Businesses are on a mission to grow. Different departments constantly work on projects to realize this mission. Marketing may want to generate more leads, sales may want to close more customers, operations may want to work flawlessly, manufacturing may be on a quest to create a zero defect product. Each department has it’s own target, based on what they believe is important, and their teams work towards achieving these goals. The department heads also make sure that the team’s performance is measured on these targets.
While all the stakeholders are working on the initiatives important to them, there is a challenge in this approach. Each department gets so focused on achieving the targets that at times it forgets about one very important person in their business. The customer! While Jeff Bezos’s empty chair story has been talked enough about, I believe his intention of putting the customer’s chair in the board room was to do just that-bring the customer’s point of view in the company. I strongly believe that there is one tool which is instrumental in bringing the customer’s story into the organization – The customer journey map!
86% of senior-level marketers say that it’s absolutely critical or very important to create a cohesive customer journey.(Salesforce)
The customer journey map is a powerful tool to help you understand the customer’s needs, problems and desires. It is a step by step account of how customers think, behave, act and do in conducting business with you. The overall experience you deliver to your customers is a sum total of the experiences you are delivering across the stages.
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The need to enhance the experience at a given stage helps you identify the projects you should pick and prioritize.
Now, I want you to ask four questions across the stages of the customer journey.
- What does your customer desire at this stage of the journey?
- What projects are you running, across departments, to achieve this?
- Which projects are trying to tackle the same set of problems and what can you let go?
- Which new projects do you need to take up to deliver what your customers desire?
You must have a list of initiatives across the stages now. The rule is to apply the Pareto analysis now. So ask this
What are those 20% of activities that will give me 80% of the results? Focus on picking this projects and identifying the stakeholders who would be involved in executing it.
The other approach is to classify the projects into the categories as given in the image below. Map the projects into quadrants as given below. The ones that fall in the Low effort, High impact category are the ones you need to implement first.
Now is the time to get your hands dirty folks. Create a list of action steps to execute the projects you have identified to deliver the experience your customers desire.
Want to learn more on how to work on such projects? Sign up for our Customer-Focused Leadership Courseware!