How customer journey mapping revolutionised Menzies Aviation’s understanding of its customers

Denisa Spinkova, VP Executive Services Development at Menzies Aviation discusses the power of journey mapping

Picture of menzies aviation lounge for customers

Customer Journey Mapping

It’s safe to say that Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) is popular – at least if the close-to-12-million Google search results generated by the term are anything to go by. But what makes it so compelling, and why should your business care?

Well, I can’t speak for you… but the reason I care is that CJM has helped my business to understand our customers – and our most important interactions with them – like never before.

Before we delve any further into the topic, it’s helpful to establish a common definition of CJM. Salesforce define a customer journey map as ‘a visual representation of every experience your customers have with you. It helps to tell the story of a customer's experience with your brand from original engagement and into hopefully a long-term relationship’.

As someone who favours the right hemisphere of my brain, I find the visual representation of any subject easier to comprehend than a sea of words, or column upon column of numbers; anyone of a similar mindset can likely begin to understand CJM’s appeal.

As my job title suggests I focus on the development of our global portfolio of airport lounges, and complimentary premium services like Meet and Greet, remote airport check-in, premium fast track, etc. With a broad functional and geographical scope, CJM helps to focus and prioritize our activities and resources.

In developing our strategic objectives, CJM is invaluable because it brings the ‘customer’ to the centre of any business case for change that may be put forth.

Now, although I agree with Fout’s observation that “at the heart of brand’s concern with the customer journey is a concern with profit”, the sequential order is critical. A business which is both sustainable and profitable over the long-term must necessarily start with, and be rooted in, the ever-evolving expectations of the customer and their experiences with its brand.  A reverse order model that starts with profitability will be short-lived.

Moments of truth

Within aviation executive services, the key CJM elements are your customers’ awareness, consideration/interest, evaluation, purchase, retention/ (or loss), and what I tend to bucket as feedback.

From my hotel hospitality background, I’m interested in turning potential customers into our guests – i.e. those customers we then have the opportunity to impress and WOW.  A guest has passed the point of evaluation and has made the purchase.

Now comes the often-coined ‘moments of truth’: the gap between the brand experience we set up to deliver and the brand experience the guest actually received. In my view, examining this stage of our customer interaction is the most important role of CJM, because gauging how well your brand is performing in these ‘moments of truth’ is critical in understanding your brand’s power to shift the potential customer spend from a competing brand, and retrain it.

But how we measure the gap between desired brand experience and the actual experience matters. And whether you are an advocate for net promoter score – linking the likelihood to recommend and return to a shift in revenue - or rely purely on overall satisfaction. there is an alternative.

Share of wallet

The measure which I advocate for completing the customer experience picture is ‘share of wallet’.

Share of wallet calculates “the percentage of a customer’s spending within a category that’s captured by a given brand, or store or firm” (Harvard Business Review, 2018). It helps us to gauge the strength of the customer’s experience with a brand (in either direction). It calculates how much of a customer's cost for a product or service goes to a specific company. 

And why is the share of wallet consideration in CJM? To quote the Harvard Business review, which published a study on this topic: “Customers may be very satisfied with your brand and happily recommend it to others—but if they like your competitors just as much (or more), you’re losing sales”.

The human element

The opportunity to evolve, future proof, and to build strong brands, starts with the lowest common denominator, the most important factor, and a subject I’ve written about before: the human element.

Start with the understanding that your brand comes to life through people – employees and customers alike. A community that collaborates around what to fix, how to improve, when to change, and evolve. A community where the customer and employee input are not mutually exclusive, but rather aligned by the common, human element.

CJM of our Menzies aviation executive offering enabled me to identify our highest priority: capturing feedback, from customer and employee alike.

From that feedback, we have gained the ability to accurately inform operational actions; understand how we are doing in those critical “moments of truth”; and know what is most important to our customer when they consider an airport lounge, meet-and-greet, luggage delivery, remote check-in or any similar premium service that makes their travel experience more enjoyable and seamless.

I’m excited by the further possibilities offered by CJM in my work, and I look forward to levering them as Menzies Aviation continues enhancing our customer experience offer.