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Customer-Based Capabilities – Focus on the Journey

Jim Tincher Jim Tincher 11/26/2013

This is the fourth post in the Real-World series where I use Heart of the Customer’s Customer Experience model to show how the 2012 Temkin Customer Experience Award finalists actually go about building their customer experiences. Previous posts showed how finalists:

Now let’s Focus on the Journey the second effort in building Customer-Based Capabilities.

Businesses typically manage touch points such as call centers and websites. Focusing on the Journey tells us that customers don’t think about touch points – they focus on accomplishing tasks, regardless of internal functions or business units.

Typical efforts at this stage involve customer journey mapping and ecosystem mapping workshops, designing interactions around customer efforts. Unfortunately, respondents were more focused on outcomes, so didn’t go into much detail here. However, there were a few teasers available.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

BCBS referenced their development of learning and touch point maps, but unfortunately did not go into details.


Citrix realizes how important their customer journey is. They also leverage their employees (next week’s article) to improve them. An employee recommended they create a focused group to handle “make or break” moments in the customer journey. This group was able to be more flexible, share best practices and respond quickly to customer needs. As a result of focusing on improving their customers’ journey, this new team quadrupled performance and increased revenue retention by approximately $1 million annually.


Fidelity provided great examples of Focusing on the Journey. They deliberately engineer their “Moments that Matter” – the journeys that are most critical to customers – by eliminating “rocks,” their term for pain points.

Their engineering work began by mapping their customer journeys to identify the “rocks,” and specifically designed the journey to improve their ease of use. One example is their Transfer of Asset process, where they improved the speed and simplicity, creating increased transactional satisfaction.

Another critical Moment that Matters is the complex service request. Customers traditionally navigated across multiple touch points. Fidelity overhauled the journey to provide a case manager to help manage the process, regularly updating the customer on the status of the request. As a result of this engineering they saw a significant increase in their Net Promoter Score, which they earlier proved linked to business outcomes.

My Take

The impact of their filings suggest that the other finalists also do a good job managing their journeys. To take one example, Oracle even provides workshops on journey mapping, so it’s likely they use this skill internally.

Fidelity’s example strikes to the heart of a great customer experience program. By focusing on their customer’s journey, they were able to break down their silos on their customers’ behalf. This improvement led to a simpler journey, improving both NPS and business outcomes.

I’ve written plenty about customer journey maps, including a white paper on the topic. Customers think in terms of goals and outcomes, not touch points. By identifying and managing customer journeys across functional business units you can provide a great customer experience, greatly increasing your loyalty.

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