How to avoid the common pitfalls when mapping your customer journey

Customer Journey

How do you define the customer mapping project?

Set an intention and outcome for your customer journey map – ensure everyone understands why you are doing it. Your team needs to understand what impact the improvement project will have on them, especially if you want to motivate them to be involved in change.

Make sure you define the scope of the project and boundaries – know your start and finish line. Where will you start and finish the process walk? For example, your customer places an order through to receipt of goods or services.

Who is best placed to carry out the customer process audit?

Remember this is an observer role which can be hard when you have an emotional investment in the business process. Not only do you need people skills but think about the individuals being audited, who do they feel safe to open up to and talk to?

Having someone with a good understanding of the whole company helps, maybe they already have auditing experience through quality audits, they are not to impart judgement or advice so please take time to get the right person.

During the process review – what not to miss.

Work in steps or stages so that you can note inputs, outputs and controls. Always not what triggers the starting of each step and who carries it with what resources. How do you know that the stage has been completed successfully, are there any controls, what next stage does this information feed into.

Always ask ‘what if’? There will often be an alternative route if things are not correct make sure all routes are noted and decisions that need to be made.

Make time to understand the climate of the company, your culture, common triggers that happen or situations that build. Understanding the team and culture will help you plan a successful change plan.

Make sure you define the scope of the project and boundaries – know your start and finish line. Where will you start and finish the process walk? For example, your customer places an order through to receipt of goods or services.

What to do immediately after completing a customer process review – share with the team.

Gather your data, draw up your map and share… Do not make any hasty changes or plans!

It is very common to have those lightbulb or aha moments, see duplication or unnecessary tasks and want to change things. Collect the easy wins.

My advice is to put the process map on the wall and invite comments, have you missed anything? 

Show that this is a team effort and change will be planned, your process map then becomes an aid, the catalyst to instigate desired change.

How to use your customer journey process map to instigate change

What you have now is a snapshot of your business with plenty of lightbulb moments and ideas. 

Ask yourself..

What is going to have the biggest impact on my business in line with my current strategy?

What is the financial/resource impact. What is currently within my resources that I can act on now?

You need to drive engagement and enthusiasm, big wins without too much stress on your team. 

If you put too much on your team at the start of the journey they will lose momentum.

Be aware of what has gone before, your team may be on the journey with you but think it will not work as they remember previous failures. Listen and give time to your team’s views, work on bringing as many on board as you can from the start. Knowing what will help them and planning the journey with quick and relevant wins at the start will be key.

Don’t let your customer journey become static.

Let this helicopter view of the business stay visible. Understanding the impact on other areas when a department needs to plan a change is invaluable and not always obvious. Clear process maps and touch points help to identify internal customer needs and highlight risk points.

Make sure you keep it up to date, it’s not just about documenting the process. Remember management by walking around? You are interested in how things are going, how they feel about their work. Do they get what they need to do the job well? Conversations count.