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CX Connect Coffee Chat: Journey Mapping

In this video explore the challenges of journey mapping in the context of customer experience (CX). The complexities of journey mapping, its non-linearity, and multiple touch points pose significant challenges. Data integration from various sources, the aspiration for data-driven mapping, and the actual data quality are highlighted issues.

Additionally, in the B2B space, understanding the roles of multiple individuals in the buying process and the linkages between them adds complexity to journey mapping. To overcome these hurdles, connecting journey maps to critical business objectives is crucial to demonstrate their tangible impact on revenue, customer retention, and organizational success.

So, grab a coffee and tune in as Taylor and Steve shed light on the challenges inherent in the practice of journey mapping.


Enjoy the full Transcript of the Video

Stephen Shay, Taylor Fitzpatrick

Taylor Fitzpatrick  00:06
Hey, Steve, I am so glad that you're joining me for our first CX coffee Connect Chat. I actually don't know the order of those sorts, but that's okay. And we are having coffee and talking about journey maps. So I'm super excited that we're here today. Before. Yeah, and for the folks who don't know, you tell me, tell me a little about you. Yeah.

Stephen Shay  00:27
So I'm Steve Shea vice president within Corbin with him Corp a little over eight years, that was after a long career with Microsoft. And in that capacity, I'm responsible for our capabilities practice, but have done a multitude of engagements across a variety of industries. With journey maps, so happy to be here today.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  00:50
I'm super glad that you're here, too. And for those who don't know, me, I'm Taylor. I am a CX consultant with M Corp. CX. And I am the Practice Lead for journey mapping. And we are here to talk today to Steve about journey mapping and practice and what that looks like in real life. And lots of other questions I have for him, and he has for me, so we're just going to chitchat and hope that, uh, we all learned something together. So kind of the first question I have for you, Steve, is what are some of the challenges that you've seen with journey mapping from our clients?

Stephen Shay  01:27
Yeah, I think as things have evolved, you know, more and more people are into customer experience and doing journey mapping. But I think what they're finding is that, journeys can be complex, they can be intricate, they can be nonlinear, again, involve lots of different touch points and interactions across lots of different channels. And mapping, those can be complex, and doing so accurately can be a little bit challenging. And so just the, the multitude, I think of journeys is one of the one of the key challenges that customers face. There's a couple others that I would probably point to, you know, people desire, I think, to have, I'll say data driven journey, Max, and that the data availability and quality, I think, you know, the, the aspiration is high, but the reality of delivering that is, is low. I think, you know, accurate journey mapping, I think requires reliable data from lots of different sources, including, you know, customer feedback, the analysis that you might do on that feedback, incorporating operational data, and so forth. And so, poor data availability, or quality, I think leads to inaccurate or maybe even incomplete or, you know, unreliable or, you know, maps that other people in other parts of the organization might look at and say, you know, it's not really representative of the customer's journey that I know. And so, you know, integrating all of all of that data that I touched on, you know, in many organizations, especially large organizations, it comes from lots of different places, different systems, and you know, that makes it really difficult to integrate and create a holistic view of, of that journey, bringing in multiple data sources like that. So those are probably a couple of the top challenges that I've seen more recently.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  03:48
I feel like I've seen similar things. I love that you mentioned the data piece, people often talk about working in silos, like they think about how, you know, operations doesn't always talk to marketing, right? There's sometimes a disconnect there from the way people do their work. But then there's the database that also lives in those same silos. And so they're like, Wow, we haven't figured out how to talk to each other human to human. How are we supposed to get our tech to talk to each other and our data to map and all the complexity that you mentioned there? So I think that is, yeah, I've seen a lot of that. As I feel like we've heard a lot about this kind of, you mentioned how complex, those journeys are, and they're not always like, you know, they sometimes are weird. journeys are not linear. We, I've also heard about this kind of idea of linkages, and they're kind of being these like sub journeys. And this, it feels like it's more of an ecosystem when you're thinking about customers more than this, like one person kind of stepping through steps. So have you seen, you know, clients, experienced that kind of challenge also and trying to think about how

Stephen Shay  04:55
they're protected? Without a doubt. I mean, what we find particularly You know, in the, I'll say in the b2b space. And you're looking at, you know, a customer journey, a customer is another enterprise and that enterprise, it's not an individual that's making a purchase decision, if you will, it's typically a cohort of people. And so involves understanding the involvement of multiple people in that, I'll say, buyers journey, and understanding the linkages between those individual buyers that comprise that cohort. And so we've done a lot of work recently in creating, I'll say linkage maps as we refer to them, to just help our customers better understand that buyer cohort and how they look at purchasing from from an organization.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  05:57
I think that that will resonate with a lot of folks that that complexity is it is not a unique challenge. It still is challenging that always. So when we think about the things that our clients experience, how do we how do we help them start? If they already have journey maps? Like how do we help them start with what they have? Like? What's our, you know, process for using that map? Like, cool, we did all we got some of that. We've made it, you know, neat, but then what?

Stephen Shay  06:27
Yeah, no, I think I didn't touch on it as a problem. But I think one of the things that, that we've seen is, you know, people are, they're, they're getting better and better at creating journey maps, without a doubt. But it's typically, what we've seen is they remain siloed, if you will, within the I'll say the CX organization. And so there's, there's less of a broad understanding, if you will, across the larger organization, and how they contribute, how the various components of the organization contribute to the customer journey, and what they may need to do enhance that journey. And so I, that challenge, I think points back to just driving greater usage, if you will, or buy in to those journey maps, I touched on that with the data and people not necessarily believing that the journey map is reflective of the journey as they may feel like they know their customer. And so I think the common denominator around all of that is connecting journey maps directly to the key business objectives, or the outcomes that the business is trying to achieve. You know, just just demonstrating how journey maps impact revenue, customer retention, and other critical business metrics that can garner not only executive support, but organization buy in, and so that people can see when they're part of marketing versus sales versus operations versus support and so forth, how their contribution impacts the customer journey that touchpoints that they may be directly responsible for, and so forth. And so that's, I think, starting there, as it relates to just connecting to those key business objectives is an important thing that I think a lot of organizations have a difficult time doing. They're so focused on CX, and the CX metrics, and NPS or you know, things like that, that are certainly important to the CX leader, we often find it's less important to the executive. And so being able to tie the work that you're doing in CX, including the journey maps back to those business objectives is a is certainly a key thing. I

Taylor Fitzpatrick  09:11
love that. And part of what you and I mentioned there, one of the things I've seen is that sometimes it's not even a metric like NPS, its language, its we can't get out of our own way. Like I can't stop talking and CX sometimes and so having to take a minute to translate and say, Hey, how what's the language of my you know, boss, boss's boss's boss's boss? Like, how do I help those people that are essentially funding my program? How do I help prove value? Well, I do exactly that tied to business objectives, but even in their language and start to, you know, just as I tried to like, listen to customers and hear what they're saying and understand it from their point of view, taking time to understand what's important to your business leaders as though they're a customer and then translating the phrase into decisions and the objectives and the projects, kind of in that same vein to say, Oh, this is how they're talking, let me put it in their frame. I feel like that helps me get sticky too. Have you seen that? Work?

Stephen Shay  10:11
Yeah, definitely seen that. And I think it points to, you know, an area where engaging those cross functional teams early in the process of just involve representatives from different departments in the journey mapping process. And, you know, driving that cross functional collaboration, just to ensure that the insights that are that are garnered, and then are ultimately represented within the journey maps, add value to those individual functions.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  10:43
Yeah. So and even if you've done that work, like it's not too late, right, there are ways you can bring those people in to have them reflect on it. And you can start to translate even some of what you've learned, and, and other vernacular to try to help them be more sticky. Right? It's better to start with them at the beginning. But if you've already got the map, it's not too late. Right?

Yeah, for sure.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  11:05
I love that. And one of the things you mentioned too, is kind of the complexity and this idea of breaking down silos. And I think we've seen technology has really started to evolve to a place where it can help in some of those spaces, like how do you how do you bring technology into a journey mapping kind of frame? Yeah,

