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Annette Franz

Customer Care

The Secret Sauce to Achieve Outcomes With Journey Mapping

You can’t transform what you don’t understand

Published: Monday, July 15, 2019 - 12:02

There’s a lot of bad press out there about journey mapping. And there’s a lot of bad journey mapping (or what people think is journey mapping). A few months ago, I shared my six-step journey mapping process. Remember, journey mapping isn’t just a tool; it’s also a process. Know the tool and create it correctly. Embrace the process because the process is what’s going to ensure you achieve your desired outcomes.

I would call journey mapping the most critical and pivotal component in any customer experience transformation. An in-depth understanding of the experience today—what’s going well and what isn’t—is the only way to really drive change going forward. (You can’t transform something you don’t understand, right?) This is why journey maps and the journey mapping process are often called the backbone of customer experience management.

So, back to the six steps of the process. The first two steps, plan and empathize, are all about getting the map done and getting it done right. The third step, identify, revolves around bringing data into the maps, identifying and prioritizing moments of truth, conducting root cause analysis, and creating a plan to make improvements to the current experience.

The fourth step, introspect, is a critical one and ties in neatly with the third step, especially with regard to root cause analysis. This is where the secret sauce comes in: It’s time to look inward and create a service blueprint, which outlines the people, policies, tools, and systems that support and facilitate the customer experience; and a process map, which outlines the workflows that do the same, to correspond with the customer journey you’ve mapped. (You can include the processes in the service blueprint, as well, which is what I’ve done in the image below.)

By linking the service blueprint to the customer’s journey, you’ve got that end-to-end picture of the journey plus the surface-to-core view, which gives you the complete picture of what’s working and what’s not.

Here’s an example of what that service blueprint will look like.

If you’ve been mapping and making tactical improvements as a result of your map findings but without service-blueprinting to really understand what’s happening behind the scenes, the resulting improvements are likely cosmetic or short-term. You cannot fix what’s happening on the outside (for the customer) without identifying and then fixing what’s happening on the inside to facilitate what the customer is experiencing.

Service blueprints help us understand how we are delivering the experience to customers today. They are necessary to reveal, uncover, and then redesign the root cause of a painful customer experience. I guarantee you that most companies don’t think about the customer as they develop or implement the tools, systems, policies, and processes that result in an experience for the customer. The blueprints can and will certainly showcase where silos occur as well as the impact of those silos. But with that information, when the blueprints are done right, you will align stakeholders on the common goal: to design and deliver a better experience, from the inside out—while thinking outside in! Once you’ve completed the blueprint, you will have identified improvement opportunities, cost savings, process inefficiencies, and skill gaps for your people.

Recently, I was invited to be part of a fireside chat with Vinod Muthukrishnan, CEO of CloudCherry. During that chat, we discussed my journey mapping process, starting with the third step and barely finishing with the fifth step! We spent a chunk of time talking about service blueprinting and answering audience questions about journey mapping in general. It was a great conversation, and there will be future chats to talk about service blueprinting and more. Be sure to check out this fireside chat and future chats in which Muthukrishnan will explore more details about the mapping process.

“Everybody that’s successful lays a blueprint out.”
—Kevin Hart

First published June 12, 2019, on the CX Journey blog.

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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.