Key Takeaways from CS Ops Meet-Up about Mapping the Customer Journey

  • 30 August 2021
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  • Gainsight Employee: ACE
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When you’re building digital-led journeys for your customers, it makes one question extremely important: What’s the best way to map your customer’s journey so it’s useful for this purpose?
We got 80 digital-led CS leaders and strategists together in breakout rooms to talk through their successes, stumbling blocks, and ideas. Below, find their takeaways that they found most valuable from those conversations, in their own words.

Rules of thumb when getting started

  • Start small, with one persona for one segment
  • Bite size digital journeys can be a good starting place
  • Customer journeys can be simple. Don’t overthink. Just START something and build on it. It’s not easy to get Product/Engineering, CSM and GTM aligned. Lol!
  • Less is more! It’s a slippery slope to a monstrosity of a map, which no one outside your immediate team can understand. So, context is key to determining what you’re mapping.
  • Takeaway:  "Simple is good."  A map should give a simple frame of reference for where a customer "is at".
  • Best place to start? Onboarding Journey
  • Journeys are hard to keep from being too complex to too simple. Defining both is best for results.

How to find your journey

  • Ask open-ended questions like, “How is the customer feeling at this point?  What are they thinking?”  This will start some dialog around how the journey could be improved.
  • Customer journeys should include where the customer feels they are at as well, this is their journey
  • Keeping the customer at the center is key to creating contextually relevant journeys
  • Utilising Power Users: data on them and ideas for the journey (what works and doesn't work)
  • Identify what a CSM does and what that means to your customers
  • Ensure journey map has dedicated swim lane for customer
  • What are repeatable processes that can be automated

Getting alignment

  • We talked quite a bit about the necessity of buy in from other departments when building a customer journey map
  • You need representatives from ALL different departments that potentially touch the customer - not just CS.
  • High level organizational direction on Customer Success and goals will drive further investigation and details on the stages of the customer journey and, in turn, define which stages, data, and actions are needed to support and promote them

Technical execution

  • How to approach contact management for a digital segment. Takeaway - use data to help automate maintaining the database.
  • Getting the customer journey in Gainsight is key to starting automation
  • For automating the renewal process specifically, tokenization is super important
  • Lessons learned about best practices using Gainsight, use of Skilljar in onboarding.
  • Exchanging ideas on how to manage client contacts and use of PX to drive customer engagement / health

Using the journey

  • Customer Journey being customer facing!
  • Lifecycles should be customer facing and discussed at regular EBRs to work with your customer to help them move through their journey
  • Having a customer experience specialist that can take a sky view of a customers journey, and then use that data to drive their journey
  • Build a current state of a customer’s journey internally to find gaps, and create a repository for all the pre-sales docs that outline a customer’s goals with our product to build a success plan first, which will build out the customer journey

Tracking the journey

  • Measuring KPIs
  • Great discussion around how to measure the success of the journey
  • I'm very excited to dig into dashboard creation and NPS enhancement to align the customer journey with corporate expectations / asks
  • Great discussion on Health Scores, knowledge transfer between stages of the customer journey, risk management, Outcomes Management

We’re all in this together

  • Great conversation, it's really helpful to hear the pains/struggles from other organizations - knowing we're not alone is always helpful!
  • Understanding how other organizations are viewing their customers' journey to drive adoption, retention, and expansion.    
  • Hearing different approaches to get buy-in from CS leaders.
  • The exchange of "journeys" along defining and refining the client journey.
  • Very validating to hear that other organizations struggle with the same things my organization does and to hear ideas on how to solve those common problems.

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