Note: We’re celebrating the upcoming launch of our new book, “How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Customer Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change,” by Mapper-In-Chief Jim Tincher and B2B Practice Lead Nicole Newton. In the book, we introduce five journey mapping questions to answer as you launch your customer journey mapping effort.
First, Jim walked through “What’s the Business Problem or Opportunity?;” Nicole introduced the topic of “What is the Right Journey?,” Jim wrote about “Who’s the Right Customer?” and Nicole documented how to select the right approach.
Interested in the five journey mapping questions? Watch the intro to our YouTube series on the topic here.
Now we come to the fifth question, and, as they say, “last, but not least,” but in our case, the last question is actually the most important to answer. That’s because we’re working to ensure that journey mapping drives change, but we know that usually, it doesn’t.
This is ironic. Journey mapping is a fantastic tool to break down silos by creating a shared view of the customer experience.
Except when it isn’t. All too often, companies focus on small teams to move quickly. “Too many cooks spoil the broth,” they argue. “Aligning all those teams will take time, and we need to be done in 6/8/12/16 weeks, and we don’t have time to educate HR, IT, Legal, or other groups about what we’re doing. We’ll catch them up afterward.”
There are a ton of journey mapping tools out there. I’m most familiar with Touchpoint Dashboard, but I’ve had demos from many others. They all excel at certain components of journey mapping, but they don’t (and probably can’t) address some of the largest problems.
That’s because the biggest reasons journey maps fail have nothing to do with digital problems; they’re analog. As we’ll discuss tomorrow, the biggest problem in journey mapping is that it’s done in silos. Small teams are created to do journey mapping. Those small teams intimately learn the customer experience, but because they don’t control the critical touch points, the effort fails to drive change.
What is journey mapping?
That may seem like a strange question from a blogger whose title is “Mapper-In-Chief,” but there’s so much confusion on the topic that it’s a question that needs to be asked.
This confusion is fueled by vendors who offer “journey mapping workshops.” This is a half- or full-day workshop where you gather a bunch of employees who each adopt a customer persona and use Post-It Notes to document your perceptions of that customer’s journey. Oracle hosts this type of workshop, and by all accounts it’s a ton of fun. It’s possible they mention the need to actually talk with customers, but the attendees I’ve spoken to don’t remember them saying that.
Most journey mapping projects fail to drive change. That’s what we discovered when we surveyed practitioners who have conducted such projects (learn more about this survey in our white paper, “Driving Change Through Journey Maps”).
One leading success factor is selecting the right journey to map, and it’s the first place that problems occur because it requires trade-offs. Do you want an end-to-end map or one of a specific sub-journey?
An end-to-end map is interesting. Seeing the customers’ journey from beginning to end helps us to understand where the points of friction are and helps prioritize places where issues need to be fixed. Unfortunately, that end-to-end view isn’t always the best way to improve the customer experience.
Before it became a business five years ago, Heart of the Customer was a blog I started when I was leading CX at a Fortune 100 company. Along the way I learned about journey mapping, and created the post Customer Journey Map – the Top 10 Requirements to reflect the limitations I saw at the time. That post has since had over 108,000 views, including over 4,000 in the last year. When I started the business, that post drove us to number 1 in any Google ranking on the topic – journey map, customer journey map – even “journey mapping software,” we didn’t even offer software!
Since then, journey mapping has become even more popular, as you can see from the chart on the right.
Journey mapping is now the go-to customer experience tool, and has been discussed in Forbes, the Harvard Business Journal, and countless other journals.
Do your employees love your company?
Jim Tincher joins Shiftonomics to break down the customers’ journey, and how strongly it is impacted by corporate culture and the effort the company puts into empowering its frontline teams.
- How to hire people who care
- Keys to maintaining employee engagement
- How to map each customer’s journey
About Taylor Pipes and Jim Tincher
Taylor Pipes, an industry specialist from Branch Messenger, is joined by Jim Tincher to talk about the customer and employee experience. With a lifelong passion for customer experience, Jim founded Heart of the Customer to help companies of all sizes increase customer engagement.
Reserve your spot here.
Interested in workshops? Read more here.
Interested in journey mapping? Read more here.
Interested in improving your CX? Read more here.
Connect With Us
- Customer Centric Culture Change
- Customer Effort Score
- Customer Experience
- Customer Experience Surveys
- Customer Journey Map
- Customer Personas
- Customer Segments
- CX Vision
- Employee and Customer Engagement
- Journey Mapping Resources & Tools
- Minneapolis CX
- Net Promoter Score
- Voice of the Customer
Journey maps are the clearest way to visualize your customer experience. Download our Journey Mapping Toolkit to start.