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.
Forrester is similar. They sell a workshop where your employees document their perceptions, then tell you to go validate your findings with customers. However, from what I can tell from talking to current and former Forrester employees, hardly anybody does.
At least the workshop is fun and engages the team with the customer journey, right?
Well, it’s certainly fun, but the journey you’re showing probably isn’t the real one.
We also start our process with an employee Hypothesis Mapping Workshop, but we use that language deliberately. It’s not a customer journey mapping workshop; it’s documenting your best guess of the journey. That best guess is typically about 70% right. The overall framework is there, but the Moments of Truth are all over the place. For example, a recent workshop featured twenty-five participants, generating over a dozen candidate moments of truth. Each group felt that theirs were right, but you can’t prioritize a dozen “most important” moments. Your customers need to do that.
This is why the second-most critical item in journey mapping is “involve customers” (we’ll address the most critical on Friday).
Our experience is that employees miss what’s most important to customers. They get the overall journey structure right, but their interactions with customers are limited to only a few steps in the customer’s journey. They don’t get to see what happens at the customer site when your software doesn’t work, or how the vendor’s success (or lack thereof) shows up in a review.
You can’t create a customer journey map if you don’t include your customers.
This is the third in five posts on reflections after five years of journey mapping. The five will be:
These all reflect, to varying degrees, the five journey mapping questions that you should consider before embarking on a project:
Please, join in the discussion by leaving your comments on our blog, or on LinkedIn.