What is a customer journey map? A new playbook CIOs must master

CIOs driving digital business strategy must master their companies’ customer experience. That means working with marketing on the critical customer journey map.

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The digital era has, perhaps irrevocably, altered C-suite dynamics. Once unlikely collaborators, IT and marketing are partnering closely on new customer-facing technologies, an acknowledgment that both parties must work together to help their companies — and careers — thrive.

CIOs are also increasingly huddling with their CMOs on a critical initiative called a "customer journey map,” typically led by marketing or whichever group commands responsibility for the customer experience. Here’s what CIOs should know about customer journey maps and how to ensure you’re making effective use of them.

What is a customer journey map?

The customer journey map is a chart that helps employees visualize the process by which companies attract, satisfy and add value to retain customers. The map requires a collaborative process that relies on qualitative and quantitative data to determine and understand customer journeys, including their goals, needs and expectations, says Jane-Anne Mennella, a Gartner analyst who advises CMOs. The map will also help executives identify gaps between customers' expectations and their experience during their journey.

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