It’s About the Customer: Using Customer Journey Maps Effectively

Customer Journey Mapping continues to grow in popularity among marketers and those responsible for improving the client experience for their companies. But moving from the customer journey map to the execution of a customer experience program can be challenging to execute, particularly in the B2B world where sales and service people execute the touch points that form a full customer experience.

Too often journey maps are created by a team of people with very little or no direct experience working with clients. As a result, the journey map while compelling, is not representative of how clients behave or want to be directed. This is very true of B2B businesses where the touch points of a journey need to consider a number of factors, including a customer’s ability to partake fully in that touch point.

A recent example of this challenge was explained by a client of a technology firm who expressed frustration that he was asked to participate in a program that failed to recognize his business challenges and as a result, he felt like part of the masses rather than a valued client. This situation was made worse by the journey mapping team that insisted on a certain order to the touch points that failed to take into account the customer’s current strategy and future plans.

By taking a few simple steps this can easily be corrected. Here are some tips you might want to consider before taking on journey mapping:

  1. Know your customers: We’ve said this before in our blog posts, but we are constantly amazed at how many B2B marketers have never had a conversation with their customers. Someone has to do this work to ensure that you are applying journey maps that will progress something of value to your business and to your client.
  2. Customize the touch points: Some will argue touch points don’t matter without a journey map, but it only takes one poorly executed touch for the journey map to be deemed irrelevant. Take the time to tailor the touch points to the customer needs.
  3. Assess and adjust often: Spend time with your customers evaluating your success. Create simple ways to determine if the touch points have been successful and whether the journey is on track. Do this directly with the customers without your sellers as the middlemen and women.

If you are spending significant time and money in building the journey maps, it is important to invest equally in their execution. The map is only the beginning of the process – take the time to ensure these tools are actually delivering results for you and your clients.

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