Why Looking at Internal Processes Alone is No Longer Enough
Today’s businesses must become customer obsessed if they are to compete. Technology has put the end user back in control, and if their demands are not met, they will go elsewhere. Listening to them, and enhancing and tailoring their experience accordingly, has become a vital prerequisite for a successful enterprise.
These changing expectations mean that organizations must have an outward focus as well as an inward; understanding how, when and where the business interacts with the real world. Historically, this is something traditional enterprise architecture frameworks have struggled with; TOGAF, for instance, does not have any customer journey mapping functionality.
A customer journey map is a diagram that shows each step, or touchpoint, that a customer goes through when engaging with an organization.
Already a common tool in the product development arena, it plots out the level of happiness expressed by consumers at different stages, listing goals, concerns and issues the customer faces at each step. Each interaction is registered, and used to quantify the extent to which expectations and demands are met.
The customer journey map will also outline the experience from the customer’s perspective, evaluating information about the type of user, their end goals and the interactions/processes they go through to get there.
If we look at the customer experience holistically, the interactions of one journey will usually involve a sequence of multiple steps. In other words, it is a process. Obviously, different customers undergo different interactions, and a customer journey map, therefore, is a series of processes. The challenge is then finding a way to harness it.
As is often the situation for process modelers, the best approach is to begin by outlining our goals and understanding the question we are trying to answer. This includes identifying the applications and data sources that support each step of the journey map. Both ArchiMate and TOGAF have support ready for performing this kind of activity, and its possible to map business and IT transition plans to steps into the customer journey. This enables a clear channel of communication to product management, and enables the customer journey to be factored into any roadmap.
EA departments are often accused of getting too focused on IT and often it’s a fair criticism. But one way to try and break that habit is to look for what other, similar visual models exist in other areas of the business and consider how they can link in with the more traditional architectural models. The customer journey map should be used to identify areas of concern and address how the user is expected to behave. It can, therefore, identify target markets, potential opportunities and form the basis of a business case for process improvement initiatives.
If you want to kickstart your customer journey mapping, check out the Orbus Software Customer Journey Map Starter Pack and ensure your business model has customers at its heart.