I’ve been doing this work for over 15 years and still — the excitement, insights, and team-building that a typical customer journey mapping workshop delivers continues to amaze me.
They are a typically rare opportunity to bring a cross-functional team of Subject Matter Experts (“SME’s”) together around a common goal – understand what your customers experience is, and learn where you can improve it. Every time, participants walk away with new insights, a shared understanding of the customer and a common commitment to better serve them.
After every workshop, we follow-up with a survey of all participants. (We practice what we preach). Through this direct feedback from the myriad clients we’ve done these workshops for around the globe, as well as the broader corporate results we drive, we know how well this work helps to deliver on the promise of customer experience.
But the “in the moment” excitement and the environment of our workshops is hard to capture, and even harder to share. Until now.
One of our clients, the head of client experience for a Caribbean banking leader, decided to capture and share the learning, mood and excitement that workshop participants felt in a brief video, which she filmed on an iPad, and edited on the fly during breaks. The end result is all heart. And yes – as you can see, they were dancing and having a blast… though late in the day.
Usually, these workshops take place inside corporate training centers and behind closed doors, well away from the prying eyes of outsiders. Well, if you’ve never had the opportunity to participate, now’s your chance to see “inside the boardroom” with a participants-eye view.
Some of the things you’ll hear in this video include participants saying things such as:
- “What was instrumental for me was changing my perspective from an outside-in way of designing processes, to an inside-out view where I’m considering our clients at the center of everything we do.”
- “You can see the excitement on my face… I’m seeing light bulbs go off all over the place. The cross functional integration that’s happening is fantastic. I can’t wait to see where this takes us.”
- “We were able to identify our clients, their pain and the problems we need to solve for them. For us? It was just so… painless!”
Hear this feedback and more for yourself – just click on the video link here, and enjoy.
Why did this workshop work so well? And why workshops like these drive such great results?
It’s pretty simple. It’s about focus and preparation. For a typical journey mapping workshop, we want to start by making sure that we are solving a problem that has been defined, and around which there is sufficient interest and business value to invest the time and energy to do so.
Next, we need to make sure that were solving for the right customer – which typically means leveraging existing segmentation models and or persona based on the wants needs of that customer, as well as their value to the business and the value of improving this experience.
Then, we build out a straw model of what the journey we’re trying to solve might look like. All of these things – the problem we’re solving, who we’re solving for, and the journey that they take that we are attempting to improve, are discussed, refined and agreed on prior to and again in the workshop itself.
Mapping these journeys identifies and captures the total experience across it, including customer wants and needs, pain points, and gaps between the experience the customer desires to have and does have with the company. This helps to identify opportunities, and prioritize where to focus.
Which is why this last point is among the most important. And that is to bring the right people into the room. This typically means we have participants who aren’t managers, but aren’t line staff either. Who deal with customers often enough – or the systems that touch them – that they have an understanding of what customers actually feel and go through.
Which is why it’s not uncommon to have folks from IT, operations, billing, call center, marketing, customer service and sales in the room together. For most, this is the first time they’ve been on a cross-functional team brought together in this way. For all, the process and insights are eye-opening.
Beyond workshops to action: The real benefit of customer journey mapping
Critically, the results of this work drove specific action. By identifying customer pain points and working as a team to prioritize solutions to remove them, we are able to help the organization quickly move to action. Which means among other things that we clearly define the problems to solve, and how – from the customers perspective – to best solve them.
Then, we moved to customer experience blueprints to align the people, processes, systems and technology with the desired experience to eliminate unnecessary steps, focus more on the customer, and make his life significantly easier.
While you may not end up dancing in your journey mapping workshops, you will at least walk away with a bounce in your step. After all, there’s a real benefit to working as a team towards a common goal… and knowing that as a direct result of your actions, your company will understand, and treat, its customers much better.
After all, that’s what keeps us coming to work each day. Because we love your customers – and we enjoy helping companies like yours learn to do so, too.