Though by no means a silver bullet on the road to better customer experiences, journey maps remain an important tool to help companies better understand what’s happening today and what customers want tomorrow.
In an outside-in, customer-centric way, they serve to codify and share relevant information across an org in easy-to-understand and compelling ways and help to identify and prioritize specific initiatives that can lead to the design and delivery of the experiences for your customers.
These are all good reasons to invest in customer journey mapping. But best-in-class CX leaders who are far more likely than all others to leverage journey maps have an even more compelling incentive: Those that do journey maps right drive top- and bottom-line value in measurable, significant ways. They enjoy truly eye-popping ROI, including 200% greater employee engagement and 350% more revenue from customer referrals.
Based on Aberdeen Group research published in its “Customer Journey Mapping: Lead The Way To Advocacy” brief, some of the specific year-over-year (YoY) growth that companies with a formal customer journey management program enjoy over those that don’t include:
- 54% greater return on marketing investment: Interested in boosting the effectiveness of your marketing spend—reaching more of the right customers more quickly? Here’s an answer. (The research found 24.9% YoY growth with customer journey management versus 16.2% without.)
- Over 10 times improvement in the cost of customer service: Of the major areas customer experience drives ROI, reduction in costs (in addition to new business from positive word of mouth, greater wallet share, and lower churn) are among the easiest to sell internally. (The research found 21.2% YoY growth with customer journey management versus -2.2% without.)
- 24% more positive social media mentions: This is one way to boost word of mouth and social influence among the most powerful drivers of engagement in the era of smart customers. (The research found 20.7% YoY growth with customer journey management versus 16.7% without.)
- 3.5 times greater revenue from customer referrals: Linking to social media mentions, but even more powerfully to analog conversations, referral customers are some of the least expensive to acquire. (The research found 17.9% YoY growth with customer journey management versus 5.1% without.)
- 18 times faster average sales cycle: What if you could radically accelerate the speed of your sales cycle? Good news: You can! (The research found 16.8% YoY growth with customer journey management versus 0.9% without.)
- 56% more cross- and up-sell revenue: With a direct linkage to greater share of wallet and customer lifetime value, increased top- and bottom line revenue follow closely behind. (The research found 15.3% YoY growth with customer journey management versus 9.8% without.)
Given the value customer journey management can drive, it’s clear that this is a huge opportunity for any company. Yet today, less than 40% of companies have a process to better map their customer journeys.
And of those that do, few enjoy the kinds of benefits I’ve discussed above. While the reasons for lack of traction and measurable results are myriad, we most often see that journey maps become good-looking artifacts that inform, but don’t help drive real change.
In other words, just having them isn’t enough. No matter how good looking or comprehensive your journey maps are, they need to be operationalized in ways that make your customers’ lives better, and your operations more efficient and more profitable. If they don’t drive to action, they might be interesting—but they are ultimately useless.