Customer journey mapping is the popular concept right now for many companies. Why wouldn’t it be – it provides critical insights on a major company asset and a cross-functional perspective that can align leaders from many organizational silos. Fantastic? So why isn’t it having the impact that it deserves with the C-Suite?

As a CMO and C-Suite member for two different billion-dollar enterprises, I saw that having a great customer journey map just isn’t enough to get your C-suite to put your Customer Experience strategy as one of the few top priorities for the company. And there are 5 reasons why.

Most Customer Journey Maps are Descriptive – but not Prescriptive.

An illustrative journey map can really capture the emotional core of specific customers and personas. Rich customer insights, qualitative and quantitative research and VoC data can tell a great story why the customer isn’t getting the experience they deserve. But pointing out all the insights and flaws without a plan forward leaves many executives impatient and defensive. A Customer Experience Vision is a well-defined design that will deliver an outstanding CX. This design should alleviate the pain points, deliver emotion highs at the moments of truth and should put the company at the forefront of their industry in terms of experience, satisfaction and loyalty. The target CX design is the blueprint for the future. The blueprint that people, process and technology effort should follow to put this grand future into action. Without this, a customer journey map is the same as a plumber describing why your bathroom is flooded with sewage – in great detail – but not a plan to fix it. CX leaders need to drive alignment to the “future state” – not just describe the “current state”.

Most Customer Journey Maps don’t show the impact on Business Metrics.

A quick scan of over 100 customer journey maps reveals that less than 5% demonstrate any linkage to or impact on business metrics. Without this, they are just pretty pictures to the CFO, COO, CIO, CMO and CEO. The “language of the C-Suite” is business metrics and numbers. If you can’t show a direct link to improved business metrics, your conversation will be tolerated at best – but will be dismissed if you don’t make the connection fast. If your Customer Experience CAN SHOW a direct and convincing impact on business metrics, it becomes the treasure map to growth and profitability. Why not win their support with a clear linkage of an improved customer journey on the “metrics that matter” to the company. It isn’t hard to do, but a surprising few customer journey mapping efforts include this critical component.

Most Customer Journey Maps don’t have a Program Manager or PMO to execute them.

I recently reviewed a CX program for a billion-dollar technology company whose customer journey insights were rich in quantitative and qualitative research – and highlighted the specific areas of the customer journey that needed attention and provided common-sense fixes to the pain points of the journey. But it stopped short of outlining the projects and programs necessary to fix the pain points necessary to build the CX of the future. And more importantly, it didn’t identify the leader of the cross-functional effort whose role it is to manage the various projects needed to deliver the new customer experience. Every construction project has a project plan for each “sub” – the plumbers, electricians, framers and tile installers – and the “General Contractor” responsible for managing the “subs”. Why shouldn’t your CX effort have the same critical leadership necessary to deliver project and program success?

Most Customer Journey Maps don’t have an ROI or business case.

With all the potential that Customer Experience holds – and despite all the ROI analysis that Temkin Research has done, less than 10% of CX programs have any type of ROI or business case. For the 10% who do have business cases, they struggle to stand up to even the light scrutiny that a CFO would apply. The business case should be able to answer 3 key questions:A.How does the improved customer experience directly impact our key business metrics and objectives? (Revenues, profits, customer acquisition or servicing, retention)B.What types of investment is required to build and sustain the customer experience envisioned? And does this provide a strong ROI/business case that we should approve?C.Are the business targets for the CX program “believable” and “owned” by the key business leaders?

If you have the answers to each of these, then you are on the path to “C-Suite Stardom”. If not, some other project will get the money that your CX program deserves It IS POSSIBLE to have a rock-solid business case for your CX effort, with an ROI for each improvement project and the program overall. Why not make the investment in the single most impactful effort your business should undertake?

Most Customer Journey Maps don’t have clarity of accountability.

Let’s be honest about two things:

1) All CX programs require cross-functional leadership

2) CEO’s need to know who to assign and how to hold them accountable.

Without this it becomes too hard for them to figure out and manage progress, updates and interventions. For many companies when “CX is everybody’s job” it means that no one is in charge. Every key CX touchpoint MUST have someone accountable, every CX Improvement project MUST have an owner and every CX Program must have a leader and sponsor that works across the enterprise to drive improvements and impact. The CEO sees this type of accountability for dozens of projects, why not a CX project?

Don’t let the opportunity that Customer Experience Transformation holds for every company to be under-funded or de-prioritized.

Greg Tucker is an Insight Wave consulting advisor and a frequent speaker on customer-driven strategies. His work has been profiled in Business Week, Fast Company and Harvard Business Review.