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Annette Franz

Quality Insider

You Can’t Transform Something You Don’t Understand

Why is journey mapping important?

Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 11:14

I kicked off 2015 in a big way. Isn’t that what a new year is all about? Every year is a new year to get it right—on a personal or professional level and on an organizational improvement level, i.e., employee and customer experience.

For me it was about elevating my customer-experience thinking and expanding my horizons. This was a no-brainer. I joined the executive team at Touchpoint Dashboard (TPD), the world’s first journey mapping software. I’ve used TPD for client engagements in the past, so it was exciting for me to have the opportunity to head up marketing and customer experience initiatives for this great company. After all, I have written many times about customers and employees aligning with the purpose of the companies for which they work or from which they purchase. I walk the talk.

Click here for larger image.

As such, I have to stick with my mantra and practice what I preach: The customer experience is a journey. And you must map that journey in order to understand your customer and his experience.

Lately, I’ve been known to preach: You can’t transform something that you don’t understand.

Journey mapping is the tool that helps you understand. Without knowing what steps your customers currently take to complete some interaction or task, there’s no way for us to make improvements or change it. Imagine trying to change something that we have no clue about, that we have no idea how it transpires today. That’s just silly. And yet, so many companies attempt to do that.

When Jim Tincher of Heart of the Customer approached me about an interview about journey mapping, I had to jump on it. This is my passion: helping companies understand the customer experience so that they can transform it from current state to future state, the customer’s desired state.

Tincher asked me some great questions:
• Why is journey mapping such an important topic?
• What helps companies realize they need to map their journeys? Is it an event, a project kicking off, or something else? (My answer might surprise you.)
• How do companies use their journey maps to drive their customer experience (CX) programs forward?
• Do you have any examples of where a particular organization was able to use journey maps to propel their CX program forward?
• If you had to give one piece of advice to a company considering journey mapping, what would it be? (I give three!)

To find out the answers to these questions and more, check out the interview on the Heart of the Customer site. And let me know your thoughts.

“A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected.”
—Reif Larsen, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet (Penguin Books, 2010)

First published Feb. 3, 2015, on CX Journey.


About The Author

Annette Franz’s picture

Annette Franz

Annette Franz, CCXP is founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. She’s got 25 years of experience in both helping companies understand their employees and customers and identifying what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience – so that, together, we can design a better experience for all constituents. She's an author (she wrote the book on customer understanding!), a speaker, and a customer experience thought leader and influencer. She serves as Vice Chairwoman on the Board of Directors of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), is an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council, and is an Advisory Board member for CX@Rutgers.