Stephen Shay  11:24
well, I think both of the things that I talked about early on with the challenges, both the complexity of the journeys, having multiple personas, multiple journeys, just understanding the portfolio of those things that you have, what we found is, you know, our some of our clients have 3040 50, or more journey maps, right, and personas to match and multiple personas along the same journey. And just trying to manage all of that becomes really, really difficult. And so bringing technology in that to help with the complexity of managing not only multiple personas, multiple journeys, but also looking at the elements inside those journeys, the you know, the touch points, the channels, the interactions, that technology can can help visualize and manage the complexity of of those journeys, I think more effectively. And then the other element that I pointed to in terms of the challenges was was data. And certainly, you know, technology plays a key role in managing that data and bringing it together from from multiple sources and systems, you know, those tools can help integrate and synthesize the data in a in a more comprehensive view. The other thing that that technology could afford you to do, but we you know, I would be candid and say, we haven't seen a lot of a lot of our clients be able to take this leap yet. And that is more real time journeys, right. And using technology to not just, you know, do research or capture information at a at a point in time. But to have this ongoing perspective of what's happening real time, from operational data, or, you know, social media listening, or whatever the case might be, that gives you more of a real time update of customer journeys much more frequently. And, you know, just given the way that the market is today, and then a dynamics, the trends, these tools just, I think, allow for more real time updates, and ultimately, adjustments to how you might manage that journey going forward. And certainly, that all comes down to, you know, the analytics and insights that oftentimes, you know, relies on technology, even if that's just excel. But there are a lot more robust tools that can come into play. They're not just for analyzing the data, but visualizing the data, incorporating that visualization, into the journey map itself, managing performance, tracking the performance through time, all of all of those kinds of things. I

Taylor Fitzpatrick  14:29
think that's really powerful, like tracking, visualizing what's happening in that journey, and being able to see how it's shifting over times. I feel like that's the story that we tell in CX often and so hard, so often it kind of it's, it's really hard to get that story brought to the surface. And so technology, you know, really makes that simpler and you can absolutely see it. You also started kind of alluding to more sophisticated technology. So we've been talking about like Journey management But you know the buzzword really? Journey orchestration,

Stephen Shay  15:04

Taylor Fitzpatrick  15:06
mL? What is that? Like? What, how are those things different? What does that even mean? What does that look like? Yeah,

Stephen Shay  15:10
I mean, the way I, the way I look at it is journey mapping really involves, I'll say the planning, planning, monitoring and improvement of customer journeys across, you know, the various touch points, and channels. And it really focuses more on creating a consistent and seamless experience for customers, I think, throughout their interactions with a company's brand. And so, you know, journey mapping, I would say typically includes things obviously mapping the journey itself, understanding the pain points, measuring performance across the various stages of the journey, and then driving kind of iterative improvement in the journey across the various functions that are involved in that. When I think about journey orchestration, I think it takes the concept of Journey management just a step further, by enabling what I would say automation and maybe personalization of the customer interactions in more real time, it involves leveraging that data, then using automation, then decision making logic to dynamically respond to customer behaviors and their preferences. And so, you know, obviously, I talked about real time understanding the operational systems and using customer data, and triggers to deliver, you know, a more personalized experience for an individual in the moment across the different channels that they might be interacting with it. You know, I touched on that decision logic and just using rules and artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, to determine the most relevant and effective next step that you would aspire for the customer to take, based on, you know, what others have DUNS, and so you can optimize the journey for your organization. You know, it takes on attributes of just being able to orchestrate straight things across multiple channels. So, you know, just coordinating and synchronizing interactions across the various channels to create a more seamless experience for those customers, regardless of how they might interact, or how they might change their interaction based on what it is they're doing at different points in time, in the journey itself. And, of course, all of that, you know, enables what I would term adaptive learning, you know, just learning from customers and what it is that they're doing. And utilize that that information to really drive the kinds of behavior that the organization aspires for their customers to take.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  18:14
I think you I think that's a really helpful definition. When I think about it, what I kind of wonder is, you know, marketing has had kind of marketing automation for a long time, right? They've, they do digital intercepts, like to try to change behavior, they're doing emails, like aI marketing has, for a long time tried to change behavior of users customers, to the end that they're looking for, how, how does that how is this different than like, the marketing automation tools from a couple years ago, you know, like, what's different orchestration? Yeah, I

