Many organizations are organized in “silos”. Departments such as marketing, production, sales and service each with their own – “vertical” – management and KPIs. Today, under the influence of contemporary developments, this model causes problems in the operation at many companies: complaints, inefficient operations and dissatisfied customers & employees. A journey mapping on the other hand, has the customer journey as its starting point and goes right through all silos. With journey mapping you give prioritized direction to a “horizontal” organizational structure in which the customer and employees are the starting point. How do you approach with the use of the double diamond? What is the relationship with CRM? What is the relationship with Customer experience? And what is the relationship with the overall strategy?
Read on!


  • Silo organization and problems in operations
  • CRM system as a solution?
  • Journey mapping as a solution?
  • Capability of customer centric business
  • Journey mapping approach with double diamond
  • Relationship journey mapping and Customer experience with the overall strategy

Silo organization and problems in the operation

Many organizations have a traditional approach per department, “silos”. I call it a “vertical” management with budgets and KPIs per silo; A fragmented management and control per marketing, sales, production and service department. Also the Customer insights are silo based. From CX point of view, a NPS or CSAT scores per silo in stead of a holistic approach. This vertical approach is at odds with the customer journey, which makes a “horizontal” journey right through the departments. In short, a holistic approach from marketing via sales to service.

Under the influence of contemporary developments, this model leads to problems in daily practice. What I often face with clients:

  • Cost

Cost driven by inefficient operations and Customer complaints. Cause: the information transfer and process transfer between the departments is defective or not organized.

  • Turnover

Missing turnover because cross selling is difficult or impossible to get off the ground. Cause, sales is divided into product departments with separate targets per product / silo.

  • Customer

Dissatisfied customers. Cause: customers fall between two departments, for example when switching from sales to using a product or service. Consequences for the churn and negative recommendations.

  • Employees

Dissatisfied employees. Cause frustration because customers cannot be helped properly. For example, that the right customer cannot be given the right attention. Consequences for outflow and lower productivity, this from the cascade of dissatisfied employees and thus dissatisfied customers.

CRM system as a solution?

With a CRM system, departments can be connected from a data and process perspective. Think of the flow of marketing => sales => service and underlying finance:

  • marketing obtains insights via CRM into the results of the sales follow-up of leads
  • sales obtains insights via CRM into the marketing campaigns per customer or prospect
  • services obtains insights via CRM into the sales and marketing campaigns and interactions
  • finance obtains insights via CRM into the agreements are made for example a dispute

This all sounds promising! Certainly in combination with a Lean Makigami approach with process determination across the departments. This approach, for example, provides clear insight into the touchpoints that can be integrated with CRM for a 360-degree customer view and data-driven decisson making. 

However, as long as the control – and customer and employee insights – remains per department, this is a sub-optimization. There is no link with the overall strategy. And after all, the behaviour – corporate culture – remains acting and thinking per silo: not thinking in silos, but customer-oriented thinking on the other hand, is a “capability”.

Capability customer centric business

Levitt described in his classic 1960 article “Marketing myopia”, the necessity of the shift from product-oriented to customer-oriented:

“‘Building an effective customer-oriented company involves far more than good intentions or promotional tricks; it involves profound matters of human organization and leadership.”

“The entire corporation should be viewed as a customer-creating and customer-satisfying organism. Management must think of itself not as producing products but as providing customer-creating value satisfactions. It must push this idea into every nook and cranny of the organization.”

Conclusion. A CRM system is indispensable for connecting the silos. But this is not a fundamental solution to the problems outlined in the paragraph “Silo organization and problems in the operation”. It gives direction to the optimizations from an IT, data and process perspective, but no or limited direction to an organization-wide collaboration with the customer as a connecting perspective based on holostic customer and employee insights .

Journey mapping as a solution?

A journey map is a visual representation of what it actually means to be a customer, gives direction and clarity on what to do with the experiences

Fundamentally, a journey is a horizontal customer journey that a customer takes – based on the job to be done – across all departments. A journey also goes beyond the business processes which only includes the interactions with a customer. It also describes the steps before a customer comes into contact with a company; E.g. the stages orientation for a new product or service and sharing the experience after the purchase is done.

Benefits journey mapping:

  • an objective and honest reality check where the customer stands in the business process
  • gives direction to what to do and what the priorities are
  • (in many cases) a paradigm shift: thinking from the customer’s perspective instead of thinking per department
  • generates user stories
  • brings focus in pain points
  • to learn from each other, gives energy and fun
  • gives direction to organization-wide collaboration based on bringing together the different disciplines
  • ensures employee involvement, Voice of the Employee
  • strengthens the overall Cx program
  • is repeatable for all journeys

Approach journey mapping

The use of the double diamond for a thorough approach:

journey mapping with double diamond

In four phases from problem definition to solution:

  • preparation and customer and employee insights
  • generate solutions for the analyzed customer problems
  • develop solutions
  • implementation based on a MVP and roadmap

This approach to be combined with CRM. In the Develop part, the design of running by means of CRM:

  • touchpoints
  • business and Cx metric
  • processes

In the Implementation part:

  • translate in working CRM functionality based on user story’s for the data and process part

Conclusion. Journey mapping, in combination with a CRM system, forms the foundation for a customer-centric approach. An integral approach from IT, data, processes and the aforementioned “capability” perspective. The missing link is the CX strategy including the link with the overall strategy. You will read this in the next section.

Relationship journey mapping and Customer experience with the overall strategy

Journey mapping provides direction and is part of the bigger CX picture:


  • Cx strategy

In outline, the link and contribution of the CX strategy to the overall strategy and objectives; in the case of a commercial companies on a high level turnover and costs. From a customer journey perspective: how to coordinate the sound interactions via the various departments and communication channels. What are the bottlenecks in the current situation, what is the strategy for the future state?

  • Customer-Centric Culture

Providing input and direction for customer centric thinking based on the outcome of customer journey mapping.

  • Organizational adoption & accountability

Prioritize improvement points arising from journey mapping and the determined pain points.

  • Voice of the Customer, Customer insight & understanding

Determining the experiences per touchpoint based on journey mapping discover stage. Pragmatically or through customer surveys.

  • Cx design, improvement & innovation

Implementing Cx blueprint and the future state through journey mapping.

  • Cx metrics

Measurement and ROI. What are the KPI’s and what is the ROI?


To say it short. An integral approach existing of journey mapping – the warm human part – and CRM – the cold IT, data en process part-. An approach in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The challenge lies mainly in the transition from silo thinking to customer-centric thinking, the capacity. Start with a thorough preparation and approach with journey mapping. Include the results with the Cx strategy, which in turn is linked to the overall strategy.


More information customer journey and touchpoints

More information 6 CX pillars framework from the CXPA

Customer centric, CRM & CX trends and development 2022

Next steps? Exchange views?