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Avoid These 4 Mistakes to Stay on Track with Your Customer Experience Journey Map

Understanding the customer experience journey begins with a clear mapping strategy.

When working to create a better customer experience journey, many companies fall short by making common mistakes that can seriously impact the results they seek. Mapping the customer experience journey can help your brand better serve your customers, but making mistakes along the way can trip up your efforts.

A customer journey map is a “visual storyline of every engagement a customer has with a service, brand, or product,” according to the Qualtrics Delighted Blog.

For example, the customer experience journey could go something like this, according to Qualtrics:

  • Realize need to purchase
  • Perform online research
  • Visit a store in person
  • Make a purchase
  • Use the product
  • Contact the company for support to resolve issues or answer questions
  • Make another purchase or repeating the purchase

“A journey map lays out all touchpoints that your customer may have with your brand, from how they first heard of you through social media or brand advertising to their direct interactions with your product, website, or support team,” says Qualtrics.

“[The customer journey map] includes all of the actions your customer takes to complete an objective across a period of time.”

“We and our clients have found [customer journey maps] to be a remarkable tool when created and used correctly,” said Michael Hinshaw, customer experience strategist and president of MCorpCX, a customer experience management company, in an article at service and customer experience resource MyCustomer.

“However, the sad truth is that there are many issues associated with the deployment of customer journey maps. Naturally, the effect of mistakes in any of these areas can be substantial and usually negative.”

4 mistakes to avoid with the customer experience journey

When mapping your company’s customer experience journey, it’s crucial to avoid these four common mistakes.

1. Failing to create a customer persona

A customer (or buyer) persona is a type of person who represents your company’s typical customer or different types of customers. “Imagining this persona’s age, job function, personal goals, etc., can help you step into the customer’s shoes and thoroughly develop the customer journey story,” says Qualtrics.

“Before you begin [the customer journey map], consider aligning your map with a chosen customer persona and think through which journeys and stages make the most sense for your business to measure.”

2. Not specifying what to measure

Your company must decide which parts of the customer journey it wants to measure and what goal you’re trying to achieve,” says Qualtrics”

“Perhaps you want to revisit current customer success processes or take a closer look at your prospect’s experience through the selling timeline. Whatever you choose, your customer journey map is customizable and should evolve over time to meet your business needs. You may also create multiple journey maps in the future as new opportunities shift your curiosities and goals.”

3. Not utilizing analytics

Some organizations fail to capture the types of data they need to map the customer journey.

“Whether due to a lack of analytics technology, an over-reliance on limited survey research or poor strategic planning, they fail to access the voice of the customer across their numerous engagement touchpoints,” according to “Experience Management: Creating Big Picture End-toEnd Experiences,” a report from Customer Contact Week (CCW) Digital and CallMiner.

That’s not true for all brands, however. Many “take advantage of the onmnichannel revolution” by capturing vital intelligence from all customers in all contact channels, according to the report.

“Unfortunately, collecting data is only one phase of the intelligence process,” says the CCW report. “The next, more vital phase involves unifying and interpreting the data. This is where an even greater share of organizations fall short.”

4. Failing to centralize data

Many organizations are already collecting customer data from contact center interactions, customer surveys and social media conversations but failing to centralize it in a single location, says Scott Kendrick, vice president of strategy at CallMiner in the report. Kendrick recommends centralizing the data in a single location instead of siloed in different platforms or systems.

“Implementing a centralized listening or analytics system that ingests all feedback and interaction touchpoints makes it possible to more accurately measure and uncover insights related to brand sentiment, crisis management and more,” says Kendrick.

“By jointly analyzing customer, product and brand intelligence, companies do not simply gain a clearer window into what is happening within their experiences,” says the CCW report.

“They can also identify potential churn or complaint risks, since today’s customers are more likely than ever to gravitate towards brands that prioritize a personal connection — and condemn brands that do not.”