9 Customer Journey Mapping Benefits for your Organization
Customer journey mapping comes with benefits on different levels. In this article, you learn how customers and organizations benefit from CJM and where this value comes from.
Customer benefits of journey mapping
Customers benefit from an organization that practices journey mapping in many different ways, for example:
- Improved experience with a product, service, or brand
- Personalization of experiences
- Efficient problem resolution
- Relevant and timely communication
- Enhanced product and service offerings
- Empowered decision-making
- Increased trust and loyalty
- Co-creation of opportunities
- Continuous service/product improvement
Business benefits of journey mapping
Businesses benefit from customer journy mapping in different ways:
- Higher customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Higher revenue and growth
- Better collaboration and increased employee experience
- Reduced cost
- Timely delivery of products and service
Let's look at a few numbers.
There are uncountable research studies out there confirming the positive effects of journey mapping, for example this research that compares companies with a journey mapping program vs those without and finds that the top 3 benefits are:
Improvement in customer service costs of +23%
Improvement in the average sales cycle of +16%
Improvement of employee engagement of +14%
Or here's another study that shows how journey mapping helped increase revenue – this might be the best (and the one that will convince your boss) customer journey mapping benefit so far—boosting the revenue.
According to Forrester’s study, experience-driven businesses grew revenue 1.4 times faster and increased their customer lifetime value 1.6x more than other companies. It proves that providing consistently positive customer experience shortens sales cycles and impacts companies’ revenues.
But how come? What exactly is it that leads to these business benefits?
The value of customer journey mapping
Customer journey mapping is important because it adds value through these key gains:
- Make intangible experiences visible and understand the customer perspective
- Recognize customer pain points, key moments, and experience gaps
- Address low customer satisfaction scores and other KPIs
- Explore solutions to optimize customer experience
- Shift focus from the internal processes perspective to a customer-centered perspective
- Facilitate a common understanding between team members, allowing them to work together efficiently
Gain a broader business perspective
The main benefit of customer journey mapping is that you can zoom out and get an overview, beyond your organization’s perspective. You can then view your organization or product from multiple points of view—whether it be that of customers’, employees’ or external stakeholders’.
Regardless of the perspective, taking a moment to zoom out can help you actually understand the problem you’re trying to solve. Therefore zooming out might enable you to see the situation from a different angle and open up new ways of solving problems.
⇨ Tip: Start with a high-level journey map illustrating the end to end customer experience: the customer lifecycle. This helps you visualize the experience your customer has with your organization from the first time they feel the need for your product or service, to consuming it, to reviewing the experience and maybe coming back.
Henceforth, you can begin to identify problems and opportunities. You can then start zooming in and creating detailed journey maps for each of these.
Understand the Why
Companies usually know when there is an issue or something is going on within the organization by looking at certain quantified metrics or receiving complaints.
As metrics changing for the worse or receiving complaints is only the result of bad experiences, the problem often lies in figuring out why this happens. Especially in such circumstances, journey maps are a beneficial tool because they help identify and understand the pain points within the customers’ journey and therefore disclose reasons for poor figures or reviews.
Customer journey maps tell your organization about the experience a customer has with a service, a physical or digital product, or even a brand. These insights can help you and your team overcome common customer experience challenges and improve your organization.
Identifying problems, issues, pain points and bad experiences is not the only reason why you should create a journey map. Other benefits of journey maps include identifying opportunities and when to intervene. For example, with a current state journey map you can discover and communicate aspects that might be going wrong in a customer’s experience.
Alternatively, you can discover larger market opportunities. For instance, when you map out a customer’s experience, sometimes there are gaps to be discovered. This means that a service isn’t directly adjacent to the next one, so the customer has a negative experience and either needs to invest time themselves or find someone else to do it for them.
If you discover something similar, see it as an opportunity to fill this gap by creating a new product or service. This will also give you a competitive advantage, as you’ll be the first one to offer an “all-in-one solution”.
Create innovative solutions
Customer journey maps are also important because they help you to co-create new solutions.
With a future state journey map you can illustrate new ideas and concepts. Visualization as a sequence of steps helps to communicate concepts.
Moreover, when testing the idea with peers, customers or external people, journey maps can be of major help.
The fact that customer journey maps end at the checkout is often an issue, because organizations feel that at this point the interaction is over. Which is not the case, customers expect (consciously or subconsciously) follow-ups, after-purchase care and more.
Think of a customer's e-commerce journey:
- the check-out is only a step somewhere in the middle of the journey,
- followed by a waiting period, they then receive a pickup ticket in their inbox,
- go to the post office (including waiting there),
- carry the parcel home,
- open it,
- find it in a good or bad condition,
- and finally start using the product.
You can use journey mapping to find out what customers returning to your website need most when they contact support with their questions, requests or feedback. For example, you may find that adding a live chat to your website is what your users are missing.
Break silos within organizations
Another organizational benefit of using customer journey maps is bringing teams together. They unite teams around a problem or a challenge. With the help of mapping out customer journeys, you can refine your corporate communication by aligning different departments or perspectives within a company or even across organizations, to facilitate working together with external stakeholders.
They create a common goal for all departments, so every employee can grasp the overall aim and work towards it.
⇨ Tip: Backing up a journey map with additional data and customer experience research is crucial when making organizational decisions. .
Gain a competitive advantage
Gartner’s survey revealed that most companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. Here, journey mapping offers you a competitive advantage.
Your employees need to discuss your customers' experiences, empathize with their needs and improve the service. In the future, this will be the determining factor of differentiation.
Why do customers prefer your product over all the others?
It’s easy to copy your product or service, but what competitors can’t take away is the experience your customers have when interacting with you as a company.
Benefit from customer advocacy
Customers can become your best influencers if you ensure they have the best experience with your brand. People like to share their stories about your products and services with friends and family and on social media. Satisfied customers are more loyal and recommend your business through word-of-mouth. To make it even more interesting, people trust personal recommendations in 92% of cases, according to a Nielsen survey. This makes it the most successful tool in marketing, a lot more than classic advertising, thus increasing brand awareness remarkably.
So, make sure you use journey mapping to find gaps in the service you provide and systematically close them. Remember that customers trust word-of-mouth much more than ads or content created by businesses. So naturally, you want them to share only the good stuff, right?
Uncover willingness to pay extra
Did you know people nowadays expect good customer service and are willing to pay for it? To be precise, up to 86% of them according to an Oracle report.
Ask yourself: what would make your customers’ day? What touchpoints need improvement? Free shipping? No queues? Opening till late hours? Customer journey mapping gives you a chance to figure out the answers to these questions.
You can also understand your customers better by using customer personas. But don’t fall into the trap of using demographics as a main differentiator! It may be an indicator, but you need to validate your assumption by doing research.
Key take aways
It’s safe to say that journey mapping has a variety of benefits, the importance of which very much depends on the goal of a company.
For for-profit organizations, the most important thing is probably to increase revenue.
But also for NGOs, journey mapping is a valuable tool: overall it can be said that the branding effect through word-of-mouth is not to be neglected.
Ready to get your hands dirty?
Start creating your own journey maps with Smaply! The tool will guide you through the process of journey map creation. Besides that, you can also create personas and stakeholder maps to back up your work. It's free, forever.