Company success and growth now more than ever hinges around how a company deals with its clients.

Companies which thrive and survive will be those for whom the client relationship sits at the very heart of business strategy. Every process within the company must revolve around providing a positive client experience. This is especially relevant to b2b companies whose clients are often large, complicated organizations.

You may have heard about client journey mapping – and you might consider it just a ‘nice to have’. There are, however, good reasons you should look at the journey your client take through your organization. Improving the ease of your client’s experience will help your organization become more client focused and will improve relationships and client loyalty. Keeping your client’s journey smooth will also help to improve your client retention.

You may know the journey they made to choose you as a supplier – but what about after they have signed on the dotted line? Looking at your organization from the perspective of your clients may surprise you. Is it easy or complicated to deal with your organization? Is it clear where to go when there is a problem? Are interactions straightforward or complicated? Are there failed interactions? Does the client take the path you expect through the organization? You can use this information to identify process improvements needed. And you can really identify how customer focused your company is – and if you are structured for your benefit or theirs?

Identify the touchpoints and opportunities to shine

Do you keep in regular contact with your clients? Are you missing opportunities when you could do this? Identify these touchpoints and see if there are any interaction points where you can impress your clients. You can positively influence client perceptions or, more importantly, identify vulnerabilities in your client contact.

All employees count

Identifying key steps in the client journey can make everyone in the organization aware of their contribution to the client relationship – even if they do not feel they touch the customer. This is a big part of becoming a client focused organization.

Senior level support

Ownership at senior management level is crucial. Understanding your organization from the client’s perspective will help to improve client centricity and will help identify where organizational change needs to be made. Action plans need to be agreed, resources agreed, and progress tracked. A client journey map on its own will not improve the client experience – it is a tool to drive improvement.

Where to start?

Mapping every step of your client’s journey can be a trial. One which is well-worth doing, but only if you devote time and resource, do it extensively and identify what outcomes you are expecting and what organizational changes can be made in the light of the results. When you look at client’s journey don’t base it on your assumptions – make sure you get your client’s view – otherwise you are set up for failure.