Customer journey mapping for an operational future state

by Benjamin Treble

A complete enterprise transformation will only succeed if the organisation adapts to changing customer needs and ongoing technological disruption. While the desired future state vision is often clear to transformation leaders, different streams often only understand their own individual components in detail. Also, BAU staff might only have a rudimentary understanding of the transformation vision. Here we explain how customer journey mapping can be used as a diagnostic and communications tool to overcome these issues.

While the idea of customer journey mapping is nothing new, organisations often don’t display the rigour and specificity required to make this technique useful for either diagnostics or communications. The customer journey mapping process can be done in two modes: current state and clean sheet. Current state is used in a diagnostic phase of a transformation to identify customer and employee pain points and bottlenecks. Clean sheet is used to envision what the future state should look like by working back from the customer experience and identifying people, process and technology changes to evolve the organisational design of the business.

Current state customer journey mapping

Through this process, organisations can examine current touchpoints along the customer journey for the highest priority customer segments. Touchpoints that offer a positive or negative customer and employee experience should also be identified. Areas of strength as well as weakness should always be noted to ensure continuity in designing the future state since the customer journey, by its nature, cuts across multiple organisational functions and silos.

Once the customer journey has been mapped, align the current state employee experience to the same customer stages and identify supporting processes and technology. Specifics around internal handoffs should be examined to identify potential bottlenecks, sources of friction and inefficiencies that may be leading to poor experience or value leakage. 

Mapping processes and technology to the journey also draws attention to areas of the business that need to be changed to remove identified pain points and move the organisation towards the desired customer and employee experience. A baseline of lead and lag metrics can help in quantifying the extent of any problems and measuring any improvements.

Clean sheet customer journey mapping

By starting with a clean sheet and drawing a detailed set of customer journeys aligned to the target future state, organisations can get a shared understanding of planned changes at the operational level. Clean sheet customer journey mapping allows senior leaders to think outside of the box – picturing how they want customers to ideally experience the business free from limitations such as internal silos or technology barriers.

Once the ideal customer and employee experience has been designed, map process technology and human interventions into the future state journey steps. This exercise guides – and is informed by – shifts in organisational assets and capabilities required to move from the current to future state. 

Finally, it is important to think back to any known current state pain points and ensure they have been explicitly considered. The following image highlights the complete range of steps that organisations can consider within the customer journey mapping process, which itself can be tailored to a specific industry or client.

STANDARDISED CUSTOMER JOURNEY

Standardised-Customer-Journey.jpg

From present to future 

To drive a fully customer-centric transformation, use insights from both current state and clean sheet customer journey mapping. While clean sheet mapping provides a vision for the business’ future operating model, current state mapping acts as a reality check on where the organisation sits now. The business can then track progress throughout the transformation process.

Businesses should stay focused on areas of highest value from a customer, employee and organisational perspective by using insights gained through customer journey mapping to guide the shift from current to future states.

Achieving executional excellence

Through Blackdot’s extensive transformation work with clients, we have distilled three best practice tips for taking insights from current state and clean sheet customer journey mapping and ensuring they are embedded into the business over the long-term.

1. Be holistic

Ensure all initiatives are aligned and designed around the desired customer experience. Transformation projects should stay focused on the customer and remain end-to-end. Avoid siloing the project out into different pieces of work and make sure the entire project is underpinned by desired future state customer journey.

2. Get into operational detail

Focus the journey mapping exercise on the front-end customer and employee experience and gain real value by translating this into implications for people, process and technology transformation. It is important to thoroughly explore current state pain points and the future state changes that address them. Quantifying the value and impact on customer metrics, such as cost per transaction and response time, can also allow prioritisation and sequencing of changes.

3. Prioritise employee pain points

While identifying customer pain points through customer journey mapping is important, addressing employee pain points through the same technique is equally vital to drive understanding and alignment, get frontline staff to buy into the transformation and allow employees to improve customer experience.

Mapping the path to change

Clarity around the customer journey for each target segment and the alignment of ideal future state processes to the desired customer experience leads to shared understanding and alignment on the transformation’s direction. Focusing on the highest priority customer and employee pain points will quickly produce value and bring frontline staff along during the transformation journey.

Real-life example

Blackdot helped one of Australia’s largest banks identify opportunities to enhance their customer experience. Read the case study to find out how understanding persona and journey mapping helped them target customers effectively.

Find out more:

For more best practice tips on mapping buyer journeys and other ways to become more customer centric, download our whitepaper – Pivoting the Business Around the Customer – or find out how Blackdot helps businesses with persona and journey mapping.