer at Progeny, a B Corp Certified company