You know that developing a customer journey map is vital in today's customer-centric world, but let's revisit what a customer journey map really means for your business.

It means that you understand your customers' interactions with your business. It means you know their preferred touchpoints and channels across the entire experience, from first contact through usage to potential repurchase or a new purchase.

It means that you can clearly depict, from a customer-centric perspective, the steps your customers take when engaging with your company.

Clearly, developing a customer journey map is beneficial to your business. So you do the work. You successfully complete your customer journey map. Congratulations!

But how do you ensure that all of your work in mapping the customer journey will be properly implemented within your organization? You make the construct of your map's intangible attributes come to life through operationalization.

What does it mean to operationalize your map?

To operationalize something means to set down exact definitions for each variable and to also establish clear definitions for your processes. In addition, it requires you devise appropriate methods of measure so you can capture meaningful data that's needed to continue to increase the quality of your results.

This work entails what is known as standardization. You need a standard workflow to support a systematic approach to your measurements. That is the only way to ensure that you can consistently report on your customer journey process's (for that matter, any process's) ability to meet business priorities.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Laura Patterson

Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM