We have written about this before on this blog but it’s worth restating. Here’s why?
As client experience advisors to professional services firms, we encounter a lot of busy and frustrated CX leaders who have gone through what they believed to be all the right steps to carefully map their client’s journeys. They did upfront planning, got the right people in the room, focused on one specific and distinct segment of their client base, and mapped what they felt was the client’s journey.
But in the end, they realized after all that work and planning and all those hours from busy people participating, they were left with a few dozen feet of butcher block paper and a hundred colored post-it notes falling all over the place. And if that’s not bad enough, the CEO just asked for a status report on the effort and asked specifically what the next steps are for the team.
Here’s the wrong answer: “Well, I think we know a lot more about our clients, now.”
That’s no longer good enough. We have entered into an era where there are dozens of easy to access tools that can take us from mapped journeys to specific next steps the firm should take. We have also mastered the art of reverse-engineering the client journey mapping process where we actually start from the end and work ourselves to the beginning. It goes something like this:
- What precisely will the recipient(s) of our journey mapping effort be able to do with the information we gather and organize?
- Who needs to benefit or gain the most value from mapping our client journeys and how do they receive that value or benefit, specifically?
- How is that recipient going to convert that information into ideas or enhancements to their job?
- How do we arrive at or realize that specific value for that recipient?
- What needs to be mapped, specifically in order to deliver that value?
- Who in our firm can offer the most insight into the segment archetype we are mapping?
- Which segment or audience do we need to map in order to deliver the most value back to our firm?
If you are able to answer those questions and feel good about it then you have laid the right foundation for outcome-oriented journey mapping.
So what else do you need to know? Well, even those firms who lay the right foundations often fall into one of three value-destroying traps when journey mapping. They are:
- They inadvertently fail to represent the real ideas, needs, expectations, and mindsets of their clients or they confuse their own perspectives for those of the client. This is what we call empathy myopia.
- They inadvertently switch back and forth between mapping a current state and future state client journey. This instantly renders most of your mapping useless if you’re mapping linear journey phases (which most do) and want to track mindsets and behaviors between discrete journey phases.
- They vacillate between an inch deep and a mile wide on one journey phase, then switch it up in reverse and go a mile deep and an inch wide on the next journey phase. This provides more granular detail in one journey phase and not enough in others—and can burn out journey mapping participants quickly in the process.
If you are going to spend the time, energy and use the effort of a busy team in the process, and you know you’re going to need to demonstrate outcomes beyond a mapped journey when you’re done—we recommend you read this much more detailed article we wrote a few months ago, and give us a call so that we can help get you across the finish line with an abundance of actionable knowledge your entire firm will be able to celebrate.