I received a call from a CX leader wanting to drive action in her program. I discussed how we use the voice of the customer to create an organizational drive to act, and she stopped me to say “We don’t need more voice of the customer. We know what customers want.” I asked her what Voice of the Customer (VoC) she had, and she referenced how her executives regularly talk with customers. But nobody else does. So, they “know” what customers want.
We’re celebrating Mapping Month in a big way, and I hope you can join us. We’ll have events both in-person and online, to share the journey mapping best practices outlined in our book, How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change.
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.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra
Yogi’s quote applies to much more than baseball – it gets to the heart of what limits so many customer experience (CX) programs. When I ask most CX leaders what they’re trying to accomplish, I get a general statement like, “We’re working cross-functionally to create a better customer experience, in order to create more loyal customers.”
That’s an awful statement because it doesn’t actually say anything. Read more
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. Read more
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.”
This may not seem like a CX-related post, but bear with me a minute.
I attended a fabulous CXPA event on CX Day this week. Laurie Englert (full disclosure: she’s a client), the VP of Customer Experience at Legrand’s AV Division, shared how her team uses design thinking. We then applied those skills to strategize for Bike.MN. Nearly 100 CX enthusiasts focused together on helping Bike.MN build more business partnerships.
That said, there’s a central component to design thinking that bugs me: its brainstorming approach. As the facilitator (who wasn’t Laurie) shared, brainstorming in design thinking is an active exercise where you quickly put out ideas on Post-It Notes and then build on them with more ideas. This isn’t unique to last night’s presentation – whenever I encounter design thinking it involves this traditional out-loud approach to brainstorming.
As one of the CXPA’s CX Experts, as well as a journey mapper, I’m often called by companies trying to create momentum for their CX program. Sometimes it’s a midsize manufacturer trying to start their CX program. Other times, it’s a Fortune 50 company who has a program, but seeing its influence wane.
I wrote a white paper on starting a program, in conjunction with Intouch Insight. In it, I walked through the CXPA’s six CX disciplines (CX Strategy, Customer-Centric Culture, VOC Customer Insight & Understanding, Experience Design Improvement & Innovation, Metrics & Measurement, and ROI & Organizational Adoption & Accountability). All six are critical to a successful program.
But most people who call know they need to do all this. That’s not the question. What they really want to know is: how do they build momentum? “How do I break through the noise, in order to get the company’s attention, so I can get permission to build a CX-focused design and governance program?”
If you’re stuck and can’t get the attention, focusing on all six disciplines equally is the surest way to stay stuck. To gain this attention, you need to hit your employees – and your executives – in the gut. You need to create a visceral connection to your current customer experience and its limitations. And the best way I know to do that is through visual voice of the customer. Read more
A while ago I led a journey mapping workshop at the ICMI conference. It was a ton of fun, as we mapped out how Amanda chooses her new health insurance plan. We looked at how and when to use journey mapping (answers: frequently, and in partnership with customers).
During a break, one call center director asked me whether journey mapping can be used to map out employee journeys. That’s when I realized my mistake. I’m so passionate about mapping the customer journeys that I completely forgot to talk about how journey mapping is also a great tool to use for employee journeys.
Connecting with Employees
Employee journeys are critically important to your customer experience. As Bruce Temkin says, you can’t create an engaged customer with disengaged employees. Journey mapping is a great tool to understand the friction your employees face as they serve your customers.
At CXPA events I often run across new attendees with a familiar story. They’re obsessed with customers, and they want to transform their companies to be more customer-focused. They desperately want to change their companies! But they’re not in a customer experience (CX) role.
How, they ask, can they change their company if their company hasn’t given them a CX title?
It’s a great question. It’s always easier if you have the title. If the company cares enough to create a customer experience role, and to trust you in it, that’s a huge head start. It’s still difficult to drive change, but at least you’re beginning with some momentum.
But what if you don’t have a CX role?
I was discussing this very issue at CX Day when our speaker reminded me of the classic Harvard Business Review article Radical Change, the Quiet Way by Debra Meyerson. The article is focused more on confronting such challenges as racism, gender bias, and other workplace issues, and recommends you become a “tempered radical” to make moderate changes in your culture.
While these issues are obviously very serious, these skills also apply to our domain. Read more