There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Journey Map

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Rather than treating your customer journey map like a static
resource or a museum piece, treat it as an active, living example
of what your team is doing.

It feels like, in the past year, customer journey mapping has
become the hottest thing since sliced bread. It’s everywhere.

Everyone is talking about how to make the best customer journey
map, how to make the technology work for you, and promising that
your journey map will be your silver bullet to understanding your
customers’ motivations.

While customer journey mapping is super helpful and can lend a
ton of transparency to your customer experience, it will never be
the end-all-be-all to understanding your customers. That’s right:
your customer journey map will never be perfect.

The perfect customer journey map, despite what people
may say,
doesn’t exist, because there is no definitive state
for your journey map to remain in. It will never be “finished,”
but should instead be a constantly shifting, changing creation.
Let’s dig deeper into why that is.

customer journey mapCustomers are ever-changing

You don’t want your customers to stay the same. You might
think that you do, but if your customers remained the same and
their needs never evolved, there would be no expansion
opportunities for your product. People pay you more because their
strategy evolves and changes—otherwise they would never need to
upgrade.

A static customer journey map will never entirely encompass a
changing customer demographic—but it still can help make sense of
it.

According to the
2017 PWC Global Operations Survey
, 63% of business leaders said
their companies find it challenging to understand their
customers’ priorities, and 61% struggle when they need to shift
and adapt to customer needs. Customer journey maps, however
imperfect, give you the opportunity to keep a thumb on the pulse of
where your customers are at and get a sense for when there are
rumblings of change.

Just remember: when things change and your
customers’ sentiments shift, that also means that your journey
map will be out of date. It will be time, once again, to get that
puppy up to snuff!

customer journey mapYour product should not remain static

Teams need to always be building. Your product needs to always
be changing. In fact, according to Brendan from Wistia, there are
three
pillars that your product team should always be working on
:

journey map

Shiny aspects are the new, exciting features that move that
state of the market forward. Base are features that your core
customers will get excited about (e.g. organization, simplified
workflows), and scale is the reliability and speed with which your
application functions.

In order to have a healthy product, you need to be working on
each of those three things equally.

A
customer journey map helps you to prioritize
which of those are
most important and which aspects of them have the most direct
impact on your customer experience.

However, if you’re doing it right, because your product is
changing and evolving (just like your customer), your customer
journey map will be constantly out of date. Unless you have someone
working around the clock to keep your customer journey map updated
with every individual change your product team makes, it will never
be perfect—especially if your engineers move with speed! It’s a
good problem to have.

customer journey mapDon’t view it in a vacuum

Would you look at a single CSAT rating and base all of your
success as a support team on it? Probably not. We all know that
it’s better to compare metrics to each other and find
correlations, rather than just assume that one is the source of
truth.

In its nature, a customer journey map is effectively a visual
representation across a swatch of customer experience metrics.
Ideally, it should represent metrics such as customer
satisfaction
, Net Promoter Score, customer effort score, and
customer sentiment overlayed across common actions customers need
to take to be successful with your product. Just the act of
realizing that some of the metrics are out of date and updating
them moves your journey map towards a more perfect version of
itself.


Lucid Chart journey map

Along with that, your journey map can still be helpful even
without updating the whole thing. Take the insights included on
your journey map and compare them to metrics outside of your
customer experience organization.

For example, how does dissatisfaction with one specific aspect
of your product make an impact on something like monthly recurring
revenue and churn?

Your journey map may be out of date and imperfect, but it can
still be super-insightful when viewed alongside foreign
metrics.

customer journey mapNothing is ever perfect

Spoiler alert: if you’re doing things right,
your work and company will be changing enough that nothing will
ever be perfect.

That’s a good thing! An imperfect, out-of-date journey map
indicates a thriving, driven, quick-moving company. That being
said, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still be working your
darndest to get to a place where your customer journey map feels as
close to perfect as possible.

Take time to actively assess how your customers are doing and
feeling. Have their needs changed? Are there additional new
demographics that are interested in your product, but that you
might not be serving as well as you could? Pay primary attention to
the changes that are occurring, especially because they won’t be
visible on your map, and then set time aside to update your map so
the rest of your company has a solid view of what’s going on.

The same goes for the product. It’s impossible, or at least it
feels like it, to slow down the flow of the product. Once something
gets rolling, it can feel like a ten-ton boulder to stop.

Use time and energy to update your customer journey map whenever
something that directly impacts your users occurs. In the grand
scheme of things, it’s okay if it takes a bit longer than
expected, especially if you don’t have the resources to staff a
customer journey expert individually.

The best approach to this is to have an individual on your
support or customer success team who has a partial responsibility
and ownership over the map. A
customer journey map should be something that your whole company
can reference
to get a feel for where your customers are at. It
doesn’t need to be perfect—but it should be as up to date as
possible.

Conclusion

Customer journey maps are great! They’re excellent tools to
better understand how your product decisions and features have a
direct impact on the individuals that are paying to use your
product.

Perfection isn’t an attainable goal, and no matter how much
work or time you put into updating a customer journey map, if you
are also putting in effort and time into updating your product or
CX (which you should be), it’s going to change. Use the tool to
make informed changes, and then update it when you get time.

Something that’s so well and frequently used isn’t meant to
be perfect, anyway—just like The Velveteen Rabbit, a few bumps or
bald patches just show signs of being well-loved.

Rather than treating your customer journey map like a static
resource or a museum piece, treat it as an active, living example
of what your team is doing. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be
helpful.

The post There’s No
Such Thing as a Perfect Journey Map
appeared first on Customer Happiness Blog.



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