At insight6, we have surveyed more than 80 business leaders from across the UK and Ireland and found that, unsurprisingly, 64 percent had less work than they did prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the obvious negatives, I feel it is also important to see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. We likely have never had as much time to work on the business rather than in it to make improvements and that, of course, should start with the customer.

At the heart of the CX work we do at insight6 is Customer Journey Mapping. In a nutshell, a customer journey map identifies each of the customer touchpoints, from brand awareness through to being a happy repeat customer.

The idea is to focus on understanding how customers feel at each point in the journey, in order to look at how the experience can be improved. This helps to create a customer-focused mindset within the team, often resulting in a snowball effect in changing the culture within the organisation.

I believe now more than ever, the businesses that map and review their customer journey will be setting themselves up for success in the future – here’s why:

1.  A customer journey map creates a clear plan of action

Customer Journey Mapping is about identifying clear actions that will transform the experience your customers have with you.

This is not about creating pretty posters showing everyone that you have a customer journey map for your office wall; this is about action!

In every customer journey mapping workshop we have facilitated, we have witnessed immediate and clear action that has a profound impact on staff motivation, a greater focus on the customer and their needs, and an increase in sales.

2. Experience what it is like to look through the eyes of your customers

Once you have identified all the touchpoints on the journey, the brilliance starts when you can put yourself in the customer’s shoes and describe the experience at each of the touchpoints and how they might feel at each stage. Compare this experience to what each team member is actually doing at each touchpoint, and the insights start to overflow. The penny drops when team members see the gap between what they are doing and what the customer is experiencing.

3. Create a shared understanding and vision of customer experience across the business

Most of us know the importance of involving the team in any obvious changes in an organisation. When your entire team embraces and shares an attitude and belief system, incredible things start to happen.

Everyone has a role to play in customer experience, from the accounts clerk who sends out the invoices, to the cleaner who hoovers the floor. Every single detail has an impact on how the customer feels about your business and this is what creates a great customer experience.

4. Focus on the customer and how their differences impact on their needs

It is often the case that different customers have different needs. Recognising that you may have different customer personas using your product or service is vital in the customer journey mapping session. A classic mistake in any business is to assume that a new customer has the same expectations as a regular customer. They don’t!

5. You are solving problems by unlocking the causes

By identifying how the customer feels at each step of the customer journey, instead of from a business or personal perspective enables you to focus on the problem without getting defensive. This simple switch in perspective will allow you to uncover and understand what is causing the problem and finding a solution that will improve how the customer feels.

6. Independent facilitation keeps you challenged and inside the shoes of the customers

Having an independent facilitator to coordinate and direct the team in a customer journey mapping workshop is vital for staying focused, not slipping back into the old habit of looking at problems from your perspective and keeping the energy in the room to explore and discover how your customers feel.

Having someone from outside the business to ask those ‘stupid’ or obvious questions is gold dust when journey mapping.

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