LONDON: Customer journey maps should be treated like products, led by a manager responsible for the journey’s business performance, according to an industry figure.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, How to map the customer journey, Nick Siantonas, head of data and insight at Brilliant Noise, explains that customer journey maps are just one element of the much larger organisational ecosystem.

“There are multiple customer journeys in the ecosystem,” he advises. “Each one can be measured, tracked and optimised.”

Mapping them gives marketers everything they need “to create a hypothesis bank of improvement projects that runs across customer experience and all the interconnected touchpoints, systems and teams that we need to improve to make the customer experience better”, he states.

And, crucially, “By viewing journey maps in this way - as part of a large ecosystem – we are also able to focus on the journeys of internal customers – employees.

In this way, “Journey maps become a tool for digital transformation and culture change, as well as technological and process change.”

Siantonas highlights three things a business should keep in mind to make the most of customer journey mapping as a tool for business transformation, one of which is the need to embed a “product mindset” – establishing which customer journeys are the most ‘profitable’ and nurturing them accordingly.

“If individuals within the business understand the importance of specific journeys and their role in improving them, this will help create a better customer experience and better cross-team collaboration,” he adds.

Secondly, he recommends journeys are measured using dashboards, in near real-time, in order to enable marketers to test and optimise hypotheses and improvements. “By testing and measuring effectively, programme managers can show the ROI and effectiveness of specific projects,” he says.

Beyond these gains, however, customer journey mapping can be a catalyst for much more, he argues, driving growth, better communications, culture change and smarter investment.

It is, he says, “not just a one-off exercise, but informs a long-term, sustainable improvement programme. Customer journey maps inform the tools and systems needed to manage change.”

Data sourced from WARC