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Evolve the Role of Customer Care with Journey Mapping

Applying journey-mapping data to core customer experience competencies shows how an entire organization can be focused on customer care.

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Journey mapping is a process that offers organizations a comprehensive view of the customer’s experience from initial contact to all touch points throughout the relationship, with a goal of helping organizations gain an overall understanding of the customer and their needs. Journey mapping typically begins with gathering a team of cross-functional employees from across your organization to document each step in the customer’s journey—from being a potential buyer to the purchase decision, product delivery, billing and every step in between. This can be a high-level view of the customer’s lifecycle or a detailed accounting of each component of the journey.

With this data in hand, it becomes clear that caring for the customer can no longer be confined to the customer service department; rather, it must be the responsibility of everyone within an organization to meet the customer’s needs.

Applying journey-mapping data to the six core customer experience (CX) competencies gives organizations insight into how to get the entire organization focused on customer care.

1. Customer-centric culture.

The most effective CX efforts begin within the culture of an organization. Everyone within an organization must understand that they play a critical role in creating a positive customer experience. Drafting a central CX philosophy to act as the foundation for a customer-centric culture allows the organization to create procedures and processes that support that thinking. Such a philosophy also allows an organization to explore technology, software and talent that support that commitment to the customer. Customer feedback gained via journey mapping can inform the creation of an organizational philosophy.

2. CX strategy.

The CX strategy helps an organization retain customers and improve the chances of securing new customers. A comprehensive CX strategy addresses a number of key issues, including “The three Ds of customer experience”—designing experience focused value propositions, delivering value to the customer, and developing technical and staffing capabilities to repeat these processes. Executed effectively, a journey-mapping exercise offers information that drives CX strategy planning and implementation.

3. Organizational adoption and accountability.

With everyone in an organization playing a role in creating a positive customer experience, organizational adoption and accountability is needed to ensure that all departments and staff members understand the CX structure, as well as their roles in the execution of the organization's CX strategies. Journey-mapping can help achieve employee buy-in to that strategy and the important role each employee plays in the organization's success.

4. Voice of the customer.

When attempting to understand the customer’s expectations, preferences and desires, few strategies or disciplines offer more in-depth information and actionable data than what is provided by an effective voice of the customer program. When properly designed and implemented, a VoC program provides both qualitative and quantitative data regarding a wide range of factors across the organization.

An ever-increasing number of organizations are realizing that an important source of this VoC data is the contact center. Frontline employees understand the organization’s blemishes, process failures and customer-adverse policies better than anyone. Contact centers are evolving from simply handling transactions to improving customer relationships—from being cost centers to being profit centers.

In truth, VoC and journey mapping go hand in hand, as each strives to understand the customer and identify the best methods of offering quality interactions and service at every customer touch point. Conducting a journey-mapping exercise before or during VoC planning will help an organization gain added insight into its customer and its customer’s preferences.

5. Experience design, improvement and innovation.

An organization’s CX efforts must adapt and evolve with the changing needs of the customer, making it important to conduct thorough and ongoing assessments of a CX program to identify strengths and weaknesses. Information gained during the journey-mapping process is useful when assessing current CX efforts and identifying opportunities for improvement and innovation at every level of the organization.

6. Measurements and metrics.

Gauging the effectiveness of your CX efforts can be difficult without implementing a process to measure your success. By surveying customers on their satisfaction, their willingness to become a repeat customer, and their willingness to recommend an organization, it becomes possible to monitor the effectiveness of CX strategies. Surveys that track both transaction satisfaction and customer loyalty will shed light into the effectiveness of your CX efforts.

By applying journey-mapping data to the six core CX competencies, every organization can begin to not only understand the customer experience but effectively extend the job of taking care of that customer to every employee within an organization.

Azman_headshotBob Azman is chief experience officer at Avtex, a leading customer experience technology deployment and consulting company, and brings more than 20 years of industry experience to his current position. He can be reached at