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The Truth About Moments of Truth

After reviewing The Journey Mapping Playbook earlier this month, it struck me that one of the biggest misses in the book (outside of the flawed methodology) was its failure to touch on Moments of Truth. Those are the key interactions that have a disproportionate impact on a customer’s overall perception of the journey.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this critical data point! Moments of Truth are where you determine customer outcomes, so there’s really no point doing journey mapping if you don’t focus on revealing and addressing them.

But too many companies just don’t understand the opportunity they present.

Some take a watered-down approach. Some define them overly expansively as “any opportunity a customer (or potential customer) has to form an impression about a company, brand, product, or service.” Read more

San Kayzn Unsplashed

How a 10-page Report Can Help You Win Your Customer

San Kayzn UnsplashedThis post, written by Heart of the Customer Project Manager Cathy McLane, is the second in a week-long series about some of the ways journey mapping differs from traditional market research. Guest authors Corey Pawlak, Cathy McLane and Nicole Newton will share their expertise in recruiting and interviewing B2B customers, why 10-page reports are better than 50-page reports, and using video to bring the customer experience to life.

As a strategic communications advisor and program manager, I’ve seen my share of customer insights reports. They’ve ranged from 50 pages with data tables on every page to succinct PowerPoint presentations that have cool animations but very few actionable insights.

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Kris LaFavor Journey Map Designer

Designing Customer Journey Maps: An Interview with Kris LaFavor

We sat down recently to chat with Kris LaFavor, Heart of the Customer’s Data Visualization Designer, about her work designing journey maps.

What do you do when you start the process of designing a customer experience journey map?

It’s important for me to have context before I start. I make sure I understand the background material and information in regards to what the client wants to map and what they’re trying to achieve with the map. This understanding ensures that I’m not mapping extraneous information. The high-level information is plotted out first and hierarchy flows from there. Read more

The Power of Moments: A Q&A with Chip and Dan Heath

Anybody who has read any of Chip and Dan Heath’s books know that they’re compelling and well-researched. I was lucky enough to receive a pre-release of their latest book, The Power of Moments (now available), and I highly recommend it to anybody looking to create great employee or customer experiences.

Even better, I was able to score a Q&A with the authors on the book and lessons it offers to CX professionals. But be warned – not all of them will match how you’re likely organizing your work! With that…

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B2B Companies: Focus on Onboarding First

In any customer experience, certain phases have more impact than others – either positive or negative – and create a measurable impact on the rest of the relationship. Positive results lead to customers who trust you, are more willing to forgive mistakes, and are more interested in your other products or services. But if they don’t go so well, customers are more likely to stray; they pounce on every mistake, and they’re very reticent to use your other offerings.

The moments that matter vary by experience, and even by individual. Effective journey maps show these Moments of Truth. But even if you don’t have a journey map – or if yours just isn’t very good – there’s one area that is consistently important in B2B experiences: The new customer onboarding journey. Read more

Just because your customers say it isn’t important doesn’t make it so

photo-1414919823178-e9d9d0afd0acThe intangibles matter. Don’t let bad research ruin your customer experience.

Bad research can wreak havoc with your customer experience. It can lead you to ignore a critical moment of truth while working on something with less impact.

In one journey map project, we were hired to extend a Big Research Company’s research. They had created an (ugly) journey map, and we were asked to replicate the findings in a local market. Which meant we had to use their methodology.

The way they conducted the research (and still conduct research today – this terrible method is rampant in journey mapping) was to ask customers to rate the importance and satisfaction of each touch point. The touch points with a significant difference between importance and satisfaction were “moments of truth.”

What’s Wrong With This?

What a terrible idea. First, moments of truth are interactions with disproportionate impact on ongoing loyalty. You can’t discover them with this method. Most companies aren’t terrible at moments of truth – they just aren’t as good as they need to be. In addition, moments of truth aren’t always identified as important. It’s not whether they’re that important at that point – it’s whether they have long-term impact. Nearly every moment of truth we have discovered would not be identified using this method.

But just as important is the mistake of asking customers to rate the importance of steps in the journey. Read more

Journey Mapping = Effective Customer Service Strategy

Maps_70172637_m-2015It’s no secret around here that journey maps are key to a successful customer service strategy for your business. We do a lot of customer journey mapping, using data straight from your customers. But there’s more than one kind of journey map, which can lead to questions about what kind of map to create—but also, how to integrate more than one type of map to better understand each facet of your company, employees and customers, to improve your customer loyalty and business outcomes as a whole.

While you’re probably familiar with customer journey maps, employee journey maps are ideal complements to get the entire picture.

You might ask yourself, how do I actually merge customer and employee journey maps in a way that actually gives me valuable information? It’s not always an easy journey, but if you keep a few basic guidelines in mind, it can be a streamlined process with a significant effect on how you understand your company. Read more

Using Customer Experience-Savvy to Improve Your Candidate Experience

CM9Na_gWsAEXVLXHere’s a Q&A I did recently with Recruiting Social, who asked me to talk about using CX in the hiring process to improve candidate experience.

Why should the candidate experience matter to employers?

If the goal is to get the best talent, yet you make people go through really hard and opaque application and recruitment processes, you’re automatically removing potential candidates. You don’t know who they are. You don’t know if you are chasing away the people who are just not interested, or if you’re chasing away the best talent.

Is the applicant willing to reformat their resume so it’s easier for you to use and search? Maybe resumes disappear into a black box and applicants never hear anything back and never get any feedback. Does a potential applicant want to go through an experience like that? It’s very easy to get into the mindset that, “If this candidate doesn’t like a process, we’ll find another candidate.” I’ve actually heard from recruiters in the past that were getting too many job applications, so they deliberately decided to not make the process easy, so they could weed out some of the applicants. Well, doing that you’re probably weeding out the wrong ones.

Not caring about the experience degrades the quality of candidates, because they know that you are not serious about hiring the best talent. Read more

Case Study: Using Journey Mapping Workshops to Drive Change in City Government Customer Experience

2275992Kelly Ohaver is the Client Experience Manager at the City of Centennial, as well as an active CXPA member. Her mission is to introduce customer experience principles to improve the city’s experience for its citizens and clients. She describes her job as “the most fascinating, challenging, and rewarding job ever” as she strives to bring an outside-in focus to the city. “It’s so rewarding when you see people get caught up and excited.”

I could (and probably will) write an entire article just about Kelly’s role. But one particular activity of hers caught my ear. Kelly recently ran a journey mapping workshop that serves as a great case study for how customer experience tools can be used for internal clients as well as external.

A quick refresher: Journey mapping is an exercise to understand your customer’s true steps, as well as the emotions that actually make up that journey. Some organizations use customer research, while others use workshops to help employees try on their customer’s shoes.  Kelly created the internal session after attending a workshop on the topic.

This was her first journey mapping session in her role. It surrounding a challenging IT transition with four newly-elected council members. Read more

Reimagining Journey Map Design

Journey maps are game-changing tools to illustrate your current customer experience, highlighting friction points that impact loyalty.

If you’ve researched the topic, you may have noticed that different creators apply the 10+4 criteria of an effective customer journey map very significantly. As a critical input to your customer journey design, journey maps need to grab your reader’s attention and quickly communicate the emotional impact of your experience, highlighting areas that most require focus.. Read more