Per favore basta con le Customer Journey

AICEX: Talvolta ci sfugge che le Customer Journey sono “un mezzo” e non il fine, al pari di un organigramma o di un elettrocardiogramma. Senza un cardiologo bravo l’elettrocardiogramma serve a poco, e dopo il cardiologo potrebbero servire molti altri specialisti 🙂 

”No more journey maps, please!” was the response of a Chief Customer Officer of an EU telecom company when we asked her about how she and her team went about, well, mapping and measuring customer journeys.

This executive was disappointed with the journey mapping process because she struggled to understand what constituted a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ customer journey map with the tools at her disposal. What should her team focus on first? How could she use the insights from the exercise to design a customer journey that actually works?

Journey Maps have been around for more than a decade but have taken real flight over the last few years. Many strategists have used them as a framework for trying to understand the full customer journey; from onboarding to billing in banking, servicing to account management in telecommunications, the list goes on and on.

Taking a journey-centric approach to core customer experiences can be extremely valuable. That said, no matter how many of us are promoting and delivering on journey mapping initiatives, we keep seeing cases where the journey map rapidly loses value. In his recent post on Gartner’s Marketing Blog, recognized customer experience thought leader Augie Ray (@augieray) highlights 6 primary reasons why Journey Mapping initiatives fail:

  1. The journey mapping team is too narrow
  2. The customer journey map fails to focus on key segments and personas
  3. The scope of the customer journey map is insufficient
  4. The customer journey map is based on assumption and imagination
  5. The customer journey map was completed with an inside-out view
  6. The customer journey mapping initiative has the wrong goal

These six reasons that journey mapping fails are spot on. A similar perspective surfaced in a recent survey conducted by Brian Solis (@briansolis) from the Altimeter Group on the 2016 State of Digital Transformation. It showed that only half (54%) of respondents had completely mapped out the customer journey.

Augie Ray and Brian Solis highlight the failures of a journey mapping exercise that is too heavily focused on process and people. The solution must be a combination, a true alignment, of process, people, and product. In our own experience, this multi-dimensional alignment is indeed critical, yet incredibly difficult because of the multitude of ways that customers interact with businesses today. As a result, a competitive view on customer journeys requires combining data that is typically stored in a fragmented, dispersed way throughout the enterprise. In essence, the challenges with journey mapping are caused by an underlying data problem

From our work with many of the leading service companies, we’ve learned that these 3 aspects to the data problem matter most:

1. Connectivity of any and all data, up to the individual customer level

To fully understand a customer journey, a company must bring together disconnected data from many different channels to ‘connect the dots’ and be able to track the actual journeys customer take. This is important, as typically 50+% of customers have multi-channel journeys. And, with increased digital adoption, many journeys are started on digital channels but leak into a human channel for completion.

2. Different aggregation levels of the data, exposing both the overall customer journeys as well as underlying raw data

Key to journey mapping success is to be able to easily analyze both aggregated data sets and detailed data points. A core journey has many data points across numerous channels with millions of variations, meaning aggregated views are critical to identify and prioritize problem areas. At the same time, bottlenecks to smooth journeys can be very specific (e.g. unclear communication on a single web page), therefore the ability to drill into one key area, into the raw data, can provide invaluable insights.

3. Continuous data availability and access

Transforming the customer journey typically requires large redesigns as well as a continuous flow of smaller improvements (‘tuning’). Getting feedback as soon as a certain change has been implemented is critical to understand the changes impact, for example whether the aspired results will be realized, and/or whether the change should be sustained or scaled-up. A manual, project based approach that gathers only snapshots of the required data will not provide enough understanding. An iterative, agile, analytic approach taken by your journey redesign team that utilizes continuous data availability is pivotal to transforming journeys successfully.

ClickFox Journey Roots

A screenshot of a map showing all customer journeys resulting in the addition of a product to an exisiting Telecom subscription. This map is generated from 4.7 million paths.

Good or Bad maps?

The good news is that there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ customer journey map, but the creation of a well-designed map can be critical to helping your business advance. Data is the foundation of any successful journey mapping exercise, and it’s the key to helping your business better understand its customers.

Effective journey mapping projects lead to streamlined journey redesign efforts that reduce cost to serve and increase customer satisfaction.

By Liam Miner