Making the Case for Customer Journey Mapping: Two Approaches

By Jim Sinur

(Aragon Research) – Some organizations believe investing in customer journey mapping includes buying technology—to assist in creating and maintaining the best customer journeys for a variety of customer needs and goals. On the other hand, there are organizations that believe technology is not necessary to deliver top notch customer journey maps. Which approach is better for your enterprise? This blog will explore both approaches.

Which approach is right for your enterprise to map customer journeys?

Approach 1: The Case for No Technology Assists

Technology is not needed to deliver great journeys for customers, employees, and partners.

A good war room, post it notes, and a sequestered group of experts with some survey data should be good enough to deliver a really great journey. While this is old school, it still works, so why complicate things with technology? In fact buying a jump start template and service provider with knowledge in particular knowledge world should be a good enough starting point.

Approach 2: The Case for Technology Assists

Technology is an absolute necessity for creating and maintaining the best journeys over a long period of time in a dynamic world.

Technology for Capturing Maps: Journeys can be captured manually or generated from actual experiences for various logs. For organizations that are looking to plan out their journeys ahead of time with the intent of adjusting later, they will likely capture journeys in a manual fashion assisted by friendly software, through visualization tools or voice annotation capabilities.

Technology for Collaborating on Maps:  Journeys have to be shared across the whole organization for review, commenting, and creating consensus. Ideally, this secure software can be leveraged in the cloud for multiple geographical organizations.

Technology for Gathering and Integrating Various Data Sources: Journeys imply a goodly number of data sources that need to be brought together in order to evaluate and design better approaches to servicing customers, engaging employees, and enabling partners. The information sources include, but are not limited to, touchpoints, processes, systems, personas, surveys, scores, audit trails, and mining sources.

Technology for Analyzing Data Sources:  Engaging journey visualization and analysis are the keys to designing and improving the user experience in an ongoing basis. Visualization gives perspectives that are typically horizontal and relational in respect to reach conclusions and point to alternative actions to improve the user experience.

Technology for Visualizing Information Results: Examples of typical visualization approaches include actor step action maps, heat maps, statistical representations/scores, persona views, life cycle maps, and a day in the lifetime lines—all with drill-down capabilities. Deeper analysis can promise potential changes in net promoter scores, a greater return on investment, and workload impacts. The better tools allow for the integration of additional outside analytical capabilities.

Bottom Line

If you are considering a small scope journey or a highly standardized journey, maybe you can skip technology assists. It has been my experience that wider scoped journeys with a variety of views will definitely need technology assists. If real-time adaptations are highly desired, technology assists are a must.