You’ve been hearing a lot from us about Customer Journey alignment and tracking. I wanted to take a moment and share what we and some of our customers have learned about how to obtain a clearer understanding of one’s customers, about how to improve your business by looking at it from the outside in, from the viewpoint of your own customers.
The Customer Journey mapping process begins with decision to understand your customer’s experience from their point of view. Having gone through the Customer Journey Mapping process myself, I can tell you that it is a powerful technique, but that it also takes practice to master looking at yourself through your customers’ eyes. It also does require leadership because your findings from the process will typically challenge how you do business and how you think about the functions and departments in your organization. In addition, to be successful, you need to make this a permanent change in how you think about your business.
So how to get started?
At SugarCRM, we did a Customer Journey mapping project to help us understand where our customer interactions could be improved. In our formal process we zeroed in on the interaction between Marketing and Sales as place to better streamline our business for customers. We also applied the same principles in other parts of our business through informal, on-going journey mapping. We’ve had great success applying these principles to coordinate our support, account management, services and renewals functions.
Start in an area you understand.
Perhaps you have not done a journey map but you can see that your customers routinely comment on one or two areas where they would like to see you do things differently. That’s a great place to start outlining a new customer outcome or experience you would like to deliver.
Mix teams and create different roles as you refine your customer goals. Multi-disciplinary, multi-departmental functions and virtual teams are a key organizing principle to use in changing your company’s orientation. As your virtual teams interact with customers, make sure their information is shared.
Use analytics to measure customer outcomes. Build automated measures of how your customers are using your products and services. Feed these back to people who can use the information.
In closing, and this is what you would expect from the Chief Customer Officer, but I’ll say it anyway: Your success depends on the success of your customers. Learn their journey, act on what you learn, and become more successful as a business by providing enabling your customers’ success.
Follow the SugarBuzz blog space to make sure you stay up to date with news from SugarCRM!