The Problem With Scenario Mapping the Customer Experience


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Well, actually there is no problem with scenario mapping as a way to improve the customer experience. That is, unless you start without a clear idea of the experience you want the customer to have.
If you don’t have a clear idea, scenario mapping focuses on eliminating negatives. Of course reducing the potential of the customer having negative experiences is a good idea—but, it is not enough.
The absence of negative emotions (experiences) does not lead to something memorable. In fact it could lead to indifference. Dave Mosby makes this point in his book, The Paradox of Excellence. Flawless service or performance can become an expectation and the experience can become a non-experience, that is, something that does not register emotionally.
Up until about a year ago we used an ISP that delivered reliable service at a good price. No reason to switch right? Wrong!
A business associate started telling me about some cool things he was doing to enhance his business on the Internet. Things I didn’t know about. This raised some flags. This associate is far from being an innovator or early adopter. Where was he getting the insights? From his ISP! His ISP made it their business to show him how to get more value out of his Internet connection. He arrange for free “trials” of things like press releases on He pointed out how social bookmarking sites like could be used to manage content. It periodically reminded him to backup his data and provides the service. And, more ideas keep coming.
Guess which ISP we use today? Our new ISP started with a well defined customer experience in mind, not just a good service at a good price.

John Todor
John I. Todor, Ph.D. is the Managing Partner of the MindShift Innovation, a firm that helps executives confront the volatility and complexity of the marketplace. We engage executives in a process that tackles two critical challenges: envisioning new possibilities for creating and delivering value to customers and, fostering employee engagement in the innovation and alignment of business practices to deliver on the new possibilities. Follow me on Twitter @johntodor


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