Customer Journey Mapping is a popular concept in the CX world these days. A simple Google search will provide hundreds of images of slick corporate graphic designs depicting their customers’ touch-points throughout the life cycle with their brand. Many of these Journey Maps are beautiful and inspiring, while others are so complex and confusing that one can’t imagine how a customer would survive the journey.

All of this buzz about customer journey mapping has made me ponder: What makes an effective corporate journey mapping initiative? Can it go beyond attractive imagery to actually yield an ROI? How do companies ensure that their Journey Map is rooted in the reality of what their customers truly experience with their brands?

 I decided to take these questions (and more) to a Midwest marketing leader, Greg Jung. As Vice President of Marketing for Seven Corners, an international insurance company, Greg has been leading a cross-functional team in the creation of Seven Corners’ first customer journey map.

 Amy: Greg, throughout your career, you’ve led marketing initiatives in companies of various sizes and industries. What made now the right time to introduce Seven Corners, a mid-market international travel insurance company, to the concept of customer journey mapping?

Greg: As I continue to observe the evolution of the travel insurance market, I am seeing that the ability to differentiate via feature/benefit, pricing or other aspect outside of customer experience is incredibly difficult. We will win business if we provide a superior customer experience. The creation of a customer journey map for our company is the critical first step in our company’s pursuit of world-class customer experience.

Amy: A unique feature of your customer journey mapping initiative is that it has been infused with continuous qualitative data from your current and ongoing customer interactions. How has that experience differed from the journey mapping exercises you’ve seen in other organizations?

Greg: My previous experiences with similar activities always started with surveys. The initial step was to partner with a company that could execute a customer insights survey for us. At Seven Corners, this has been very different. AuthentiCx helped us realize that we already had a wealth of data and feedback from our customers that we were receiving daily. Simply tapping into that feedback mechanism – call listening, online reviews and email feedback channels – was all that was needed rather than expensive survey construction and execution.

Amy: How do you anticipate your customer journey map will impact future business decisions, and do you see it evolving over time?

Greg: The creation of our customer journey map will be the starting point for our evolution of the company and our focus on customer experience. The customer journey map in and of itself will be the primary tool we gauge future initiatives and projects focused on customer experience. It will be the baseline from which we identify customer-focused initiatives for all departments across Seven Corners.

Amy: What advice would you give marketing and customer experience leaders who are considering creating or updating their customer journey map?

Greg: A few key takeaways I have from this engagement include:

  1. Don’t immediately jump to customer surveys. Take a look at the data and feedback you already have for your customers and leverage that information as a foundation for evaluating customer experience and the journey map itself.
  2. Engage leaders from across the organization in the creation of your journey map as they will all be impacted by the output of this work and are key to the buy-in of the final deliverable.
  3. The customer journey map is just the starting point for a pivot to focus on customer experience across an organization.
  4. The customer journey map is not a one-time created and reviewed document. It should be treated as a living, breathing guide to focused customer experience improvement and should be reviewed and enhanced anytime a customer focused initiative or project is started and completed.
  5. Each major organizational project should be reviewed against what impact it will have on the customer experience and overall customer journey.

 

Interested in building your own customer map leveraging existing customer data? Contact AuthentiCx to learn what insights are waiting to be found.

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