By Joe Wheeler
I spend a lot of time with client organizations that have invested both time and resources into mapping their customers’ journey so I have seen the gamut of touchpoint maps, emotional curves and even on one occasion, the stunning graphical portrayal of the path taken by a certain Persona, frustrated with trying to return a laser printer. Of course, some are better than others, some are based on data, some on opinion but the real question is a simple one: What impact did they have in helping the company create greater value for shareholders?
Some might argue that that is asking too much of journey mapping. After all, they are just one of many tools experts trained in Design Thinking use to better understand the functional and emotional roller coaster that is associated with what we deliver to customers.
I disagree. In my experience, when done well, and leveraging mobile technology, customer journey mapping can provide a powerful platform for greater customer-driven innovation, generated faster and with higher quality.
To achieve tangible business value from journey mapping exercises, I suggest you answer three questions:
- Does your journey map tell a powerful story from both employees and customers?
- Does your journey map align your whole organization toward a common view of your collective performance in delivering a competitively superior experience?
- Does your journey map go beyond telling the story, to actually doing something about it?
Let’s take them one at a time.
Does Your Journey Map Tell a Powerful Story from Both Employees and Customers?
Certainly, the core idea of a journey map is that it visually highlights the customer’s view of their experience. Good journey maps do more than just describe what happens, they actually uncover those things that were previously invisible to us. They explain the reasons for a customer’s specific behavior or the alternative path they took when confronted with an unexpected roadblock. But for most organizations, there is another journey that is just as important and that is the experience of the front line employee.
In fact, we would suggest that there is a level of risk that is taken if you view the journey solely from the customer’s perspective. There are three reasons why this matters:
- Frontline employees provide additional context: Although they can’t tell you what the customer is thinking or feeling, they do have helpful insight into what customers are doing, and they provide great insight as to what is happening, especially around those touchpoints that represent chronic problems in the experience.
- The gap matters: Understanding the gap between how customers versus employees see the experience is really important. It is not uncommon to see a clear divergence between what customers see as important and how you are performing from the employees’ view of the same experience. Closing these gaps is vital. The “satisfaction mirror” that exists between frontline employees and customers is often a critical driver of loyalty and advocacy.
- Clues to future experiences: Hidden in this information are clues to exceeding customer experiences in ways that you would never imagine if you hadn’t seen it Go to the full article.