The Customer Journey Checklist

Customer journeys are a complex subject. They’ve also changed dramatically in the past few years as the market for journey management has evolved. While many businesses have matured in their customer journey orchestration efforts over time, many businesses are still struggling to decide where to begin. This customer journey checklist is for marketing and CX leaders who want to do more with customer journeys but aren’t sure where to start.

If you’ve already started the customer journey process at your business, check out our research in the State of the Customer Journey for 2021, for more concrete data. Either way, here are five easy first steps to help you get past the initial hurdle.

The Rising Role of CX in Business

According to CMSWire, CX investments grew by approximately 34 percent in 2021. This enormous change represents how crucial CX has become a part of the overall customer journey. Especially in the ever-more digital world, where 73 percent of consumers are using new communication channels, getting the customer experience right can’t wait. This shouldn’t be surprising to customer experience experts, who have already noted tremendous value from CX efforts.

Driving real loyalty is more than just customer service, marketing, sales or even loyalty programs. The experience across the whole brand impacts the loyalty process, solving challenges like disconnected customer service, poor web action completion, or failure to find an item. Each of these challenges degrades the quality of your businesses’ customer journey and creates gaps in the experience. To fill these holes, companies need the full-lifecycle customer journey view so they can connect a great experience across time, space and message. These five steps will help you get customer journeys properly started at your businesses.

5 Key Steps To Getting Your Customer Journey Started

Business Leadership for Journeys

There is a critical need for leadership when it comes to customer journeys. For a customer journey approach to work, it needs to cross different teams, channels, and business units. Without a leader who can bring those different pieces together, it’s going to be difficult to motivate the larger departments who need to invest in this vision. This person doesn’t need to be someone in the C-suite, but it can help to have a senior executive as a key driver for this process, as they often have the business-wide connections to implement changes.

Having a leader in place allows for the creation of a stakeholder team. This team must be cross-functional, of many seniority levels, across all departments. The natural thinking about different channels has to shift—you need to be able to support customers wherever they interact. Crossing those channel boundaries will almost certainly be part of building your first use case.

Identify a First Use Case

Once you have a leader in place, you need to identify a first place you want to bring journeys online. If you’re working with an experiences team member from CSG, they’ll help you identify a very specific interaction to orchestrate. Ideally, your first use case helps build momentum instead of seeking to solve every challenge right away. Often a brainstorm session is key in this process, identifying areas where gaps occur in the customer journey.

To determine a good use case, you must consider four priorities: feasibility, viability, desirability and profitability. A first use case should be relatively easy to solve and it should make sense within your business. Feasibility represents how difficult the project will be to accomplish. For a first project, speed to action is essential. Viability is determining if the use case makes sense in the real world. Essentially, can it be accomplished and will it work as expected? Desirability and profitability meanwhile are two sides of the same coin. Desirability asks if the change would be welcomed by the customer. Would it actually improve their experience? And profitability is a question of whether or not the interaction adds business value and therefore helps generate revenue. Once you’ve determined a feasible, viable, desirable and profitable use case, you need to measure the value delivered.

Decide on New Journey Metrics

A use case is why you start the process, but you need KPIs and proper metrics to measure the success of any initiative. If you’re unable to determine whether any customer journey changes had an impact on your business, it’s impossible to build greater momentum for journey projects. Unfortunately, traditional KPIs are often channel-specific. KPIs like website visitors, call center callers and ad views are not able to see the full impact of a customer journey.

Consider true customer journey KPIs that look at the overall success of the journey. These metrics might be where a customer enters and exits their interaction with the business, which actions impact future NPS scores, and how customers flow through journey paths.

Overall, getting this right involves identifying one or two key metrics that take a higher-level view than traditional KPIs. While those remain useful at the channel level, getting journey-level metrics is essential to actually determining the ROI from investments in the journey as a whole, not just on channel specific metrics.

Audit Your Data and Technology

Once you’ve got those first three pieces in place: a team that can champion journeys, a use case, and metrics to measure success, you need to consider what tools you already have in place to build a connected journey.

It starts with data. With more accessible, less structured data intelligence available than ever before, businesses often  worry that their data is not perfect. Fortunately, this stress can often be avoided. On the digital side of businesses data, it is usually cleaner than most people believe. Once you have data accessible from your core channels, you need to consider implementing journey analytics and discovery.

This is where many customers often implement a journey analytics tool to identify patterns of behavior as they interact with the current stack. With this insight, you can determine the right strategy for journey orchestration. With a strategy in place, you can build out an automated customer journey, and with automation in place you can finally deliver the customer experience in real time.

Run a Pilot → Initial Journey Expansion

Customers demand improved experiences today, not two years from now. This means building out the customer journey for which you’ve built your team, identified a use case, determined metrics, and completed an audit. It’s time to bring it to the real world with a pilot project. This shouldn’t be along process, with the cloud-based ecosystems of many technologies today, time to action is often on the order of months or weeks instead of quarters or years. While a pilot won’t cover the entire lifecycle starting small builds confidence, competencies, and CX understanding.

Each item on the checklist prior to this has built towards making a pilot possible. To have a successful pilot you must understand the current state of the journey at their business and have a strategy to fill existing gaps. The pilot must align technology and data and crucially it must actually orchestrate and automate. And finally, you must be able to measure and optimize. By checking which metrics are met, discovering which paths are successful, and being able to tweak and improve, your pilot will set your business on the path for success.

Why Use This Customer Journey Checklist

Customer journeys aren’t easy, but they have become the key way for businesses to compete on customer experience. By following the checklist provided above, you can get started with journeys faster and more successfully.

Are you ready to get started? Reach out to our team today. We can help you identify the right use cases for your business, and walk through what you’ll need to find customer engagement success.