Your customer journeys will tie your business together
Today most companies have transitioned from waterfall to agile embracing digital workflows across their entire organisation — but still, there's a persistent artefact lurking in most company cultures: Departments don’t like to talk to each other unless they really have to. But with the entrance of horizontal customer journeys, people are getting forced out of their siloed comfort zones.
Today business leaders and managers are still busy fighting turf wars while setting up their strategic plans. Focus is around their own departments and their objectives. Definition of success is more often measured in internal business KPI’s and team OKR’s rather than the overall customer value their activities and efforts (can) deliver.
On the individual level, people mean well, yet, whenever the group dynamics kick in, adhering to the status quo is the safest bet as a default, people avoid taking risks because it’s safe compared to doing the opposite. Think about it, have you ever met someone who was punished for avoiding failure? Now compare the same with those few who have pushed the status quo and failed. Being careful and focusing on what you know is safe.
In these ‘better safe than sorry’ cultures, one stakeholder is often forgotten and whose suffering is often overlooked: the customer. The most important audience that normally doesn’t want to settle for the average status quo. People who are open to paying extra for good value when it’s offered to them.
So why is ‘us-centric’ still so dominant in larger companies? Logic says that in a world where competitive opportunities diminish by the sprint, customer-centric focus should be the obvious way forward. Sure, many companies say they are customer-centric, but it’s ‘us-centric’ workflow that gets the thumbs-up when it comes to the day-to-day doing.
We believe this is because they lack the ‘how.’
In most organisations, there are no scalable systems in place to actually work truly customer-centric. Low management spans, KPIs based on financial goals, budgets predefined for internal improvements and the most dangerous of them all; success is defined and rewarded by internal (quarterly) goals.
But there’s a way to break free from us-first to customer-first. With the rise of Journey Management, companies can look at themselves from the customer’s perspective. Within an instant, they can see how their most important stakeholders, the customers, perceive them and why. What works and, more commonly, what doesn’t and why. At TheyDo, we say that a brand is what a brand does, not what it says. So with Journey Management, brands can finally get an overview of how their entire brand actually performs. Brands that can embrace and act on this holistic truth can quickly become outcome-oriented. They place their customer satisfaction at the centre of what they do. Because with Journey Management, you now can measure why things happen across the entire customer experience.
Where to begin?
CX often emphasizes the end of the customer journey, focusing on the purchase or moment of truth. But why should it? With Journey Management, we can identify and measure the entire experience at every step and touch-point. This allows us to understand what happens and why at all steps leading up to the moment of purchase and beyond.
Also, when mapping the entire experience in one place, companies can have everyone agree on the big picture and all the micro experiences that are its building blocks. With Journey Management, journeys are connected both horizontally as well as vertically. When you have the big and detailed picture in one place, it’s all about the questions you’re asking that defines what answers you will harvest.
So once you have your Journey Management, you have the ‘how’ in place. Being centred around the customer, you can begin servicing them where it’s needed most for them and your business.
While Journey Management is still a novel approach to business, there are signs that the method has great advantages. Journey Management empowers businesses to step out from the status quo, play it safe land without taking any risks. Slowly we at TheyDo see a shift happening. Journeys are not seen anymore as static presentations but rather as connected and smart dashboards. With connected journeys, everyone knows what they need to do and why across all processes and touch-points. Making new things based on customer needs replaces assumptions and opinions with facts. Departments begin talking to each other when working horizontally across journeys. They know how to distribute tasks because their customers guide them. Internal silos are organically removed and become part of the past.
When a business can solve this puzzle before their competitors, they get ahead and most likely stay ahead. Because with Journey Management, everyone agrees, including the customer.