Mapping the customer journey is a process that’s near and dear to a marketer’s heart.
Understanding how people engage with your brand as they move along the path from lead to customer and down the pipeline is valuable customer data.
So, it’s only natural to get laser focused and myopic on what the marketing department is doing to influence that journey. However, you really want to take a step back and gain the perspectives of different departments to improve map accuracy and reap results.
Companies have lowered costs and increased customer loyalty, employee engagement, profit, and customer satisfaction while decreasing return merchandise authorizations (RMAs) by incorporating the customer journey into the corporate culture.
If the entire organization isn’t onboard and aware of the value buyer journey mapping brings enterprise-wide, your efforts are falling short. But working towards company-wide buy-in and full participation across finance, operations and HR departments is achievable with the right action plan in place.
Developing an effective customer journey map is a two-phased approach. It begins with the marketing team identifying the various touchpoints customers have with your product as they move from the awareness stage through the buying process.
The next step is documenting each of these touchpoints to define and create the customer journey.
Once a solid draft is created, then you can begin to loop in other departments as stakeholders to provide input and feedback on how this will support their teams.
Follow these tips for a successful start to your buyer journey mapping:
- Communicate value by sharing success stories
- Form a cross-functional team that includes each department with a customer touchpoint
- Stay current by monitoring the landscape and updating your map as changes occur
- Find your champion to offer support since the customer journey touches so many functions across the organization
Importance of Mapping the Customer Journey
Research shows that customers will walk away from a brand they love after just one negative experience with a product or service. And 92% of consumers will buy again if the product return process is easy.
In fact, companies can reduce their costs by up to 20% by using tools such as customer journey maps.
Organizations with a well-defined customer journey map can use the results as a catalyst to develop and execute change management. The goal is to address any problem areas that were identified.
Companies can reduce their costs by up to 20% by using tools such as customer journey maps.Rebecca Phillips, Marketing Director at Infineon Technologies
Once the journey is finalized the next steps can begin, including:
- Change management team can develop and kick off their plan for improvements
- Marketing can begin making updates to their programs as needed
- Stakeholders from each department can roll out their portion of the journey to their teams
Ways the Customer Journey Effects the Entire Organization
Mapping the sales journey of your customers helps improve the overall consumer experience. This can have a direct influence on achieving larger corporate goals.
Consider the packing and shipping department. They have the final touchpoint before the product makes it to a customer. If your customer journey map uncovers a pain point on the receiving end, such as missing invoices or improperly packed items, it’s a fantastic opportunity to implement change management and improve the outcome.
You can sit with that team and explain what the full customer journey looks like. Show them how they represent the final piece, and share ways this transaction carries importance and influences customer feedback.
By reframing their responsibilities and showing the strength of their influence, you can convert their mindset to foster a sense of pride and accomplishment. Suddenly you have a champion of the customer journey, and they’ll bring more people into the pool. It’s a powerful message for a department that can be overlooked.
Achieving Executive Alignment with Customer Journey Mapping
So how do you get the rest of your organization onboard with customer journey mapping? It helps to start at the top with an executive sponsor.
Most likely there’s a few members of the senior leadership team who you are close with. These are the colleagues you want to have initial conversations with. Share your plans to get them onboard with the project. Consider this a litmus test to gauge whether your documentation resonates with them.
Take these baby steps as opposed to making a companywide announcement and expecting everyone to suddenly support your mission.
Once you have executive sponsorship it becomes easier to move into the next layers of the organization. You can’t go wrong by showing each customer-facing department how the buying journey affects the organization and influences larger corporate goals.
For more benefits of sharing the customer journey tool, watch Rebecca’s presentation, “Moving the Customer Journey Beyond Your Marketing Team.”