Improving the customer experience with Customer Journey Mapping (CJM)
What is CJM?
A customer journey map is a step-by-step illustration of how your customers interact with your organization. It’s created by taking a walk in your customers’ shoes as they purchase and consume your products and services. Journey maps highlight customer needs, technical obstacles, and emotions throughout every interaction with your company. As a result organizations are able to take action and improve the customer experience.
Power to the consumer
A key mindset to remember when establishing or enhancing a customer journey mapping capability is to remember that it is the customer’s entire journey, not the steps in your map that matters. Regardless of where the customer lives or who they are, they increasingly have the power. The power to research and discover. The power to choose who they engage with and buy from and how they do this. And the power to share their experiences with your organization.
In effect, for most industries and increasingly in most places in the region, the balance of power is with the customer as a result of digital technologies. Designing your customer journey maps, and the experiences and communications you offer, should therefore be based on what they need and desire. Not on how your organization is structured or on the products you sell. Delighting your customers with experiences that meet or exceed what they want to do – not just what you want to sell – is smart business today and we believe will ultimately prove true in tomorrow’s markets.
Trends and developments
Of course, like everything else, customer journey mapping will be impacted by a range of trends in the coming years. Some of the more important emerging developments we would encourage all leaders to watch include:
- Automation, machine learning, and conversational user interfaces: all software providers are looking to build in greater levels of automation and machine learning to their offerings. This will happen as well for customer journey mapping providers. Expect to have more components completely automated and to “improve” and/or “predict” over time. Also expect greater use of chatbots or virtual agents to complement and help your employees while also engaging customers.
- More fine-grained detail of the customer and privacy issues: most organisations already capture a lot of data about their customers. We expect them to continue to capture additional, more fine-grained information. However, at the same time, privacy regulations (such as the GDPR from the EU) will continue to create challenges.
- Emerging tech and business models: we’ve already seen how the rise of the sharing economy, mobile tech, and social platforms have changed market dynamics and expectations. There is now a general acceptance that it is okay to try new approaches and innovate. We expect different customer journeys and experiences to emerge as different players and tech enter the market or go mainstream.