Deliver New Value to Your Customers with Future-State Journey Mapping

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Are you using journey mapping to design a better future-state experience and to deliver new value for your customers – with your customers?

One of a dozen or so journey mapping myths that I’ve written about over the last few years is that you can’t start the journey mapping process with mapping the future state. You know the drill by now: you can’t transform something you don’t understand. If you don’t know what’s going well and what’s not in the current experience, how will you know what to redesign and what to continue doing in the future?

Journey mapping is a tool and a process. The process I use with my clients has six steps, which you can read about in 6 Steps from Journey Maps to Outcomes. The fifth step in the process is Ideate, in which you’ll ideate solutions to customer and backstage pain points and then design the future state.

Here’s a bit more detail about what this step includes. You will:

  • Set up and conduct future-state mapping workshops with customers, during which you’ll:
    • Ideate solutions for the current pain points your customers are experiencing
    • Design the ideal future-state experience
  • Set up and conduct future-state service blueprint workshops with stakeholders and internal subject matter experts, during which you’ll:
    • Conduct root cause analyses
    • Ideate backstage and behind-the-scenes policies and processes to solve these (root cause) problems
    • Identify people, tools, and systems that are problematic, as well, and ideate solutions that will help you deliver the future-state experience
    • Design service delivery capabilities of the future experience

As you probably already know, future-state maps are different from current-state maps. They:

  • Are used to design tomorrow’s differentiated experience
  • Are rooted in creativity and ideals
  • Use ideation to identify solutions for customer pain points
  • Add/incorporate listening posts into the experience, as needed
  • Are driven by the CX vision
  • Help you innovate new products and services
  • Allow you to envision and design how you’ll deliver new value for your customers at minimal risk because you’re testing them on paper first

Too many companies stop at current-state journey mapping – assuming it’s been done right – and never move on to service blueprinting or to future-state design, choosing instead to make tactical and cosmetic improvements identified in the current-state map and leave it at that. Future-state mapping is an important piece of the journey mapping process and cannot be overlooked if you want to design a better overall experience – and deliver new value –  going forward for your customers.

You’ll find more information about future-state mapping and how to conduct future-state mapping workshops in my new book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of the Business), available next month!

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. -Unknown

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