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Buyer Journey Management – Overcoming the silo problem

  • 4 min read
break the silos

Silos are one of the largest hurdles for any successful Buyer Journey Management programme to overcome. We explained why in our article “Is Customer Journey Management next?” when we discussed the challenge of demonstrating ROI for Customer Experience and Customer Journey Mapping:

“The reason it is so hard to prove the ROI is because the customer experience/journey spans many functions, from Marketing to Service and Operations, each of which has its own business cases for the value they create. And it is certainly also hard to show ROI if you only produce presentations or simply make tactical improvements.”

Therefore, to succeed, Buyer Journey Management has to sit above all departments so that we can manage the customer journey end-to-end. That’s fairly obvious even though hard to achieve.

Equally obvious is the need for the journey to exist outside of its documentation. Instead, we need to manage the journey live and monitor it for ongoing improvement and optimisation.

The two challenges go hand-in-hand. You cannot make an end-to-end (E2E) journey live without breaking down the silos and there is little point attempting to break down silos if there is no ability to make the E2E journey go live. In fact, you could go one step further and state that without live E2E journeys, the silos will never truly be broken down.

In the last few years, there have been significant strides made toward tracking and monitoring customer journeys. (See: The Forrester Wave™: Journey Visioning Platforms.) These platforms are great at monitoring “micro-journeys” and then being able to make the tactical changes that we describe above. However, to rise above the micro journeys and the business silos, we have to design customer journey maps for the whole E2E journey.

Achieving this means designing a map that will help the customer through every step of their true buying journey, not just making it the quickest, smoothest process for the business for one part of the journey – i.e. the part where they are making the actual purchase.

Only by strategically planning and designing the ideal E2E journey can you discover what is missing. Whereas if you just focus on what is already there, you are simply papering over the cracks. (See also: Mapping the buying journey.)

The mapping process should then engage the other areas of the business for the steps that they are concerned with. Marketing, for example, would then take over in creating the briefs and the content that are required for their part of the journey and so on within each function. This way, each area creates content that works for the whole E2E journey and they all work from the same map. For the customer, this provides not only a better experience where there are no disconnects, but it also increases the likelihood of them completing the E2E journey – i.e. more sales.

However, you won’t get to this state of collaboration all in one go and so what also needs to be considered is the rollout approach. A staged approach to rolling customer journey management out will ensure that each function is brought onboard and aligned as the mapping management process extends across the organisation:

  1. Pilot – identify goal, map journey, build, publish, measure. Outcome – Funding support for next step.
  2. Extend – Extend map scope, build, publish, measure. Outcomes – Tangible ROI, increase key metrics.
  3. Rollout – Priority goals, new maps, operationalise, analyse, refine. Outcome – learning from continuous optimisation.
  4. BAU – Deploy journeys across the organisation. Embed Cx as BAU. Outcomes – Continuous revenue improvements/ROI, Proactive planned Cx.

Only by doing this will we put all the building blocks in place that will allow the E2E customer journey to go live and not end up ‘on the shelf’.