Move to the Top Levels of the Gartner CX Pyramid with Journey Mapping

Last week I discussed Gartner’s CX Pyramid and its approach to evaluating your customer experience. Yesterday’s post discussed how to use journey mapping to help you move up the first three levels. Today, I’ll talk about using journey mapping to move to the top of the pyramid – the Proactive and Evolution levels.

Getting to these levels requires significantly more investment in both customer insights and design. Interviews – particularly in-person at your customer’s site – are good ways to help you in the lower stages, but here it requires deeper methodologies to truly understand your customers’ needs.

As discussed yesterday, you can’t go directly from the lower levels to Proactive or Evolution; you need to make sure your entire experience is at the Commitment level before you can move any higher. Once you’re ready, this is where you truly start to earn loyalty; your Proactive experience solves customers’ problems before they happen.

At the lower levels, you can go ahead and hire a vendor to give you reports on what customers need and still see value. At the top of the pyramid, you need your teams to go out and directly meet with the customer in his or her site. At this level, a vendor still makes sense to help you manage the process, but any reporting needs to be shared. At this level your teams need to be directly involved with your customers, gathering the insights directly.

Look for a vendor who can lead the process and work through the details, who ensures you’re following journey mapping best practices, not someone who will do this work for you. Your employees need to be in the room when your customer mentions how they can never get the products they need reliably. They need to watch your customer rummage through their Post-It Notes to find their cheat sheet for using your software or see them copy the data from your reports and put them into Excel to get the information they really want. No vendor report will bring this to life to the extent that hearing it first-hand will.

Your journey mapping scope also changes. Rather than looking for what happens when your customers interact with your company, the focus is on what they do before and after interacting with you. Finding the solution for an easier journey requires understanding a customer’s frame of mind entering the experience as well as their intentions afterward.

In other words, when looking at reporting: the first few levels focus on how to improve your report to help your customer solve problems. At the top of the pyramid, you question that a report is even necessary and  wonder whether you can prevent the problem from happening in the first place.

At the top of the pyramid, your job isn’t to solve the customers’ problems – it’s to prevent them from having problems. Doing so requires moving beyond workarounds to recreate your products and services around customer needs – something that doesn’t show the immediate ROI typically sought on the lower levels of the pyramid. There’s an inherent belief that doing the right thing for the customer will show returns, and most companies’ leadership isn’t here.

In addition to a more immersive insights capability, the top of the pyramid requires a level of design and investment to put these insights into play. The lower levels of evolution focus on quick wins. While quick wins are important to any organization, at this level you’re more focused on sustainable, game-changing programs. Journey mapping gives you the fuel to improve, but you need the experience design machine to drive that improvement.

No matter where you are in the pyramid, journey mapping helps, but it’s important to recognize where you are in the pyramid so that you can use the right journey mapping approach to drive your improvements.

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