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.

What is your customer experience?

How do you introduce yourself at networking? How do you convey your services to others?

This is something I have always struggled with in my mentoring service. You can list the benefits like clarity and more time and carefully planned goals. Does that get you excited about the service or give a feeling/emotion, I think not. It is all about the journey you take them on, the guidance given and support. The delight on their face when they celebrate the wins that they dreamed of achieving.

What do your customers need?

I always look at what my client needs from the relationship each time, I need to ensure that their expectations are known and make it clear how I work. After conversations this week with others I have seen that this is not always the case leaving individuals frustrated with the gap between what the expect and what they receive in the work that is carried out. I am interested in exploring how to ensure that this is always clear from the outset of the journey.

How do you make your customers feel?

Do you ever find it hard to convey how your client feels when they experience your services? I have been asking my clients for testimonials which helps with recommendations but just lately I have asked this differently. I have shared that I find it hard to put the experience into words so that others can understand what it is like to work with me. By using better survey questions I have managed to understand my customers journey with me and the reason they work with me. This in turn has led to better marketing messages and shared networking messages.

Questions to ask your customers about their experience

I am sharing some of the key questions that have helped me and hope that you gain a perspective that allows you to be more creative and curious in finding out about the experience your customers have and harness the desire to continuous improve and delight with your services. Ask for case studies too, they will be so beneficial for others who are at the consideration / decision stage of your buying journey.

Here are a few of mine to get you started..

What problem(s) were you trying to solve with our mentoring?

What would you say has been the best thing about working with Angela as your mentor?

What would you tell someone who’s considering using Angela as your mentor for your business?

What was it like before you had mentoring?

What have you been able to achieve since using our mentoring?

A story shared…

Today I received the following story that I am truly grateful for and wanted to share with you. I ask that you read to the end as my USP that I have failed to convey is finally getting into words by my clients and I cannot thank them enough for bravely sharing what they feel.

Angela isn’t simply a rare breed of business mentor, she’s a rare breed of person. Ever since I met her (in 2016), I knew that when the time came, I wanted to work with Angela to help me to make my vision a reality… way over and above any of the typical, ‘find them at every business expo’, ‘dime-a-dozen’ (probably lovely and highly skilled), ‘franchise-esque’, business mentors.

Angela’s portfolio of very happy clients (which now includes me), doesn’t just stem from her extensive and broad ranging industry knowledge, or the battle scars won from her days spent competing (and consistently coming out on top), from within the senior ranks of a highly demanding and highly competitive engineering background… But also from, a) the fact that Angela conveys a level of compassion, sincerity, humanity, warmth & drive that is both endearing and enormously refreshing, b) the fact that it’s immediately apparent that she really, really, really wants to get you across the goal line, and c) prepare yourself… Because Angela has the most frighteningly astute level of intuition that you’re ever likely to come across. Even of you’re not consciously holding anything back from her, she’ll come running in with “Something’s telling me that I really need to say/mention / discuss this” and its relevance and profundity will floor you every time.

Angela, thank you, sincerely. I am so, so looking forward to the road ahead. I’m ready. Let’s do this.

I ask you to do the same, ask the right questions about your customers experiences, I look forward to hearing your stories so do reach out.