Strategic planning processes provide interesting insights into an organization's core focus. Typically, the process starts by looking at financial performance and transactional outcomes of a team, department, or entire organization. Once past performance is carefully analyzed ("How did we do?") the difficult task of forecasting comes next ("What should we do now?"), followed by target setting and prioritization efforts.
The lens used to understand past performance and/or future goals is often narrowly focused on easily measured activities. Future plans may be based on trends, market changes, maturity targets, etc.
Where does the customer's voice belong in this process?
Enter Customer Journey Mapping. Whether customer-focus is internal, such as with HR, Finance, or back office functions, or external, a Customer Journey Mapping workshop can break teams out of the mode of 'what happened' and 'what's next' and begin asking new questions using a new lens.
How did we impact our customers? How do we improve customer outcomes?
The important element to note in these questions is that 'customer outcomes' do not always translate to how the customer interacted with your group directly. While customer activities may include transactions (purchases, tickets, etc.), the focus of Customer Journey Mapping is a look at how your processes, products, or services provided your customers with value, convenience, or meaningful interactions, regardless of how separated you may be for the actual customer interaction. If you are making plans in HR, how did your talent strategy impact customers? If you are in IT, how did your systems impact customers? If you are in sales, how did your business development, contracting, or follow-up processes impact customers? This process also helps consider opportunities that may not be currently measured.
A Customer Journey Mapping workshop is an incredible compliment to strategic planning as a way to bring the customer voice into the performance review and goal setting process.
It is important to measure the achievement of financial or transactional goals, but could you have done more to create customer value? You may have achieved the revenue or transaction targets, but did the customer achieve their goals? Did they like the interactions or services? Did they walk away with the impression that you are an organization that cares about their perspective, their needs, their wants, their goals? If you are unsure of the answers, Customer Journey Mapping may be a critical missing step.
By breaking down customer interactions along the entire customer journey, a Customer Journey Mapping workshop will allow the participants to analyze customer perceptions and value, which extends far beyond customer transactions. The information often yields a long list of opportunities to improve customer value, which upon further analysis, become drivers to improve business outcomes as well.
By engaging your teams and leaders in Customer Journey Mapping workshops, goals and targets will be defined not only by improved business performance, but also by improving long-term value to every customer. Priorities identified in the workshop can be assessed against financial and change management impact, and provide a clear ranking of priorities that consider customer outcomes and business outcomes together, which HumanXP feels is very highly correlated.
HumanXP has expert Customer Journey Mapping workshop facilitators. Our workshops have helped break down internal, silo'd perspectives and has spawned transformational strategies and and improvement opportunities that would have never hit the radar of a typical strategic planning process.
If you are interested in performing a Customer Journey Workshop for your organization to assist with strategic planning, please connect with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.