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Client Journey Mapping - bringing the client experience to life

By Eleanor Berry

Client Journey Mapping - bringing the client experience to life

By Eleanor Berry
Client listening
Client Journey Mapping - bringing the client experience to life

Client journey mapping is the process of working collaboratively to invent or improve experiences across multiple touchpoints over time, and it uses market insight, client insight and colleague insight to do this.

The purpose of journey mapping is to outline the key interactions a client might have in their relationship with a professional services firm. It really delves into their motivations, their questions and perceptions at each step. Through deeper understanding of the client experience, firms can identify areas for quick improvements as well as longer-term changes.


The current need

Clients of professional firms have been noticing a lack of consistency in service experience from their professional advisors. In fact, there's been a dip in satisfaction levels since COVID. This has led firms to examine the client journey in more detail through journey mapping exercises.

In our recent client benchmarking (CLIMB), 25% of professional services firms had already used client journey mapping, but another 50% are planning to do it in the next two years. On the projects where Meridian West has support firms, client journey mapping has been incredibly helpful. It has really brought it alive in terms of the organization and helps drive change.


Getting started

When beginning a journey mapping initiative, Harry Mirpuri, who has worked on experience designs for brands like Sky and law firm Irwin Mitchell, says it is important to "define your audiences by understanding who they are, their unique attitudes, motivations and needs. You need to be clear of their value to you – why you want to better serve them and improve your relationships with them via journey mapping. You can then keep them in mind by segmenting them or having personas to represent key decision-maker groups as you go through the mapping process."

You will need to reframe all of your existing insights, and conduct new research to fill in the gaps in your knowledge for the particular journey you are working through. This provides depth of understanding, the root causes, whole also providing the client stories that help bring the issues and opportunities to life.

It is also vital to engage the right internal stakeholders who can provide input on processes and systems, then develop ideas and sponsor changes arising from the mapping effort. The internal perspective helps to identify internal blockers and pain points. Journey mapping reveals specific behaviours and issues to address, rather than general themes for improvement.


Proving The ROI

When done right, client journey mapping is very measurable through data, feedback scores, and other metrics tied to each part of the mapped customer journey. One example shared by Harry Mirpuri is that Irwin Mitchell used this method to improve its Net Promoter Score by over 10 percent to reach world-class levels. By targeting the right areas that need improvement, through journey mapping, they were able to measure and prove tangible results, which raised awareness and understanding of the benefits to clients as well as the commercial benefit to the firm.

Ultimately client journey mapping brings client insights to life across the organization through a collaborative, evolving approach. It shouldn't just be a static document. The map needs continual refinement as needs and expectations of your clients evolve. In this way, firms keep the client at the centre of their focus for service improvements over time.