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Enable CX Action by Removing Barriers

On our continuing journey exploring John Kotter’s 8 Steps to Accelerate Change and how you can apply them to the CX world, we have reached the fifth step: Enable Action by Removing Barriers. (Catch up on earlier posts in the series here!)

According to our forthcoming work on understanding how companies improve their customers’ journeys, one of the top obstacles to improvement is organizational complexity. Read more

Enlist a Volunteer CX Army

One thing about being in CX – you’re unlikely to have a huge staff. Typically, that’s deliberate. CX doesn’t – and can’t! – own the entire experience. That’s what all those other departments do. Your role is to influence them, and align the entire organization on CX objectives.

We’re not yet ready to share the full results of the survey of journey maturity we recently conducted in partnership with Usermind and Megan Burns, but I will tease one of the results. (CXPA members can join our webinar at the end of September to find out more about what we learned.) Read more

Journey mapping is still happening in silos.

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.”

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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

What’s Worse Than No CX Vision? Multiple CX Visions

Creating a compelling vision is one of the trickiest aspects of an effective customer experience (CX) program. A solid CX vision aligns teams, allowing your front-line employees to decide how best to serve the customer without needing to escalate. Read more

The best (and worst) uses of journey mapping workshops

ccexpo_0581We often get calls from organizations who want to hold a journey mapping workshop, but have no time or budget for research.

Our willingness varies depending on what the client is looking to accomplish. There are times when a workshop is absolutely the best journey mapping methodology – and times when it’s a train wreck. Let’s start with the best ways.

#1 As a way to internalize research results

We frequently end our research projects with mapping workshops. After sharing the research results, we have participants map out the customer journey, using the voice of the customer as their guide. Read more

Read More: Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach

51p+yVB0O+L._SY402_BO1,204,203,200_I’m halfway through the book Mapping Experiences by James Kalbach. It’s a really good book to help you better understand alignment diagrams, such as service blueprints, journey maps, experience maps, mental model diagrams, and spatial maps, and when to use each. I helped edit the chapter on journey maps, but didn’t get a chance to read the rest until I received my copy just recently. And I’m really enjoying it – even the chapters that aren’t about journey mapping!

I especially like James’ discussion on benefits, including his statement that “Your ultimate goal is creating an inclusive dialog within the organization, not creating the diagram itself. Mapping experiences has many potential benefits. These include building empathy, providing a common ‘big picture,’ breaking silos, reducing complexity, and finding opportunities.”

The journey mapping section also includes a case study of our work with Meridian Health. Read the case study, then follow that up with my recent interview with Chrisie Scott, VP of Marketing, to learn about the long-term change brought about through journey mapping!

You can hear more from James Kalbach on his blog, www.experiencinginformation.com.

Boardroom

Not ready for customer experience governance? Then you’re not ready for CX

BoardroomAs a passionate customer experience (CX) advocate, I frequently get to meet with companies just beginning their customer experience journey. I can consistently predict their future success when the conversation moves to governance.

Governance is the active involvement of senior leadership to guide the program and knock down barriers on the way to an improved customer experience. We all love the idea of a bottom-up approach, but it’s pretty much impossible to sustain change without customer experience governance.

An Effective Customer Experience Program Changes How Decisions are Made.

If you don’t change the decision-making, you really aren’t changing the customer experience. And the most important decisions happen above your pay grade. That’s why you need customer experience governance. Read more

Journey Mapping: Interview with Annette Franz

Annette FranzAs part of the launch of our new website, I’m interviewing Annette Franz, author of the popular Customer Experience (CX) blog CX Journey. In addition to her blog, Annette and I volunteer together as CX Experts at the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). We’re discussing all things journey mapping.

Jim: So Annette, let’s start.  You’ve written a lot about journey mapping, even naming your blog CX Journey.  So why do you feel that journey mapping is such an important topic?

Annette: One of the main reasons journey mapping is such an important topic is that it really sheds light on the customer experience the way it ought to be shed, from the customer’s perspective. A journey map really brings the customer experience to life, allowing people in the company to really understand what customers are going through, what their interactions are, and to create that empathy that we are talking about so much lately, that’s so important to creating a great customer experience. Read more

4 ways to bring the customer into your journey mapping workshop

A journey mapping workshop is a powerful way to build customer intelligence and to create customer-based capabilities.

Journey mapping workshops bring together members from different parts of your company to walk through a particular customer’s journey, documenting your customer’s steps and emotions throughout. Where these workshops really show their value is by documenting how your silos impact your customer. Are there missed handoffs? Perhaps you have redundant emails coming from different departments, or conflicting incentives that lead to contradictory programs. They also show the systems and groups that impact that customer, and are a superior way to create alignment on your needs. See here for more details on how to conduct a journey mapping workshop.

Diving In

Done right, what differentiates a great journey mapping workshop from a process flow discussion is this focus on your customer. And this focus can be really hard to create.

We spend 30-50 hours a week interacting with our internal processes and procedures, and only a small fraction of that time actually talking to customers. It’s hard to leave that behind to really put yourself in your customer’s shoes. But you need to find a way to do that to make your journey mapping workshop successful.

For example, when I was leading a workshop, we started by identifying the customer steps. Our first volunteer began by, “Well, of course the first step our customer takes is to call us.”

That’s when we had to call a pause. From his perspective, what he said was true. This is his first step in the process, so it’s a natural place to begin. But by accepting this, we cut off our best opportunities to make improvements. Read more