Nearly every business is keen to drive a positive customer experience. Businesses are constantly striving to improve the customer experience through investments in customer service, support, conferences, events, and countless other initiatives. Oftentimes, however, the business’s investments are wasted because marketing and customer-facing teams are not sure what the ideal customer journey looks like and are therefore misaligned. Misalignment can take many forms, but we often see this take shape by having marketing campaigns that compete with each other, customer service teams that are unsure how to manage certain buyers, and dashboards or metrics that don’t actually measure successful customer engagement.

Success in using software solutions like Canopy Labs requires organizational alignment and a clear idea of which customer experience metrics should be tracked and optimized. This is why Canopy Labs kicks off new business relationships by running a customer journey workshop. We work with organizations to map the current and ideal experience for their “typical” customers.

A journey workshop of this sort brings customer-facing departments together to discuss how they acquire, convert, and retain customers. Together we map the touchpoints affecting your customers, aiming to understand what typical customers will experience as they research, consider, make purchases, and become loyal to your brand.

Here are a few reasons you need a customer journey mapping workshop:

Journey workshops align your entire customer-facing team.

It’s rare that all customer-facing teams centralize the information around how customers actually interact with the business, and it’s easy to forget what other departments are doing. Most people leave such workshops with a pleasant sense of surprise around how much they learned about activities going on in other areas.

Debating major milestone events is critical for developing good metrics and marketing initiatives.

Does an e-mail subscription count as a major customer experience event? What about a first purchase? How about a fourth purchase? Without understanding which events are important, organizations aren’t able to optimize campaigns and drive the right actions. Having the opportunity to debate which customer-facing events are important and critical for a long-term relationship helps prioritize what journey components a marketing team should work on improving. We recommend having no more than five such milestone events.

Complex buying decisions require an understanding of how a purchase is nurtured over time.

Complex buying decisions occur when transaction amounts are high (e.g., luxury clothing), when experiences require multiple people to opt-in (e.g., a family vacation), or when the actual product is complex and requires expertise (e.g. a mortgage). In such situations, a business will require multiple touchpoints to convert a customer. While most businesses are using multiple channels to target customers, few organizations have a true understanding of how each interaction contributes to the target result.

You can’t optimize what you don’t map.

Customer journey maps not only tell you what’s going on but also serve as a foundation for what needs to change. Maps enable you to identify gaps or help generate campaign ideas and marketing tactics in a broader customer context. Without such a global document, you risk optimizing areas that are already working or driving the wrong outcomes.

Drive employee engagement.

Teams can feel like their initiatives are under-valued, misunderstood, or compromised by other activities going on in the organization. Canopy Labs workshops help to highlight what each team is doing, why it is critical for the customer experience, and any initiatives that are in conflict. When the entire team understands the value that the others provide, team members feel more engaged and motivated.

Start mapping your process to drive better customer experiences. Whether you have a simple business model or product or a complex buying cycle that takes years, you’ll benefit from understanding how and when you are interacting with your customers.

Find out how to schedule a customer journey mapping session with a Canopy Labs expert.