What’s in a successful journey? Leverage journey modeling to achieve process and experience excellence at scale

With this fourth blog post, we are continuing with our blog series of 10 steps for successful journey to process analytics. After you have acknowledged your experience gap, gone through the first organizational alignments, and set your objectives, the next step will be to start considering your journey models! 

For some industries, customer experience is of the utmost importance. Think about retail banking, where customer experience is the new standard. Customers see banks as a means to an end and the details of the offered products and services play a secondary role.  

Organizations need to understand how customers, employees, and partners interact with their businesses. Only then can they identify when things go wrong and determine what could be done from a business perspective to tackle any underlying issues. 

What is journey modeling? 

A journey is a path a user may take to reach their goal, for example, when purchasing a new product or service or using a particular system. 

The practice of visualizing the customer experience, enriching it with customer and operational insights, and linking internal business processes, IT-Systems, and organizational units to each step is called journey modeling.  

Why do we need to model customer journeys?  

Many organizations have customer experience as a top priority area to focus on. Usually, their customer experience teams focus on journey mapping and analytics. However, those insights from an outside-in perspective often get lost as they are not operationalized or translated into actionable improvements in the organization.  

On the other hand, business teams such as centers of excellence, process experts, and a transformation office purely focus on modeling, analyzing, and managing business processes from an inside-out perspective, side-lining experienced-based perspectives, or ignoring them entirely.  

Not connecting the outside-in and inside-out perspective leads to silos and hence to a lack of investment on and prioritization of business processes improvements that could potentially address customer challenges. Journey modeling is a way to break those silos and align both customer experience and business teams to present a compelling business case to their senior management for journey to process analytics improvement initiatives.   

Is it all about the customer? 

Your employees, the suppliers you purchase goods from, or your business partners also interact with you as a company. To ensure they all experience excellent satisfaction levels when interacting with your business, you may also think about modeling and analyzing their journeys. Journeys may look very different depending on the industry, use case, and personas in focus.  

For instance, an e-commerce journey model comprises a user journey from gathering information about a product or service to ordering it online and using it. It focuses on the multiple channels and backstage processes. The channels of communication, and the information or services provided may have an impact on customers´ satisfaction scores. You could also consider external stakeholders such as the payment or the delivery partner. 

We also find different examples for healthcare. Let´s think about the patient´s experience at a hospital, which would be result of the positive and negative feelings along their journey. In this case, the treatment itself is generally limited in time, and most experiences occur before and after the actual treatment. 

An employee journey, for instance, can be used to assess the appraisal process of employees. 

Another example would be SAP S/4HANA transformation, where journey modeling can help you model your transformation journey step by step, link relevant business processes, IT systems, and organizational units to those steps, and measure the employees’ experience and sentiment in each stage of that journey. 

Who is involved in journey modeling activities?

Similar to business processes where you have a process owner, organizations often name a journey owner who coordinates the journey modeling activities across customer experience and business teams. In addition, journey owners analyze and manage those journeys next to their business processes, IT systems, and business repositories. 

Once the maturity of those journey models advances, they usually get shared with the whole organization to leverage the wisdom of the crowds and get feedback for continuous improvements and innovation.  

What is important to start? 

Start by setting your targets. Think about who your buyer personas are and identify their motivations and pain points, mapping out their journey and considering all touchpoints. Find your Moments of Truth and continuously adapt and revise. 

Recipe for success, what should I include in my journey model? 

  1. Personas: You should always approach a journey model from your customer’s eyes, define your targeted persona and enrich it with segmentation data like region, age, used devices, etc. 
  2. Stages and steps: What stages does the persona go through while interacting with your business? Model each stage the persona goes through, and consider the steps herein. The result is an end-to-end visualization of their journey.  
  3. Touchpoints: Where does the communication between the organization and the customer happen? Those touchpoints are not just relevant to be added to a journey model but also to business processes.  
  4. Pain points and customer sentiment: How does the customer feel at each step? Those pain points and sentiments can be entered both in human-driven and data-driven approaches for maximum transparency and value.  
  5. Business processes: Which processes impact each step of a journey model? Not just the graphical and data model link is necessary, but also insights from those processes correlated to customer experience, for example, insights around the operational complexity of a process in a given step. 
  6. Operational data: Bring in more context from the business side with the operational performance indicators you are tracking closely and assign them to each journey step: time to resolution, delivery rates, or even turnover rates for employee experience   
  7. IT-Systems: Which IT systems are involved in each journey step? This will give you tangible information on what IT systems need to be addressed while improving business processes. Those IT Systems are linked to journeys and processes.  
  8. Organizational units: Who is responsible for each customer interaction from a business perspective? When deciding on which aspect of a journey you are going to address, knowing the responsible actor will make communication more efficient and will boost the collaboration and alignment between CX and business teams  

In a nutshell: 

  • Customer or employee experience is of the utmost importance for many companies.  
  • Usually, experience teams focus on journey mapping and analytics. However, those insights often get lost as they are not operationalized. 
  • Journey modeling is the practice of visualizing the customer experience, enriching it with customer and operational insights, linking internal business processes, IT-systems, and organizational units to each step  
  • Journeys may look quite different depending on the industry, use case, and personas in focus. 
  • For a successful start you will need to set your targets and consider the personas, their motivations, and pain points. Then, map out their journey while considering all their touchpoints.   
  • Map the business processes and bring in operational data, which will provide you with more context from the business side and allow you to identify operational issues affecting the experience. 

We´ll cover the topic of process modeling in our next blog post.Stay tuned!   

  • Join the Early Adopter Care program (EAC) and become one of our first customers to enjoy the full journey to process analytics capabilities.     
  • Learn more about journey to process analytics by watching the recordings of our recent webinar series.

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