Journey mapping pitfalls can lead retailers astray
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a series of recent articles from Lenati’s blog.
While journey maps provide a view of customer experience that may not come naturally from within the walls of a corporation, companies can be led astray if the mapping exercise is not conducted effectively. Three of the most common pitfalls of customer journey mapping include:
Selecting the wrong journey mapping framework
A foundational component of customer journey mapping is the map itself — the framework developed to capture the outputs of the mapping process. The framework defines the scope and orientation of the mapping exercise, and can encourage or limit certain types of insights from being explored. But not all frameworks are created equal.
For example, is it important to uncover and document competitor offerings and resulting influences on your own customers’ journey? How important is it to have deep channel experiences identified (online, in-store, etc.)? Is your customers’ lifecycle with your brand linear (subscription businesses) or is it more circular (retail)? These are key considerations when defining the boundaries of your journey mapping exercise and can either help you chart an effective course or lead you astray.
Applying an organizational view vs. a customer perspective
Companies often fall into the trap of approaching the customer journey from the perspective of institutional touch points (retail store experiences, websites, customer service calls, etc.) rather than looking at customers’ holistic experiences with the brand from the customer lens. This is a common and easy trap, as departmental teams are internally organized around corporate functions that own a piece (but not the whole) of the customer experience. This is a problem because people tend to orient toward what they know deeply, producing an "inside-out" bias that fails to achieve the goal of a customer-centric view of the journey.
A customer journey begins long before customers actually interact directly with a company, and their journey involves decisions and emotions that go beyond an experience or touch point with a company.
Assuming a common journey
Marketers tend to assume the customer journey is not diverse and that customers follow a common path. Often, this error follows from a marketing department’s assumption that they know their customers very well and that they have no "blind spots" regarding the customer journey. Other times, the error stems from a simple lack of appreciation for the nuances of the journey’s twists and turns.
Regardless of the root cause, assuming that there is a common journey can be the downfall of a journey mapping effort as it fails to generate an accurate depiction of the customer experience. Each customer moves through the journey in their own way and the challenge for marketers is to determine the minimum viable number of journeys that are required to sufficiently represent the varied journeys that take place.
What are some common faults made when mapping the decision-making and purchase journeys of consumers? Would you add any pitfalls or advice to that mentioned to the article?