Customer journey mapping is, understandably, a pretty hot topic—not just for customer experience professionals, but for all businesses.
It’s easy to see why. As a proven framework for helping drive greater customer insights and improving internal efficiencies, it’s not a mystery why journey mapping is so popular. In fact, Gartner Group recently predicted that 60% of large organizations will have in-house customer journey mapping capabilities by 2018, up from no more than 20% in 2015.
In another recent article, I wrote about the customer journey mapping hype cycle. While journey maps clearly aren’t the only way to improve customer experience, they are a good way to start and—when designed and used correctly—are powerful tools to help your organization look at itself from the customers’ perspective.
As a result, you gain a better understanding of customer wants, needs, and pain, and opportunities for improvement. Because the fact is, most companies that do journey mapping well are also doing the other things well that it takes to become more customer-centric. So if your organization is among those that don’t yet have this capability or have begun the process but have yet to truly embrace or leverage it, here are a few stats that might help move things along.
In Aberdeen Group’s report “The CMO Dilemma: Bridging the Gap Between Love and Money,” results are compared across a range of key areas for companies with a customer journey management program versus all other companies.
Among other benefits, the report says that those companies that embrace journey management enjoy:
- Greater return on marketing investment (ROMI): A focus on the buyer’s journey reaps over 50% greater return on marketing investments than for those that don’t.
- More positive social media mentions: Not surprisingly, a focus on the customer journey typically means a better customer experience. Translation? Nearly 25% more positive social media mentions.
- Greater revenue from customer referrals: Better customer experience also drives better and more positive word of mouth, driving more than 2.5 times greater revenue from customer referrals.
- Faster average sales cycles: If your business isn’t interested in speeding sales, you can ignore this. But if you want to do better, those who manage journeys enjoy more than 13 times greater cross-sell and upsell revenue.
- Greater cross-sell and upsell revenue: If cross-sell and upsell revenue over 55% greater than your competition is at all compelling, this stat alone should be enough to get you started.
Results like these are among the reasons my team and I spend so much time teaching the discipline of customer journey management to leading organizations of all sizes. After all, you can begin the process in many ways. One, of course, is to talk to an expert about ways to embed this knowledge in your organization.
Which is why we spent most of the last week at a leading life insurance company with an appropriately broad cross-functional team of business leaders. In addition to a strong showing by business process leaders, the largest single group (since they’ll be “owning” customer journey maps in this organization), we had representatives from the product, call center, investment management, marketing teams, and others.
After the three days, their VP business process manager summed up his experience this way: “I see how this approach can get us much better results—and save us months of time and effort—over the ways we’re defining and deploying solutions now.”
This type of response is common and for good reason: because looking at your business like your customers do (from the outside-in, across their journeys) is one key to serving them better.