• The vast majority of B2B organizations fail to asses, analyze and improve the post-sale customer experience
  • Building customer experience maps can help organizations invest in customer experience across the customer lifecycle
  • Consider these three steps to get started on customer journey mapping

If the experience your customer has with you is a key point of competitive differentiation, wouldn’t you think it is essential to assess how you are delivering on that customer experience today?

And wouldn’t it make sense to identify and assess all of the interactions customers are having with you across the customer lifecycle to determine what they find rewarding and diagnose what they deem frustrating?

And wouldn’t you want to use these powerful insights to fuel your future customer experience, marketing and sales strategies and product roadmaps to improve your competitive differentiation even farther?

Of course, the answers to these rhetorical questions are Yes, Yes and More YES! But my next question is not at all rhetorical: Then why do the vast majority of B2B organizations fail to properly assess, analyze and ultimately improve the post-sale customer experience?

The main reason many B2B organizations don’t have customer experience maps is simply because they have been focusing on winning customers and not on delivering! While I don’t like to think of technology as a cure-all, perhaps another reason is that, until recently, there haven’t been many tools available to help build and maintain customer experience maps.

Whatever the reason for the slow adoption of customer journey mapping, it’s time to take action before your customers’ poor experience (and ultimate dissatisfaction) causes them to defect and hurt your brand. Here are three things you need to do in order to put a current, actionable customer experience map in place:

1. Identify the team. While many parts of the organization touch the customer in the post-sale experience, there often is little transparency around what’s happening across functions. In B2B organizations that have a customer experience function, an individual from this group is often assigned to lead this type of project. This individual needs to be inquisitive, a great communicator, adept at getting support from other parts of the organization and a zealot for improving the customer experience. In organizations without a customer experience function, the lead might come from customer marketing, strategy and insights, or a customer success function. Best practice is to have an internal executive champion and a steering committee help shape the project, build cross-functional alignment and communicate internally (as well as to customers) the importance of this endeavor.

2. Determine the scope. Will your customer experience map be for specific customer role profiles (i.e. customer personas) or an amalgamation of different roles? Will it be for a specific segment or region? Will it map all channels or only a select few? Will it include all types of touches? Will it cross the entire post-sale lifecycle or be specific to a subset (e.g. onboarding)? Will it map the current state of the customer experience, or will it seek to build an ideal future-state experience?

3. Earmark future resources. The organization must be willing to change aspects of its delivery based on findings from the mapping initiative. This includes having program budget and potential SWAT teams in place to act on identified opportunities to improve the customer experience. Since most mapping initiatives identify more opportunities than can reasonably be implemented (or where the business case doesn’t justify investment), conduct a prioritization exercise internally, as well as with customers, to assess where the biggest yield will come. To make this an ongoing point of differentiation, consider standing up a center of excellence to continue mapping other areas not included in the initial scope.

Note: Over the past few months I’ve worked with SiriusDecisions’ Technology Practice to identify and research solution providers for a SiriusDecisions SiriusView on customer experience mapping that we recently published. From this study, one thing has become clear – this is a nascent, emerging solution category with only a handful of purpose-built solutions, each of which brings a different focus and set of capabilities.