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Silo thinking can be a difficult obstacle for businesses to overcome. Some organisations are blessed with a rich assortment of talented employees, who excel as individuals, and yet struggle to bring their departmental strengths together for the benefit of the customer. Customer journey mapping offers a simple and effective solution to this problem.

Traditionally, customer journey maps offer a visual representation of the 'journey' a customer undertakes during their interaction with a brand or service. After its inception, a map can find new life in the form of dashboards, wall charts and briefing packs but, initially, these maps begin life as a holistic list of key customer touchpoints, at each stage of the end-to-end journey.

There are a number of benefits to the customer journey mapping process.

 

  •         It enables brands to walk in the customers' shoes. By moving through the various touchpoints in the customer journey, the brand is afforded a first-person view of every interaction, from first contact through to final resolution. This practice flags-up any emotional highs and lows and highlights the ‘moments of truth’ that are most likely to lead to success or failure from the customer's perspective.

  •         A customer journey map can breathe life into these interactions – It can help employees to see customers as real people with real emotions, and thus guide them towards the most practical and tactful way of delivering the customers desired experience. As such, a greater sense of empathy is created, something which is essential for customer experience excellence, as demonstrated by The Six Pillar SystemTM.

  •          A customer journey map can create a common language to unite isolated departments and individuals, and deliver a shared goal through its simplified overview of the customer experience. It can inspire ideas for improvement. When a brand has a visual impression of its own strengths and weaknesses, employees are able to come together and examine these touchpoints as a single unit, with a clear vision of how to turn a good experience into an exceptional one.

And for a customer journey map to succeed, it should comprise the following elements:

·        A delegated owner, who will guide the map's creation

·        A seamless integration of the brand's experience promises and principles

·        A sense of how the brand wants the customer to feel at an emotional level

·        Access to supporting materials for every step of the journey

·        Clear action plans and operational targets – linked to relevant areas of the business

·        Real data and analytics to support and monitor the ongoing impact of changes to the customer journey

 

Adherence to these elements is crucial if a brand is to deconstruct the aforementioned 'silo' mentality.

If used successfully it’s an approach that can help organisations differentiate and stand out from the competition. With the best performing brands putting customer journey mapping at the core of their customer experience strategies, enabling them to tailor their businesses around the customer, as opposed to trying to tailor their customers around the business.

The most successful organisations treat their maps as work-in-progress documents, they are never ‘finished’. Often forming a customer experience working group, comprising of champions from different areas of the business, to lead the process of change ensuring it ties back to the customers’ needs at each touchpoint of the end-to-end journey.

The impact that customer journey mapping can have for a business should not be underestimated. Customer journey maps provide the framework that enables a business to look at the holistic customer experience through one lens and create a customer-centric culture for change. Allowing everyone across the business to understand exactly what the ‘as is’ experience looks like today, establish how the journey should be re-designed in line with customer needs and their role in creating a superior customer experience.’

 

If you would like to find out more about customer journey mapping and how Nunwood could help you and your business, please get in touch.

 

 

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