Start by asking yourself one question: Does everyone in my organization understand the needs of our prospects and customers during every stage of their journey?
If you answered yes to the question above then consider yourself among the top 1% of Customer Experience (CX) leaders in the B2B world. Otherwise, join the rest of us struggling to clearly define the stages in their customer’s experience and the touchpoints within them.
For the majority of organizations, the hardest part of improving your customer experience is understanding who should drive the process and how you can build alignment across the organization.
If you truly want to improve, Customer Experience should be everyone’s responsibility. However, someone has to own the program and be held accountable for its results. A recent IBM study found financial outperformers often created a C-suite role to own CX with titles such as Chief Customer Officer, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Experience Officer, Chief Data Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer. For those without a dedicated CXO, the CMO has been tasked with owning and delivering a better experience.
More and more CMOs are relying on Customer Journey Maps (CJMs) as their tool of choice for understanding the customer experience and building alignment within the organization to improve that experience. Usually building a CJM is thought of as a complicated drawn out process involving an external consultant, many workshops, six weeks of time to produce one journey map and a large bill to top it all off. However, it’s possible to apply an agile methodology to CJMs to reduce the time to value, while fostering collaboration to drive alignment.
A modern CJM initiative should have the following steps:
Assembling the Team. The first and most important step is inviting other department leaders to collaborate throughout this initiative. Without collaboration, you will have trouble getting buy-in for any significant changes to the current process and may find your efforts wasted. Ideally, as an owner, you have selected a digital platform as your system of record that allows collaboration. Having trouble selling CJM internally? I’ll talk more about overcoming objections to Journey Mapping in part two of this series later this week.
Mapping the Journey. Once you have your team in place, begin by discussing the scope of the project, including the experience you’ll be mapping and who you’re mapping it for. Build your targeted persona and select the stages of the customer journey that are within scope. Next, take a touchpoint inventory of every interaction within each stage of the customer journey. Next week, I’ll talk about avoiding 5 pitfalls of CJM in part three of this series.
Investigate. Your team will now be tasked with investigating your assumptions above. If available, start by looking at quantitative data that already exists within customer facing departments. Supplement the data by interviewing front facing teams (support, customer success, sales, marketing, etc) and customers and/or prospects to uncover additional pain points. Continually update your touchpoints throughout this process to ensure they align with reality. Be sure to record and store the interviews so you can reference the raw data to get buy-in for significant change.
Prioritize. After you’ve identified pain points in your process it’s time to decide which ones are most important to address. Focus on the touchpoints that are most meaningful, “Moments of Truth”. For example, the first time the customer speaks with a sales agent or the first conversation that takes place after running a Proof of Concept (POC). Make sure to prioritize as a team, so there is buy-in to make changes cross-functionally that have true impact.
Optimize. Be sure to include a measurable success metric when building solutions to pain points. Launch the experiment, measure the impact, then repeat the process until you’ve reached an ideal outcome. Remember, you can always improve an interaction, so remove the pain point from your list when it has been addressed, but monitor your touchpoints over time to be sure they are still performing well.