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Salesforce is a diverse platform with capabilities well-poised to transform business. One of the main attributes of the cloud-based CRM is its ability to decipher the customer journey. 

Think about how businesses used to operate:

Marketing teams had databases that outlined all their campaigns and activities. They looked at views, impressions, open rates, CTR, etc., to generate baseline metrics for engagement

On the other hand, sales teams dealt exclusively with leads. They maintained their own database with prospects. They either purchased leads from other vendors and made outbound calls, or they fielded inbound orders and calls from websites and stores and pushed for additional cross-sale and up-sale.

Customer service teams also maintained their own reports, largely based on transactions and inbound conversations. A customer service agent might have been able to see what order was placed online and the associated email and phone numbers. However, the service agent had a limited view of the customer profile. They didn’t know of in-store transactions. They didn’t know what marketing efforts led to specific purchases, and they didn’t know the context of interactions made with sales agents.

Today, we refer to this type of business as siloed. Departmental records are partially or fully separate. The left-hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Marketing has little understanding of how they impact sales and vice versa. Customer service doesn’t intuitively know what customers like, want and need.

Salesforce bridges operational gaps and allows businesses to accurately map the customer journey.

It provides platforms for virtually all departments of the enterprise. Its Marketing, Service and Sales Cloud platforms share a repository of customer data and can use that data jointly. Also, as a multitenant and open API PaaS (Platform as a Service), Salesforce harbors a full ecosystem of applications that help fuel and interpret data. Contact center and e-commerce applications, applied to the platform, help automate the inbound and outbound collection of customer data. This data can then be interpreted via a number of applications to show customer paths, operational efficiency metrics, and prescriptive action. As a result, companies are able to leverage a better understanding of the customer. They can make intricate customer journey maps and chart customer personas.

With complete customer journey maps, companies can identify common paths, dead ends, breaking points, gaps, etc., and enact changes that add operational efficiency and higher customer conversion. According to McKinsey, companies that improve the customer journey see revenues increase as much as 15 percent while also lowering the cost to serve up to 20 percent.

So, how do you make a customer journey map?

In the four-step process of building an accurate customer journey map, a unified CRM is the MOST IMPORTANT. From that CRM, you can then extract data needed to populate a map.

Check out our example of a customer journey map and learn how to build your own with our most recent e-book Five9 Explains the Customer Journey Map.

Customer journey maps are a popular way to determine how customers interact with your brand. For the purpose of this e-book, Five9 explores how you can effectively build a customer journey map with a combination of contact center and CRM technology. The document outlines examples of customer journey maps and key components. It also looks at best ways to apply customer journey maps to uncover systemic issues and develop better company practices.

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Ben Noble is a Content Marketing Manager at Five9.