Customer journey mapping vs. customer lifecycle
Customer journey mapping is a tool that has taken the business world by storm—helping companies build an understanding of their customer’s experience and develop better connections between people and brands. As customer experience (CX) strategists we use this tool often, but we have found that the language being used to describe CX in the industry—between businesses and even sometimes from department to department within a company—is dangerously inconsistent.
Key terms are being used interchangeably. For example, “customer journey” is often being confused for “customer lifecycle,” or even the classic view of a sales funnel. Individual moments in a customer’s journey sometimes get confused for the journey itself. And single touchpoints (a webpage or app in the digital world, or a retail display or service space in the physical world) are sometimes being described as “moments.” From what we’ve seen, most CX professionals have adopted their own code for keeping this straight, but things don’t seem to be consistent in the industry.
At PK, we believe there are four core views of the customer’s experience that apply to our work. Standardizing our language around these four views is critical to the practice of CX. The easiest way to put these views into context is to consider scale—zooming in or out to get a more detailed or wider view. Each level will come into focus, whether it is a customer’s year-over-year interaction with a brand or one moment in the customer’s experience. Deciding which “view” to deploy depends on your business goals and objectives. For example, increasing customer acquisition or perhaps tracking brand engagement may require different views. The below infographic, How to View Your Customer’s Experience, illustrates how we define each level—customer journey and customer lifecycle—and view—customer lifespan, customer brand lifecycle, customer journey, and customer moment—into the customer experience. Explore it further to learn the macro to micro perspective on customer experience.
To learn more about customer journey mapping, download our latest publication on Customer Journey Mapping: 5 Steps to Improving Sales and Brand Loyalty in an Omnichannel Environment.
About the Author
Martin Mehalchin is managing director for retail and consumer at PK, the experience engineering firm. He has dedicated his career to working with executives and managers to help them define their strategies and then translate those strategies into results. Among the clients Martin has worked with are Nike, Atlantic Records, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Expedia, Victoria’s Secret, Adidas and DuPont. Martin is a Board member and Chair of the Marketing Committee for the North Cascades Institute, and his thought leadership has appeared in publications including MarTech Advisor, Retail Customer Experience and Toolbox.Tags: Customer Experience, Customer journey mapping, Customer Lifecycle, CX