As a business leader, you might not have guessed that your customer journey was the linchpin to ERP success, but we’re here to tell you that a convoluted customer journey map can have all sorts of unexpected impacts on your ERP implementation

If you don’t address the challenges with customer journey mapping (CJM), your process improvement efforts will veer off track, affecting both your ERP selection and implementation.

Creating a seamless customer experience isn’t easy, so today, we’re looking at some of the most common CJM issues, and how you can avoid them. 

5 Challenges With Customer Journey Mapping

1. Underplaying the Importance of CJM

Customer journey mapping is more than a strategic exercise. It’s more than a workshop. It’s a critical tool that gives you deep visibility into how people are finding your brand, interacting with your content, and ultimately, making a purchase.

If you don’t know how these steps happen and the sequence in which they happen, it’s easy to develop an incomplete customer journey map. You may over-invest in one area and under-invest in another. As a result, your target audience suffers.

Incomplete customer journey maps often fail to outline buyer personas, including buyer needs, wants, and chief motivators. Without these insights, you’ll struggle to improve the customer experience because you don’t know what pain points to solve or what strengths to draw on.

Too often, business leaders assume that if sales numbers are up, customers are happy. Then, they wonder what happened when those numbers take a nosedive.

Considering this, you should ensure that executives and decision-makers understand the importance of a full customer journey map. The insights you glean from CJM inform every part of your business, including the enterprise software you select. Ideally, these insights will guide you toward a CRM system, manufacturing ERP system, or supply chain management system, that captures the right information from the right locations and puts that data right at your fingertips.

(Learn about the top 10 ERP software.)

2. Failing to Establish a Customer-Focused Culture​

One person might find your brand via a website. Another may find and interact with it on social media. Then, there are prospects who you target through email or an SMS text campaign. 

Optimizing these touchpoints should be a collaborative effort as it isn’t just one department doing all the work. It’s the IT team. It’s the marketing employees. It’s the sales crew, the HR group, and the C-suite. 

Unless all these stakeholders are working together to optimize the customer journey, it’s easy for your process improvement efforts to fail. Groups will form into siloes that don’t communicate with one another, work gets duplicated, and there’s no cohesive look or feel to your brand. 

This is why your organizational culture must change as your business needs evolve. If everyone is working for themselves and there’s no cross-department teamwork, you should put plans in place to change your culture and put the customer first.

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3. Only Including Touchpoints

Yes, a CJM will include touchpoints. However, that isn’t all it should include. 

The customer journey might end when a buyer clicks “checkout,” but the path to purchase is more nuanced than you might realize. Most of the time, it will also contain steps that don’t include your business at all.

By limiting your map to only those interactions that involve your brand, you miss opportunities to add value to the journey. Even if you don’t have a presence at a certain part of the experience, you can unlock new areas for growth and expansion when you take a big-picture look at how customers find, work with, and purchase from your business. 

4. Continuing to Use Outdated Software

A key challenge with customer journey mapping is mapping a stellar journey and then failing to consider all the technology needed to support it.

As part of your ERP system implementation, are you planning on replacing all your outdated systems? You may want to consider doing so as many companies’ existing legacy systems can’t support an optimized customer journey.

You need software that can capture the right data points and deliver them to your users. This becomes even more important when you consider that a typical customer journey isn’t linear. In fact, they may take multiple different journeys, including sub-journeys and tangent journeys, before they make a purchase decision.

If your systems aren’t integrated, you might miss some of these key interactions. This means users have limited access to the data they need to cultivate relationships, delight customers, and continue to improve the path to purchase. 

5. Only Focusing on Brand Advocates

Customer interviews can help you learn more about how buyers perceive your brand. You can use this information in your CJM, but make sure it’s well-rounded.

In addition to feedback from loyal, happy customers and brand advocates, you also need insights from non-loyal ones. These might be people who purchased from your brand once but never came back. Or, they haven’t purchased at all because something is holding them back.

By hearing these perspectives, it’s easier to see where there are gaps in your customer journey and the changes you need to make to correct them.

CJM Success Drives Digital Transformation Success

When a customer experiences your brand via a touchpoint, like social media, email, or live chat, you have the opportunity to make a connection.  By investing in CJM as part of your ERP project, you can understand every step a customer takes before purchase and optimize the buyer journey at every touchpoint. 

While there can be challenges with customer journey mapping, such as obtaining buy in or capturing the right level of detail, these challenges don’t have to throw your project off track. Our business process management consultants can help you use CJM to drive ERP and digital transformation success. Contact us below for a free consultation.

About the author

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As Director of Panorama’s Expert Witness Practice, Bill oversees all expert witness engagements. In addition, he concurrently provides oversight on a number of ERP selection and implementation projects for manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, and public sector clients.

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