These days I want to say, “I knew journey mapping before it was famous!” before speaking about Customer Journey Mapping (CJM). Over the past months, journey mapping has grown from a niche workshop in the land of business-to-consumer customer experience to being “on-trend” and fashionable. From ugly B2C duckling to elegant B2B swan, you might say. In fact, it is a hot topic across industries and one that I will be presenting on during two sessions at next week’s Technology World Services (TSW) conference in Last Vegas.
The transition is interesting viewed from the eye of the storm. The waves generated have conformed nicely to that of all adoption waves, with a number of bellwethers coming before the true market adoption. In its simplest form, CJM is just a way of visually illustrating a particular individual’s experience. Many organizations have these types of journey maps; they are great at communicating a particular story and generally focus on the best path through a series of interactions.
Some see this as all that journey maps have to offer. However, those visuals are just the snap-shots of the end of destination; they don’t answer the questions, “How do we get there?”,“Why are we going?”, or “How much is it going to cost?” You have to know where your starting point is before you can plot a course elsewhere. In order to do that as a product or services provider, you need to start with your customer and identify exactly what their experience is today. In summary, you need to understand:
Once you have a comprehensive, customer-centric view of the current interaction, its cost and the true underlying tasks each customer wishes to achieve, you can define a pragmatic roadmap for which delivers against real customer needs and wants. What’s crucial is that this roadmap creates the right experience to deliver business results, otherwise it simply isn’t sustainable. “Appropriate experience” it has been called by some; maximizing the overall value, both for the customer and the business, is the way I prefer to look at it.
How this done is really no surprise. Speaking with customers and those individuals who interact directly with customers, check. Understanding customers’ expected experiences and those offered by competitors, check. Workshop style mapping session, with individuals from marketing, sales, support, IT, etc., check. Industry insight to refine ideas and bring fresh ones from companies solving similar “jobs to be done,” check. Oh, and displaying the results in a visual way, yes, that’s there, too.
If you are attending TSW in Las Vegas during October 23 – 25 and are interested to find out more about Customer Journey Mapping, it would be great to see you. I’ll be onstage for two sessions sharing an example of how ServiceSource has worked with Leica to map their journey, as well as some successful tactics ServiceSource deploys (and you can use!) during the journey mapping process.