Customer Journey Mapping: 5 Key Steps to Success.

This article originally appeared on CustomerExperience.io, read the original post.

CustomerExperience.io is very excited to announce that we have the pleasure of publishing an exclusive interview with Jeanne Bliss, who has been guiding Fortune 500 and Global 1000 company leader in their customer experience transformations since 1984. Jeanne has served as a Chief Customer Officer for 25 years, with experience and exposure across multiple industries and is now CEO of CustomerBliss, where she leads customer experience culture change around the world. Having worked with leading brands like Adobe, Microsoft, MetLife and Zappos, Jeanne Bliss has built an expertise in customer journey mapping and customer experience transformation. CustomerExperience.io is proud to share with you Jeanne Bliss’ key tips on ensuring the success of your customer journey mapping program.

  1. Define the Stages of the Customer Journey

According to Jeanne, while many organizations say they focus on their customer experience, a few actually define the stages of their experience from the customer journey point of view. Therefore, when companies take on journey mapping, their first action should be to gain agreement on the names of the stages of the customer journey. It’s the beginning of shifting from thinking silos (inside-out) to thinking about what customers are trying to achieve (outside-in) as a result of their interaction with the brand. Below is an illustration of Outside-In vs. Inside-Out Customer Journey Stage Names.

http://customerthink.com/name-the-stages-of-your-customer-journey/

At the top is the Outside-In approach. This starts with the customers’ life. Stage names describe what the customer needs to accomplish, and how he or she would describe what they want to accomplish. At the bottom is the Inside-Out approach. This starts with silo objectives.

It’s important to gain executive alignment around the definition of your customer journey stage names because you will want your leadership team to begin using them in their language as they ask for accountability in customer-driven growth. — Jeanne Bliss, Co-founder CXPA, CCO & Founder of CustomerBliss.

2. Cross-Silo Accountability

In her Chief Customer Officer 2.0 book, Jeanne Bliss shares a powerful plea to organizations to not make journey mapping a shiny object that they take on because everyone else is doing it. Instead, an effective and successful customer journey mapping requires cross-silo accountability to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Therefore, all departments of the business should be engaged with the customer journey, accept responsibility for it and collaborate in order to improve it.

“ Over time, leadership language will evolve to drive performance along the customer journey, driving accountability to journey stages, not only down silos. ” — Jeanne Bliss

3. Identify the Priority Customer Touchpoints

A touchpoint is just what it sounds like — a point at which a person comes into contact with your company / brand / product / service. Some obvious touchpoints include a website, a retail store, using the product, getting help, and even disposing of the product. But touchpoints also include some less obvious touches such as advertising and referrals from friends. The next step organizations need to take when building journey mapping is identify the priority customer touchpoints. These are also referred to as moments of truth and are the interactions that have the greatest impact on customer loyalty. Jeanne Bliss advises that companies can map the stages and get to the set of initial priority touchpoints along the customer journey — these will usually be 10–15 intersection points that matter most to customers.

Have employees map a draft of all the touchpoints and identify what they think are the priorities. And then validate the map with customers in a co-creation session where customers come up with new touchpoints as well as identify the priority touchpoints. — Jeanne Bliss

A recent article by Aimee Lucas provides several ways in which companies can uncover the moments of truths in their customer journey mapping program. Using qualitative research, for example, can help to identify the moments where the customer demonstrates strong or negative sentiment, while quantitative analysis can help to uncover moments that have strong correlation to CX or loyalty metrics (e.g., retention, willingness to recommend, satisfaction, effort).

4. Establish a CX (Customer Experience) Room

Using the customer journey mapping methodology can help companies create CX rooms and fill them with relevant “outside-in” insights. The CX room has the advantage of being a dedicated space, used to illustrate to the entire employee population what customers are going through when interacting with the brand. According to Jeanne Bliss, the CX room is the glue that unites a leadership team to focus and improve customers’ lives to earn the right to growth.

The CX room is the place for accountability across the customer journey. Using the customer journey map as the framework, here we bring leaders in monthly, quarterly and before annual planning to traverse and make priorities for action. We line up under each journey stage, the artifacts of the experience customers are receiving, the trends in feedback and complaints and the operational performance — all in one place .— Jeanne Bliss

Establishing a CX Room is the continuation of the culture shift that starts with building that first journey map.

If you want to learn more about building a CX Room as part of your customer journey mapping program, read Jeanne Bliss’ manifesto here. Additionally, if you want to obtain a real-life example of how CX rooms can improve customer experience, read our interview with Ingrid Lindberg.

5. Uncover the “Why?”

When leaders are consistent and united in how they use the customer journey framework, it enables them to focus on and prioritize the work of the organizaiton, optimize investment, manage resources most effectively, and improve experiences that impact growth. Most importantly, Jeanne Bliss shared that customer journey mapping provides the framework to diagnoze and care about the “why?’’. What circumstances are causing customers to stay, spend more or diminish their relationship with the company?

Using the journey as a vehicle to learn establishes rigor for understanding and caring about priorities in customers’ lives. Why haven’t they used 50 percent of the software they purchased? By simplifying the outcome of the experience as growth or loss of the customer asset, leaders become more interested in understanding and getting to the bottom of the reasons “why?” — Jeanne Bliss

Conclusion

Creating customer journey mapping is an important first step when it comes to improving your customer experience.Following Jeanne’s 5 steps for a successful customer journey mapping, your starting point should be defining the customer stages from customers’ point of view, not from organizational silos. This will facilitate the “outside-in” thinking, critical to customer experience transformation. Second, having a customer journey should connect the silos in accountability to customer experiences. Third, using qualitative and/or quantitative analysis companies can identify the priority customer touchpoints that have the greatest impact on customer loyalty. Next, establishing CX rooms with relevant “outside-in” insights will serve as an effective strategy in the continuation of the culture shift that starts with building that first journey map. Finally, customer journey mapping provides the framework to diagnoze and uncover the “why” behind the decisions of your customers.

However, we should emphasize that the purpose of creating customer journey mapping is to ensure the maps are part of the larger CX efforts within a company. Therefore, the focus of the map should be linked to existing customer experience objectives and findings from the map should help shape ongoing CX operations, from fixing problems, to experience improvements, to monitoring and measuring.

Finally, we would like to thank Jeanne Bliss for sharing her tips with the community and encourage you to read her Chief Customer Officer 2.0 book. Jeanne’s book will provide you with the tools and leadership recipe cards for leading and enabling your business transformation.

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