5 reasons you should map your customer journey even if you’re not ready yet to start a full-blown CX transformation programme

All the companies we work with aspire to transform their customers’ end-to-end journey but many are a long way from securing the resources they will need to deliver a large scale CX transformation programme.   In this position is it worth mapping the customer journey?

Journey mapping is undoubtedly the best way to identify and prioritise the changes your company will need to make to improve your customers’ end-to-end journey.  Indeed every mapping project we have worked on has identified multiple changes; some small, others profound.

Is customer journey mapping a wise first step?

Companies increasingly recognise that to create a step-change in CX they will need to make many changes across functional barriers.  As you might expect companies with a mature CX culture have a programme of CX transformation built into their change roadmap as a key strategic deliverable.  Most companies however are not so lucky and I suspect as you are reading this that you are one of those.

You may be at the beginning of your CX journey or the business may simply have too much change on its plate with no immediate capacity or budget for more.  So, given this is it worth your time to press ahead with mapping the customer journey?

I would argue, emphatically, yes and here are five reasons why:

1.      Mapping is affordable and will make only modest demands on your busy colleagues’ time.

2.      Mapping will flush out a great many changes, many of them ‘no regrets’ quick wins that can be tackled within BAU.  CX change requires momentum and confidence; nothing builds that quite like being able to point to tangible changes you have helped create.

3.      Documenting the gap between your ‘as is’ and ‘to be’ customer journey builds awareness of the scale and nature of change and can of itself be a catalyst for change.

4.      Once you know what the nature and scale of change is you can begin the (sometimes lengthy) process of getting it on the change roadmap and will be better equipped to know what resources you will need to realise meaningful change.

5.      Mapping will often highlight the need for, and gaps in your knowledge.  In most organisations sufficient budget can be found to put in place the research, data analysis and/or tracking of metrics like CES (customer effort score), and most importantly, to establish the link between CES or NPS and bottom-line metrics like retention and lifetime value.  This ground-work is vital to create the business case for CX change and, when change initiatives do finally come, to allow you to measure the impact they have on customers’ experiences and on profitability.

So don’t put off making this vital first step but do resist over-claim.  For many mapping is a first step that will, in time lead to significant change.