What is a Customer Experience Strategy?
Before jumping straight into the answer about where a Journey mapping exercise should lie in the overall strategy – let’s look at what we mean when we say “Customer Experience Strategy”.
If we all agree that customer experience (CX) is the sum of every interaction a customer has with a business, the customer experience strategy defines the actionable plan to deliver a meaningful experience across those interactions.
In more detail – CX Strategy is your project, your objectives in terms of what, when and how you will deliver successful Customer Experience. And by the formulation of “strategy” it is easy to guess that there is more than one step, and that a couple of elements will depend on each other to deploy the strategy.
If I were to find a simple, straightforward word for what CX strategy means to a company I would say “Backbone”, or even “DNA”. As we know, DNA includes so many components, but we can sum it up to: it is our own unique set of genes that make up who we are, and differentiates us from others – but we’re not here for a biology lesson, are we?.
Well, a CX Strategy is pretty much the same concept for a company. It is your company’s identity, vision and promise to your customers. You must define who you are, what your objectives are to exist, to be successful and more importantly to remain agile. Your CX strategy is unique to your company and will be your key differentiator from your competitors.
It takes a whole team to create and define a CX strategy, and it takes a whole company to adopt it; a CX strategy is not be owned by someone specific, but by the entire organization.
What are the different steps in building a CX Strategy?
You need to establish first what is the mindset of your company in terms of Customer-Centricity. What are your employees thinking? Colleagues? Do you all align? You need to ask yourselves the right questions. You are in luck; you can take a CX Assessment quiz here that will help you assess the level of CX maturity across the organization and provide a constructive guideline to kickstart the project.
What’s next? You need to identify what are your objectives for your CX strategy. What are you trying to measure? What will be the outcome of this strategy? You need to lay it all out to ensure that it aligns with your brand promise and company goals. See here a full article on the importance of aligning company goals with brand promise.
And now you need to look at what is currently happening in terms of the customer experience that is being delivered by your brand. At this stage it is still an internal “audit” of what is your understanding of the situation, we call it the inside out exercise: this is where journey mapping comes in.
What role does Customer Journey Mapping have?
Well, if you’ve come so far in the article, this means that you have understood what is required in order to own a CX strategy and that the goal ultimately is to improve the customer experience.
You have also perhaps understood that the Journey Mapping exercise is in fact not at the beginning of the process, and isn’t at the end either. It sits, right here, at the center of the CX strategy, because this is where all the insights will be generated from and hopefully drive (if done with the right tools) actionable insights in order to implement new measures that will ultimately increase the quality of the experience delivered to your customers.
Journey mapping has the power of helping you put yourselves in the shoes your customers to feed your strategy. But imagine if your CX strategy were to end here…
In other words, it would end once you have finally discovered (in your point of view) what should be improved, what are the pain points of your customers across the journey and what seems to be working well.
Sounds like putting a lot of insights to waste – ending the strategy here without using all this vital information to turn those insights into actions that will successfully turn your brand into one that your customers will love. What a shame…
This is where the “innovation”, the “magic”, happens. If you decide to build a CX strategy that provides you with a global vision of where you should be headed, together with a journey mapping exercise that is giving you insights on what you should be focusing on – you are suddenly moving from a theoretical approach into an active one that will drive successful CX.
Isn’t this what we are all trying to achieve?
This might sound very “dream-like” but it is totally possible, and it has been done countless times by key players across many industries. To name a few: Amazon, Nike, Apple etc.…
Yes, but – all of this can only happen if you have the right tools set in place in order to allow information to vehiculate across the organization, to reach the right stakeholders, and convert insights into actions.
If the strategy is not supported by a technology that will allow a breakdown of silos, and centralization of the data, this will create communication problems and lack of ability to detect anomalies and ultimately you will not be able to act upon them. And right there, you have missed an opportunity to avoid a bad experience. Because all in all, what we are trying to show here – is the importance of staying aware at all times of the multiple interactions customers are having with a brand through the different channels to ensure we pick up on valuable information. Hearing our customers is not enough, we need to listen.
Discover Cemantica –
Your first Customer Journey Management Platform that provides you with a full 360 degree CX Program that will enable you to centralize all your data from:
- your CX strategy
- to your journey mapping
- to an Action Planner
- and to VOC feedback collection to verify that your actions are impactful
– all in order to be a brand we not only need but that we love.