Many companies are creating customer journey maps to visualize and describe the customer’s interaction with their brand, product, or service. CJM’s are a vital component of any CX agenda.
But what defines a brand has changed, rendering this practice potentially impotent in some areas. Therefore, it’s critical to design a “swim lane” defining your customer’s mindset, attitudes, and expectations into your customer experience map.
First, here’s a reminder of what a brand once was and what a brand has become today:
WAS: “A brand is the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: Its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised…” David Ogilvy
IS: “A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer…” Seth Godin
I love Seth’s definition and refer to it often. But back to journey maps – most journey maps do a good job of defining the ecosystems of people and processes that make up the “touchpoints”. And many do a good job of revealing the strengths and weaknesses of touchpoints across the customer’s lifecycle.
In addition to mapping touchpoints and stakeholders, is your journey map capturing the points at which your value proposition has the opportunity to resonate with a customer and differentiate you from your competition?
Where many CJM’s can fall short is in revealing how the experience delivers against the brand promise. To get to this, you must understand the customer’s emotional perception of the brand experience – attitudes, beliefs, and mindset – and these are an important component of the Journey Map.
Key to this is a “Swim Lane” that reveals the customer’s mindset and emotional state at each phase of the journey.
Critical questions that must be asked, answered, and mapped, revolve around:
Expectations: What was the customer’s expectation and did the brand (or product, or service) meet it? Why or why not? (Map it!) Where did we fall short? (Map it!) How can we improve it in order to delight the customer? (Map it!)
Memories: You might not think this is a big deal, but it can be. I worked for Sears and helped reposition the Wishbook Catalog. I was amazed at the heritage, and fond memories that the Wishbook brand evoked with the Sears customer. Push to reveal opportunities to evoke, capture, or make new memories around your brand. And again – – map these at each phase of the journey!
Stories: Without a story, your brand becomes a commodity. Your story is what makes you stand out from the crowd (read: differentiate from the competition.) Does the journey map tell you how your story is resonating with your customer at each touchpoint? Why or why not? Is there a key element of your brand story that must breakthrough at each touchpoint, or at least in each phase of the journey? Is it? Map it!
Relationships: Each customer has, in his or her mind, their own idea of what their relationship with a brand is. Relationships are often built on trust. Does your customer trust you to deliver on your brand promise at each phase of the journey? At each touchpoint? Why or why not? How are you falling short of the full trust that cements the relationship between brand and consumer? What do you have to do to deliver on this? Map it!
If you’ve made the decision to incorporate Customer Journey Mapping into your CX agenda – congratulations. You’re developing a strong backbone for your CX approach. But to fully utilize this tool, you must make sure that you are revealing whether or not you are delivering against your value proposition in the hearts and minds of your customer.
Make sure that you understand the emotions, attitudes, and mindset of your customer at each phase of the journey.