Customer journey mappings have gained a lot of traction amongst B2B SaaS organizations. A part of the reason is how they can drive customer experience improvements.
But you need to spend quality time and resources in the journey mapping process. So, if your project fails, it can prove to be a costly mistake.
Unfortunately, customer journey maps fall short of expectations a lot of time. However, if you think there is a problem with the journey mapping concept, you are wrong.
Rather, it is due to several common problems that can beset the journey mapping process.
Let’s look at some of the most common customer journey mapping mistakes and how you can avoid them in this write-up.
Customer journey mapping mistakes to avoid at all costs
1. Lack of customer definition who have undergone the journey nor acknowledging their needs and desires
When you don’t define your customer who has undergone the journey or when you don’t recognize their needs and desires, it becomes almost impossible for you to define actionable insights to improve service experiences for your customers. It is important to define your customer in order to plan the customer journey properly.
When you fail to do so, you can create a process or system app but not a good service experience from the customer’s perspective. Customer journey mapping is a process that needs the customers to be placed at the center of the entire process. This basically means that customers are the starting point for any customer journey mapping process.
If a business fails to define its customer, it misses the starting point of its entire process. Businesses need to understand what matters to their customers so that they can take a tailored approach to yield high rewards.
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2. Mapping the customer journey from the perspective of the company instead of the customer
Another big customer journey mapping mistake is mapping the customer journey from the company’s perspective, instead of the customers. When you map the journey from the company’s perspective you fail to acknowledge the needs and desires of your customers. Without recognizing your customers’ needs and desires, you cannot improve your service experience for the customers.
When you map the customer journey from the company’s perspective you can include only the formal process without the essence of the experience and feelings of the customer. This may drastically affect customer experience.
The biggest problem with this type of map is that business misses on the opportunities of leveraging the benefits of customers’ trust because the map isn’t based on actual customer activities but formal interactions. And, it must be noted that customer experiences are not always built on formal interaction.
A good thing about this mistake is that it is very easy to spot and rectify. So, make sure not to commit the mistake of creating the customer journey map from the company’s perspective.
3. You perceive your customer journey commences with your company’s in-house processes
This may be seen as an extension of the mistake mentioned above. Many businesses commit the mistake of perceiving that the customer journey starts with the company and its in-house processes rather than the customers.
In the real-life scenario, customers’ journey begins even before they actually interact with the business directly. To improve your customer experience, you need to map the journey from the point where the customer’s journey begins, not from where your in-house process begins.
By doing so, businesses can find and take advantage of many opportunities of improving customer experience even before the customer interacts with the products or services of the business. By avoiding this mistake, you can improve and enhance the overall customer experience.
4. Your map is constrained to a single communications channel
Limiting your business to a single communication channel is a simplistic approach many businesses adopt. You might hate the fact, but real-life is complicated. So, if you want to impact your customers in the real-life, you need to accept the complexity of life and adapt your mapping process accordingly.
In today’s time, customers can choose from a wide range of communication channels including both online and offline mediums. When you include all communication channels in your map, it will become a complex one, while a map based on a single communication channel looks like a simple flow diagram.
But, you cannot lose on the usability of the customer journey map for the sake of simplicity. Do not commit the mistake of limiting your customer journey map on a single communication channel.
5. Never talking to the customers
Another big mistake in customer journey mapping is ‘not talking to the customer,’ which you need to avoid at all costs! While the initial map is based on the already available knowledge, it must be verified by collecting data from customers. When you do not talk to your customers to get their feedback, you can never know whether your assumption on which you based your map was right or wrong.
If your assumptions are wrong, you might end up losing precious time, resources, and energy by making bad decisions for your business. Instead of sitting in the office and debating with teammates on their perspectives, you should talk to your customers and collect reliable data through interviews and their feedbacks.
This will always help you in making the right decision for your business. At the same time, it is also very important for you to understand that customer interaction isn’t just a one-time thing and needs to happen in a loop.
6. Believing that the customer journey is linear and non-recursive
If you believe the customer journey to be linear and non-recursive, you are committing a big mistake. Everything about customers, right from their preferences to their ways of making the decision has changed over the last decade; and this change has become more evident in the post-COVID era.
Most of the older methods of understanding how customer buy is no more applicable for today’s customers. One of the biggest changes we see today is how they shop; today, customers don’t make a list and wait for the weekend to go shopping. They need something, then they go online and place an order and get it delivered within a few hours.
Today, customers take an instant decision, and as a result, a lot of steps involved in the process of decision making when buying the product have disappeared altogether. Customers are now making decisions in micro-moments.
If you base your product map on the traditional linear method, you’ll miss fully understanding your customers’ journey as well as their preferences. As a result, you might end up losing old customers and fail to make new ones.
7. Lack of content strategy
One common customer journey mapping mistake is the absence or lack of content strategy. In today’s time, content is an extremely powerful tool when used wisely. Many businesses commit the mistake of creating content without a proper content strategy.
Without a strategy, creating and distributing content directly means losing time, resources, and energy. Not only this, but you’ll also lose on your potential profit. Having a well-defined content strategy allows you to be helpful, supportive, and resourceful to the customers throughout their entire journey.
While creating content, you must know what you need your customer to do, and the content should always have a laser focus on the call-to-action (CTA). For instance, when planning to write a blog, you or your content team should plan what the purpose of the blog is and if it adds value to you and your customers, does it address their concern.
At the same time, you should also make sure that the blog makes the reader take action favorable to your business. To ensure that your content creates a return on investment, you need to have a content strategy that focuses on the end result you want to achieve.
8. Communicating on the wrong channels
Another common mistake committed by businesses is trying to communicate with their customers through the wrong channels. Many businesses commit the mistake of using the communication channels where they want their customers to be rather than using the channel where their customers already are.
As a business executive, you need to understand that you cannot expect your customers to come searching for you; it’s you who needs to reach your customers and communicate with them on the channel they would be more comfortable on.
For instance, it is a wiser decision for a makeup brand to communicate on Instagram rather than on LinkedIn. Similarly, it would be advisable for a B2B tech brand to reach out to customers on LinkedIn or Medium rather than on Instagram or Pinterest.
Performing quick market research can help you locate the channel where your customers are already spending their time, and you can use this channel to deliver your message. Check your customer journey map now to ensure that you are not communicating on the wrong channel.36
If you plan to create a customer journey mapping exercise, avoid these traps at all costs. By doing so, you can succeed in driving customer-focused change.
Shivani is a talented CS manager with the skillsets to elicit, scope and manage end-to-end B2B SaaS project delivery. She has a keen interest in depicting her learnings in customer success by writing resourceful blogs and articles.
Published December 30, 2021, Updated August 04, 2022