7 reasons to not create a customer journey map debunked

Key takeaways:

  • Resource constraints shouldn’t deter CJM creation; it can be created gradually.
  • Lack of customer data isn’t a major hindrance to CJM creation.
  • Short-term projects can benefit from a basic CJM for organization, too.
  • A purely product-centric approach overlooks the importance of a positive customer experience.
  • Resistance to change can be overcome by starting with small adjustments.

Until this point, we spent all our time writing about why marketers and customer experience specialists should create and use a customer journey map. And we believe we’ll spend much more time doing the same. But today, we’ll look at some often-cited reasons why companies don’t create a CJM and try to debunk them. 

Even though we’re clearly biased, we’ll try to be as impartial as possible and maybe even grant some exceptions to the rule (the rule being that every company should have a CJM).

1. Resource constraints

CJM is often put in the nice-to-have-but-we-have-nobody-to-do-it category. So it’s not like smaller companies don’t recognize the importance of having one, it’s more like they think they have nobody to create it, or that people who would be able to are just too busy.

Of course, creating and maintaining a CJM takes some time, but it’s not a commitment that has to be fulfilled in some exact time frame. It’s perfectly okay to create it in small steps, even if it takes a couple of months. Being busy is a norm, but certainly all marketers or CX specialists will find a few hours in the span of multiple months to spare.

Then, if the CJM is created properly, the time needed to keep it up-to-date is super small compared to what some may think if they are used to the outdated ways of creating a CJM.

Another worry may be the price of a CJM tool that will be used – if, of course, a company wants something better than an Excel spreadsheet. Fortunately, these tools are very affordable and in the same ballpark as other B2B SaaS tools. Also, you have to keep in mind that creating a customer journey map won’t only cost money, but also make money – you can easily calculate the benefits of CJM to see the contrast.

2. Simple product/service offering

There are small businesses where the whole interaction with customers is so minimal or insignificant that it can be argued, and we’d agree, that CJM is just not needed. For this to apply though, there have to be at least one of the three more considerations met: the business is really small in terms of revenue, it has very few customers, or it doesn’t plan to significantly grow.

If the company is generating a steady revenue that is on the lower end, understands its niche, has no apparent reason to improve or change anything, and has no desire to expand, fair enough – a CJM may be unnecessary.

Maybe the company is making a ton of money, but it’s only serving a few clients, each bringing in a significant sum. There’s enough space and time to service each client on an individual basis, therefore CJM is not needed.

Most other companies with simple products or services would definitely benefit from having a CJM. The truth is, the need for CJM isn’t even really based on the product, but on the size and requirements of the customer base. Serving customers, especially if there’s a lot of them or if they are coming in fast, comes with its own challenges which are often unrelated to the nature of the business itself and can be best addressed by a CJM.

3. Lack of customer data

A lack of customer data will mean that the company wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of what a CJM has to offer, but that’s it. The CJM isn’t dependent on having a continuous influx of huge chunks of customer data, or any data at all. If the data could be incorporated, great. If not, there are still plenty of features and advantages a CJM can offer that go way beyond the data.

Outlining the customer journey and having it clearly defined, identifying pain points and creating processes to address them, putting your marketing activities together, helping to maintain the consistency of communication with customers, defining personas, etc.

What’s more – if you want to, you can look up the data on your own and insert some basic ones into your CJM manually. You don’t have to do it for all the activities, but only for those you’d like to take a closer look at.

4. Short-term outlook

Sometimes a very temporary window of opportunity presents itself, and sometimes companies just don’t want to look ahead and go where the instinct, flow, or the circumstances take them.

In the first case, we understand that a CJM may not only be unnecessary but maybe can’t be properly made because there’s not enough “matter” to put in there. But we’d argue that even intentionally short-lived projects can create a very distilled version of CJM to keep everything organized.

As for the second case, the reason not to create a CJM is probably laziness, not the short-term outlook. While a company may be used to changing the course all the time, or having no course at all, there are still instances of its business (mentioned in #3) that would benefit from a CJM.

5.  Purely product-centric approach

If you build it they will come – this favorite mantra of product-driven people sounds very nice and motivating, even reassuring – it says you don’t have to care about the marketing that much, just build a great product and customers will somehow find and love it without your direct contribution. No need for CJM.

The mantra may be true in some instances (although we know it more often than not isn’t), but the marketing isn’t the only reason why a CJM should be created. What will the company do when “they” will eventually come? How will “they” be taken care of and interacted with?

A very similar situation was discussed in Reason #2 – CJM isn’t only about acquiring customers by finding countless ways to get their attention, introduce the product, and convert them. The other important function of CJM is making sure that customers have a positive purchase and post-purchase experience.

If you ignore the customer journey because your product is that good, you may end up with exactly that – a great product with a poor customer experience.

6. Resistance to change

Creating a CJM and studying it will very likely open the eyes of many people and point to many things that could be improved or will have to be changed. Before the CJM is created, even the biggest gaps and problems in the customer journey can go unnoticed.

And usually, not everyone in the company embraces the change, because the status quo is more comfortable. Shaking things up a little may create various challenges and generate more work.

The nature of the change doesn’t have to be gigantic. Instead of creating brand-new activities, it’s perfectly fine if only the current ones are fixed or slightly adjusted. And we hope nobody will object to repairing what’s broken, even if it will create some additional work.

7.  Extremely difficult to maintain

Most of the previous reasons were addressed to people who don’t yet appreciate the advantages of a customer journey map. This one, though, may well come from someone who knows them all.

If you Google “how to create a customer journey map”, there will be countless articles and tutorials instructing you about the best way to go about it. The problem is, that most CJMs created by following these resources will be quite difficult to maintain – if not immediately, they will become like that sooner or later. If your company has a lot of touchpoints/activities, the difficulty of maintaining the CJM is a given, no matter how you make it.

We’ve been aware of this problem for some time and that’s why we decided to create a tool that will completely destroy this particular “why not” reason. We believe CJM can be robust and complex without being hard to navigate, update, or maintain. So if you are in this dark it’s-nice-but-difficult camp, we’ll be happy to get you Out of Dark! 

(We love the word plays our name literally begs us to make, so get used to it!)

Do you want to create an interactive and easy-to-use customer journey map with powerful touchpoints, personas, automatic KPI import & monitoring, and much more?

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