The term ‘customer journey’ is nearly ubiquitous amongst Fortune 500 Customer Experience, Digital, and Marketing teams. Yet in our interactions with customers, prospects, and partners we’ve identified two major recurring themes as it relates to the use of journeys:
1. What a company actually means when they say they are doing ‘journeys’ varies widely. Some companies have simply switched out the word campaign and are using the word journey to describe standard time-based marketing drip campaigns. Others refer to the 50,000-foot view of the holistic customer journey from awareness to advocacy.
2. Many companies spend a lot of time talking about journeys but they are no actually applying/operationalizing the concept to drive measurable value within their business.
In our latest whitepaper, The Customer Journey Maturity Curve — Where Are You and How to Advance, we define Usermind’s view of customer journeys and discuss common reasons we see companies struggle to get started. We then identify the 4 stages of the customer journey maturity curve and explain how enterprises can make their way up the curve to realize better business outcomes through journeys over time.
Journeys serve as a proxy for understanding how customers, partners, and employees interact with your business. They are often complex and cross-functional, with the majority of journeys requiring input or action from multiple teams, business units, and systems. Some of the objections to embracing journeys we hear most often are:
“We don’t know what our journeys are”
“We don’t know which journeys to start with”
“Out data isn’t good enough for journeys”
“We have a lot of legacy systems that don’t connect into the customer journey today”
“I don’t have the technical resources to operationalize journeys”
We built the Customer Journey Maturity Curve to outline the different stages of customer journey development, and to help organizations at each stage advance to the next level of customer engagement. Working with enterprises, we’ve identified four key stages in the path transforming customer journeys:
Journey mapping involves the practice of defining the key moments of truth in the ideal state of customer journeys commonly on a whitepaper or in a flow diagram. Here, enterprises begin discussing how to take a more active role in shaping the experiences of their customers.
Journey Baselining & Monitoring
Journey baselining provides a historical, data-driven view of actually happened in the journey as measured in the technology underpinning the journey. This is contrasted with the theoretical state defined in the journey map above. Baselining allows enterprises to identify the friction points and common areas of fallout. Enterprises can take baselining to the next level by monitoring their customer's journey in real-time and set up alerts and thresholds.
Orchestration means automating an end-to-end personalized journey and proactively guiding the customer through the desired path/experience versus reacting waiting to react until something goes wrong.
Journey Experimentation & Testing
Journey experimentation and testing is about testing and learning the best orchestration paths and leveraging A/B/n tests and machine learning to scale and optimize the outcomes associated with your customer journey orchestration.
At the end of the day, each organization is going to make its way through the customer journey maturity curve at their own pace -- and that’s okay. The most important thing for companies who want to deliver a better customer experience is that they have a bias for action and are constantly working on progressing to the next stage.
Where does your company's strategy fall on the Customer Journey Maturity Curve? Read the whitepaper to learn more.