To get the customer experience right at your business you need buy-in from every part of the enterprise. If you have spent the past few years or months considering digital transformation or other enterprise-wide initiatives, you know that this process is not always easy. Regardless of any difficulty, over two-thirds of brands say they compete “primarily” on CX. This is a competitive battleground, but it is one that you can influence. The most impactful way for brands to improve customer experience is to proactively manage their customer journey. That’s why you need a customer journey team at your business.
What does it mean to build a customer journey team? Many brands are already using journey mapping and journey analytics, but often You need to find a customer journey leader, cross-functional journey teams, and the ability to execute journey management and strategy from the C-suite to the frontline.
What Does It Take To Be A Journey Leader?
If you are reading this blog, you may have been tasked with building a better customer experience at your business. While technology can help – and we’re happy to sell you some software to do just that – organizational change and buy-in are even more important. We usually see leaders of Marketing, CX, and IT beginning journey projects. Which of these is the best place to start journey management? While there are benefits to starting in these departments, the most successful journey projects aren’t confined to a single department.
A great leader for a customer journey team requires two things. The first is the ability to see things from the customer’s perspective. The second is being able to identify internal gaps that cause the customer experience to be suboptimal. While these two skills are crucial, a strong grasp of data, business strategy, and modern technology will also be beneficial to the customer journey leader.
The Biggest Challenge for a Journey Leader
With the right skills, someone from any department can be the customer journey leader, but it isn’t enough to have a point person. The reason for this is that the customer journey is currently managed in a decentralized way. The head of marketing directs marketing activities. Meanwhile, the head of the customer service may have initiatives within their department. Even different business units may be designing experiences for the same customers with only minor consultations between them.
A customer journey leader must be able to influence every part of the business to create a cohesive experience for customers. This does not mean micro-managing the individual campaigns and activities for each department. Instead, the leader must ensure data is available across the business and that the experience is consistent from department to department.
If a customer is speaking with customer service, marketing needs to know that in real-time. Alternatively, finance may need to check their account information. Fulfillment may need to identify the location of a shipment. Every department must be able to smoothly share this information. Not only that, they must be able to use information from every other part of the organization. This brings us to why a customer journey leader is not enough. You need a customer journey team.
The Customer Journey Team: Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts
Each department in your business has built systems to accomplish its specific objectives. Marketing has sophisticated tracking on the website. Your IT department may be monitoring an app and account security information. Customer service has likely invested in routing tools and training to make the call center more impactful. All of these investments are necessary to deliver great customer experiences, but they aren’t enough on their own.
Joanna De Quintanilha of Forrester said in a recent Kitewheel webinar that “smart firms need to bend so that they do not break” and “become emotionally attuned to what customers need by connecting across the business.” This connection across the business is the key added value of a customer journey team. Once you’ve selected a customer journey leader, the team should be built up from members of many departments around the business. This allows your organization to quickly deploy changes to the customer journey and make the journey cohesive across your brand.
Do I Need to Hire a Journey Manager?
A journey manager is someone who owns a specific sub-journey within your business. This might be the acquisition journey or a payment resolution journey. The journey manager has ownership of every experience that goes into that part of the customer experience. This means they understand the journey map of possible interactions and are responsible for strategic changes to improve the customer experience.
While you can hire new members of your customer journey team to act as these journey managers, this isn’t always required. Often existing directors of digital marketing, or call center experience, or other departments already have ownership of these experiences. Give them the mandate to make the experience cohesive with the rest of the business.
Who Should be On the Customer Journey Team?
The journey team at every business will look different. What they all have in common is a wide reach and a proper mandate. Ideally someone senior, ideally a member of the C-suite of your business is given the duty of improving the customer journey. With an organization-wide strategic decision to invest in customer journeys and better customer experience, brands can flex their existing tech stacks, connect their systems, and make being a customer feel effortless.
Where To Go From Here
Does your business have a customer journey team in place? Do you know who your customer journey leader is? However you answer, you’re in the right place. Once you have a customer journey leader, you need to develop a strategy that turns your journey mapping, journey strategy, and journey analytics efforts into action. That’s where customer journey orchestration comes in. Check out our guide to the Fundamentals of Journey Management to learn how to open the floodgates of journey success. If you’re still figuring out where to begin, the Customer Journey Maturity Model provides a powerful framework for getting started.