Common Challenges of Journey Mapping

journey mapping chanllengeA couple weeks ago, we hosted the weekly #CXO Chat on Twitter. Our first post inspired by that week’s chat was about Using Journey Maps to Tell a Story. Today, we’ll share some of the common challenges of journey mapping, with credit to those mentioned by our Tweetchat colleagues during the CXO Chat.

Here are some of the things that typically keep folks up at night about customer journey maps:

  • How do I convey the importance and benefits of journey mapping? This will take some explaining but will be time well spent. Include mention of your Touchpoint ROI. Once you’ve taught the masses the many reasons for creating and using customer journey maps, you can move on to addressing the other challenges, like…
  • Where do I begin?
  • How do I make customer journey mapping a priority? Once mapping is underway, it’s easy for participants to get engaged, but getting them to the table in the first place can be difficult.  Take a look at this post and watch the video it links to; you’ll get insights into how to create maps that will influence business strategy and tactics. This should get people to the table.
  • How do I keep biases and prejudices out of the maps? Simple. If you always look at the map from the customer viewpoint, you can’t go wrong.
  • How do we make journey maps easy to understand yet have enough details to support the story?

Some things to keep in mind about journey maps that will ease a bit of the anxiety:

  • Create them using company jargon and language; speaking in a language everyone understands helps to make the connection and keeps the map from feeling disjointed from the business. Using common language can also help to create buy-in.
  • Remember to segment customers because different customers/customer types may have different journeys; the result will be a master journey map with multiple sub-journeys.
  • Executive sponsorship and commitment is critical to making this effort a priority. Get your ducks in a row; understand the ROI; and sell the map. It creates a picture that really no one should be able to question.
  • Maps must include linkages. They can’t just be the journey without supporting data. They are the backbone that guides all further analysis and action.
  • And most importantly, the journey map is created from the customer viewpoint. Really, this is the most-important thing to remember. Knowing this should answer most of the questions and ease a lot of anxiety. Simply put, if your organization is customer-focused, then the journey map is your best tool to facilitate that focus.

And finally, remembering what a journey map is not should also answer a lot of questions. A map is not…

  • Designed from the company’s perspective or viewpoint
  • About your organization’s internal processes and procedures
  • A project
  • A one and done
  • The end. It is the beginning. It needs to elicit action on an ongoing basis.
  • Just for mapping customers’ experiences; it’s for employees, partners, and any other stakeholders of the organization.
  • Designed to sit on a shelf; it must be shared.

During the chat, some of our CXO colleagues tweeted their thoughts on journey mapping challenges:

@Hyken: Big challenge is to separate yourself from the inside of your co. and “walk in the customer’s shoes.”

@marcbinkley: Overcoming that’s-not-my-job-itis.

@CloudSpark: One challenge is broadly grouping customers when they may expect a more personalized experience at each point.

@clearaction Common hurdle in customer journey map is missing WIIFM for customer in enthusiasm to find WIIFM for co.

@VOCMountaineer: Most common challenge I see is: Where do I start mapping the customer journey? How do I DO this?

@stephaniethum: Being prepared for internal change that a business process re-engineering might bring to your organization.

@BarryBirkett: Some are challenged by seeing the journey as they want to see it rather than as it really is. (TPD: This is excellent. This is a point you’ll need to use to get executive buy-in. The journey must be viewed through the customer lens.)