How many brands truly understand their customer journeys? This level of emotional insight can be difficult to obtain without detailed analysis, or actually 'walking a mile' in customers' shoes. Customer journey mapping delivers both analysis and empathy, helping companies to optimise their service delivery and invoke more positive emotions in their clients. Moreover, it gives brands the opportunity to make their processes more efficient and, as a result, increasingly cost-effective.


Minimising pain

A study conducted by the London School of Economics showed that a one-point reduction in the reasons for detraction made a four-times more positive contribution to revenue than a one point increase in promotion.[1] Brands, therefore, do not need to strive to be consistently spectacular in their customer journeys, but need to use journey mapping to eliminate the points of pain.

The top-scoring US brand, the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is strong in this respect. It's a company with a particular focus on customer journeys, and has striven to remove duplication and inefficiencies to continually build on the quality of customer experience it delivers. Its score in the pillar of Time and Effort, for example, is its strongest result, and indeed is the highest Time and Effort score in the 2017 US CEE at 8.94.

Arguably, one of the most emotionally-charged situations that a USAA customer can find themselves in is a road traffic collision. The brand has used customer journey mapping to understand exactly what an individual is feeling in this moment, and has designed a service that takes these factors into consideration. For smart phone users, USAA has developed an app that enables drivers to instantly file an insurance claim whilst at the site of an accident, meaning that they can submit photos, summon roadside assistance, access specific tips, and actively track the status of their claims.[2]


Unlocking revenue growth

And whilst a focus on pain elimination is important in journey mapping, it is still beneficial for organisations to treat their customers well at every available opportunity. Analysis conducted by KPMG Nunwood reinforces this sentiment, showing that when companies invest in competitively-superior customer experiences, incremental commercial benefits are accrued. 

For example, the top 25 companies in the US CEE achieved almost double the percentage revenue growth of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies. In incremental revenue terms, this equates to an average of $3.5bn for each of the CEE top 25 brands, versus $1bn for each of the Fortune 500 top 25.

Moreover, the percentage revenue growth of the CX leaders was more than eight times that of the CX laggards over one year alone. This led to an average incremental revenue of $3.5bn for each of the top 25, versus a $22bn loss for each of the bottom 25.


Customer experience transformation enablers

Finally, brands need to understand that simply treating their customers well is not enough. Organisations should have a clear insight into the structural costs of delivering their current experience, versus the structural costs of delivering the target experience. And with journey mapping becoming an increasingly significant component of organisation design, this has become much easier to achieve; journey mapping can enable companies to reduce their costs to serve by designing unnecessary costs out.

As Tamsin Jenkins, KPMG Nunwood's Head of Customer Experience Excellence, explains: "For organisations such as USAA, improvements in customer experience are self-funding. They are integrating their finance teams more deeply into their experience design, meaning that the role of finance is changing from financial governance to customer transformation enablers. These steps help to ensure that journey mapping processes are more successful, and that brands will be able to unlock the financial rewards that follow."


[1] LSE. Advocacy Drives Growth, 2005