Customer Journey vs Customer Experience

by Valerio Albertini

Customer Journey and Customer Experience are two different but inextricably linked concepts.

While the CX is “how the client perceives all the interactions with a company or brand”, the essential starting point to manage the Customer Experience is defining the Customer Journey Map.

The Customer Journey mapping must include all of the client’s key interactions with your company (or with everything that represents it). A clear mapping pinpoints the crucial junctures in the journey, giving the chance to analyze them and to identify all the areas for improvement in the client’s interactions with companies.

But what happens if the person who chooses the product does not use it, if the one who pays for it does not choose it, and the one who uses it does not pay for it?

Such is the case in the Pharma sector, a setting where the many stakeholders and their continuous interaction make creating a comprehensive map more complicated: patient, doctor, pharmacist, payor, caregiver (…) all of them are involved in the process that leads to the final outcome. Furthermore, there are systems of distribution that may vary from one geographical area to the other and, as a result, deeply impact both the patient journey and the number of stakeholders involved.

Some Customer Journeys, moreover, may have different starting points: many patients start their journey with a simple search for a symptom on Google and then, if needed, discuss it with their general practitioner; others start out by discussing it with the doctor or the pharmacist; yet others with friends or family members. It is clear that in the complex, multi-stakeholder landscape typical of Healthcare, companies will need to bear in mind not the journey of one stakeholder alone, but all the journeys, insofar as they are interconnected and interdependent on each other. If companies did not have this multi-stakeholder perspective, they would risk investing all of their efforts in building the relationship with just one stakeholder (the doctor, for example), and neglecting the relationship with others (like the pharmacist or the patient him/herself!), creating a short circuit that would have a severe impact on the patient journey and, ultimately, the customer experience itself.