You’ve heard of journey mapping, now get ready for journey management

Business success is intrinsically linked with customer success. So much so that tracking how customers interact with brands to drive such success has become a sector in its own right.

The customer journey market, under which these tools and services collectively operate, is forecast to be worth $48.5 billion by the end of this year. Yet, up till now, this growth has been in mapping and analytics.

What is journey mapping?

Journey mapping does exactly what it says. It maps the journeys customers make as they interact with a brand, product or service. It goes beyond demographic data and gleans insights into bottlenecks in your service; at what stage of their journey they abandon baskets or where conversions are dropping off.

Within this space, a number of giants have emerged. On one side, brands that specialise in mapping customer journeys, such as Qualtrics, Glassbox and Contentsquare. On the other, familiar names that integrated journey mapping tools into their tech. Think IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce.

Beyond journey mapping

Yet as adoption of journey mapping has risen, its limitations have come into view. Knowing what customers do without understanding why they do it generates reams of analytics without tangible actions.

It’s also led to the analytics, customer data, insights and business priorities being held in disparate software, managed by siloed teams. A sales team has no idea that there’s a bottleneck at the sign-up stage, for instance, or marketing and service aren’t aligned on their objectives because they aren’t talking to one another. This creates a terrible experience for teams and customers and is only exacerbated as workforces become increasingly remote.  

As it stands, many businesses also struggle to link customer behaviour to business outcomes. Almost half (41%) of companies say they capture improvements in metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or customer satisfaction, but they can’t then translate this improvement into revenue or costs.

In short, businesses are trying – and failing – to solve their disconnects with tools that look at the journey from a single angle or as individual steps along the journey, rather than the journey and its business context as whole.

This is where journey management comes in.

What is customer journey management?

Customer journey management centres on bringing more transparency, alignment and, ultimately success, to business functions.

It provides a holistic view of hundreds of customer journeys and shows everything a customer does before, during and after they’ve interacted with a brand.

This allows for the measurements being made by various mapping tools to be viewed in context. Not only alongside analytics from other departments, but in the context of how they align with the wider business and customer goals. Success can be more easily identified and tracked. As can failures.

Such benefits explain why the customer journey management market is on the up; the journey-centric working sector as a whole is forecast to see a 16.3% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the next ten years.

Businesses are also starting to realise that the only way to deliver superior customer journeys is to have all of their people manage data, insights, and priorities together in one place. With everyone having mapped out their journeys, businesses are now looking to take their data to the next level.

In this way, customer journey management is seen as the natural evolution of customer success. Yet how companies and their customers define it is still being ironed out. 

A natural evolution

Take TheyDo for instance. TheyDo is a startup that’s made real inroads in this space over the past year. The company defines customer journey management from a collaboration and alignment point of view. The businesses and teams it works with – Atlassian, Cisco, IBM – want to collaborate and improve the customer experience by using journeys as a way to align and connect the dots.

Within TheyDo’s journey framework, teams from across functions – CX, product, marketing, sales, customer success – can see and manage their data in the context of where it takes place across each journey. These teams can then collaborate, spot opportunities and prioritise work.

This seemingly plays into the wider shift being seen among businesses looking to become more customer-centric. TheyDo claims that its approach helps give companies a competitive advantage, while putting the customer at the core of everything they do.

Over the past year, TheyDo has seen demand for its services grow by 600% in the past year, which also speaks to just how rapid the shift appears to be.

Queue busting

Another company within the customer journey management sector is Qmatic. Yet it defines and takes a different, almost literal approach to helping businesses become more customer-centric.

Yes, it helps give businesses greater oversight of their customer journeys, but it also builds tools to automate the steps and interactions along the way, capturing data and sharing insights as it goes.

For instance, it offers a scheduling tool that lets customers book appointments which in turn helps businesses distribute workload. And it offers virtual queuing tools to optimise customer flow, learn about customer behaviours and identify any bottlenecks.

Both Qmatic and TheyDo help align the customer journey to business goals but Qmatic takes a more practical and day-to-day approach. TheyDo’s philosophy is more holistic, collaborative and long-term. The respective benefits of which will then depend on the needs of different businesses.

Unprecedented expectations

TheyDo and Qmatic are just two companies looking to dominate the customer journey management space. There are many more that sit along the spectrum of what these two companies are offering and, as the sector grows, more solutions will materialise. Especially when you consider that the acceleration of digital services over the past decade, and the pandemic, means customers today have become increasingly spoiled for choice.

As such, customer expectations have become higher than ever; people expect to resolve complex problems through a single person, they expect personalisation by default, and they expect businesses to have the tools in place to meet these expectations.

Given that business success is, and always has been, intrinsically linked with customer success – and customer expectations have never been so high – it was only a matter of time until journey mapping had to make way from something bigger.

Journey management is emerging as that “something bigger” and it could be the solution to this global business problem.

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Vicky Woollaston

Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has written about customer experience, innovation and collaboration for TechFinitive since 2023.