Why You Can’t Improve CX Without a Customer Journey Map

How important is customer experience (CX)? According to a report from the Temkin Group, an organization with $1 billion in annual revenue can achieve an average revenue increase of $823 million per year with only a moderate increase in customer satisfaction.

Customer Journey MapFurthermore, CX leaders have a 16.7% advantage over CX laggards when it comes to having customers who are willing to purchase more from them and who trust them. In addition, their Net Promoter Score is also 22 points higher than those of CX laggards.

Investing in great CX can result in a significant return on investment. The need for businesses to improve their CX has never been more crucial — and in this endeavor, service centers, notably sales and marketing contact centers, play a central role.

After all, consumers reach out to contact centers for product information about a brand as well as sales support, troubleshooting, and more. These frontline organizations can engage with customers throughout their lifecycle.

People who feel supported and well-treated during this process are more likely to become loyal customers, whereas people who have a bad experience are more prone to switching to another brand and spread negative word of mouth.

Nevertheless, without a clear idea of which steps to put into place to improve your CX, you could be making lateral moves that don’t lead to any improvement — or even wrong moves that detract from your CX.

That’s why a clear illustration of what your customers are experiencing, feeling, and how they are responding at every interaction with your company is the cornerstone to CX improvement. And this is where a customer journey map comes in.

What Is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is a graphical representation of a customer’s entire journey or experience as he or she interacts with an organization. It should include how those interactions occur as well as current state and future state perspectives.

This representation allows you to see exactly how the customer is experiencing the provided service across various touchpoints — and where engagement is weakened or strengthened. In short, it enables you to take a customer-centric approach to CX improvement.  

The journey map will also represent how your employees are engaging with the customer and how they may feel, think, and act during an interaction.

Why a Customer Journey Map Is Essential to Improving CX

crowds shoppingWithout a customer journey map, you can do everything from relying on gut feeling to implementing industry best practices, but the improvements you make won’t necessarily be based on experiences.

As a result, these changes won’t be customized to improving specifically your customers’ experience.

In contrast, the customer journey map provides full visibility of your people, processes, technology, and interactions so you can see where gaps and opportunities lie.

It answers questions like:

  • How do customers feel when they first interact with us?
  • Does that feeling change during the interaction?
  • Why do customers become frustrated at this point in the process so often?  
  • Are our processes as streamlined as they could be?
  • Is our technology sufficient?
  • Can our employee performance be improved at any point along the journey?

For example, processes frequently develop organically — and sometimes this can mean that they lose their efficiency over time. A customer journey map can reveal pain points like long wait times and an overabundance of steps for simple cases. It can also show, as in the case of one of our clients, that processes to gather customer feedback are insufficient or that procedures to evaluate performance are ineffective.

A customer journey map also shows how various interactions with your service, sales, or marketing organizations impact CX.

Those interactions can be with an IVR or chatbots — or with humans responding via a range of touchpoints.

Each of these contact points is an opportunity for a fail or a pass from a CX point of view. For example, if you use chatbots, do all your customers value this? Or are there segments who prefer asynchronous messaging?

With the visibility provided by a customer journey map, you obtain the information you need to address issues like this and begin to improve your CX.

Optimization, Not Improvement

In today’s competitive landscape, improvement isn’t enough anymore — optimization should be the objective.

Fortunately, a customer journey map also highlights these opportunities.

For instance, you might want to integrate your CRM with your other systems to deliver a personalized experience, add more channels to deliver omnichannel support, or establish a system that routes your most valuable customers to your most experienced agents.

Start Your Journey With a Clear Roadmap to Improvement

While it might take some time and effort to create, a customer journey map is clearly a highly useful tool. Because once you have data-driven insights about your strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and opportunities, you can confidently start the process of improving your CX.

At PTP, we’ve helped numerous organizations create their customer journey maps to improve their CX.

Contact us if you’d like to find out how your company can benefit from our extensive experience and expertise.

Mark Pendolino

Authored By Mark Pendolino

Mark Pendolino is the Director of Marketing at PTP, overseeing the creation of customer experience content focused on helping organizations discover best practices for evolving the customer journey. Prior to PTP, Mark managed teams for companies such as Microsoft, Smartsheet, Fujitsu, and Parsons Brinckerhoff. Mark holds a master’s in Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s in Technical Communications from Metropolitan State University of Denver. In his downtime, Mark likes to thrash a bit on the drumkit and pretend he’s a rock star.

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