Stephen Shay  18:50
think it just goes deeper into the journey. You know, if you look at a typical customer journey, you know, they go from a discover phase to an evaluate phase to maybe purchase and then you know, they receive the product or service and you know, they utilize it, they may get support on it and so forth. And I think marketing does a good job utilizing that in the early stages and using it to, to drive engagement with maybe the website or you know, drive a certain path into getting customers to trial or something like that, but orchestration I think in my mind anyway, takes it a layer deeper or deeper into the customer journey itself. And so you know, understanding what your customer has done, you know, customers that have purchased your product, what it is they are doing with it, you know, and using that information to drive additional sales Sales and so forth with the customers or others within the same organization. I talked about the b2b environment earlier. And just really utilizing that information and the insights from inside an organization to drive not only the personalization that I talked about, but understanding those interactions and using what you know, customers typically do with your product or service, once they have it can help drive deeper engagement with those existing customers, as well as penetrate new customers beyond just the the marketing aspects of it.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  20:43
I think that's really, that makes a ton of sense then as it goes further down. And I think what I've seen too is that there is this the omni channel Real Time omni channel kind of layer that ties into journey orchestration. In real time, where there's a human connection, there's a you know, like there are, most of our world it feels like is digital. But as this becomes more and more sophisticated, I would anticipate that we would see this happening as you walk into the store, right Target's already got this on lock, you walk up into the parking lot, and your app pulls, pops up. And it's like, Hey, you're in Target, here's something that I think is of interest to us, they're starting to you're starting to see those kinds of real time, you know, intercepts in my real life, not just in my life, that I think you're really fascinating and starting to impact behavior. And I know we only have a little bit of time left, but just want to talk a little bit specifically around you. We talked about this idea of AI and ML, and you talked about this predictive space and trying to get ahead of that. Is there anything more around chat? GPT is specifically or those types of technologies have come in? Or might be worth chatting about? Yeah,

Stephen Shay  21:58
I mean, it's clearly a very popular emerging topic. And, you know, there's a multitude of ways in which AI just in general, and maybe chat GPT specifically can can assist with that. And I mean, we've touched on a couple of those things, certainly, you know, customer feedback or analysis, you know, AI powered text analytics tools can process just large volumes of data from multiple sources, such as, you know, surveys, reviews, social media, and so forth and identify common themes, sentiment trends, pain points, you know, giving you those data driven insights to inform the journey maps themselves, the whole predictive analytics piece of that, where AI can help predict potential customer behavior, their preferences, and so forth, based on historical data of what other customers have done, or so forth, that we've touched on. And so those predictive insights, I think, can engage and help aid in identifying just critical touch points or pain points in the journey where proactive interventions that you talked about, might be needed. We've seen tools emerge recently, I've just seen a multitude of them around, just persona creation, just out of the blue, right is AI can analyze your customer data, and identify distinct personas that can be used and the segmentations that might need to exist, are around those personas. And so this really assists in creating a more accurate, and Representative journey maps for different customer segments and so forth. You know, AI and all the real time journey orchestration is just a key piece of all of that, you know, I mentioned that earlier, but it can, you know, facilitate that real time journey orchestration, and so forth. And there's probably a host of other things, all tied to, you know, AI is kind of a big topic. And chat GPT is kind of a specific instance. But, you know, there's, there's just a multitude of things that where AI comes into play here and can really assist in, in just customer experience all up and with journey mapping specifically.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  24:40
Yeah, and I think the important thing, even to add on to that, too, is not to that it's not gonna replace CX that like, yes, AI can help build personas from data, which is super powerful. And all that does is really accelerate, right? Like our ability then to take that information and help action it which I mean, if I could spend less I'm building a journey map and more time, like implementing change in an organization that feels like a win for me, I don't know about. But I feel like that's where we're headed that all of these tools are really meant to help us, you know, drive change to see the bottom line improved, help with ROI, all of those things that business is looking to CX to try to help us do by delivering better customer experiences, the tools can just accelerate that for us and give us a frame with which to operate. And though, you know, not never replacing the human side of that, yeah, you asked a little bit there, but anything else that I should, you know, that we want to cover in our coffee

Stephen Shay  25:41
chat? I don't know, we've covered a lot and probably have exceeded our, our time limit on this. But that's

Taylor Fitzpatrick  25:48
okay. You know, if people hung around, so now hopefully they feel educated and supported and know that they're not alone in the struggles that they face and recognize that technology is a tool to help, but not the end all, be all and that you know, we're always here to help if they have questions or need anything from from Mcorp. So happy to partner with them. Thank you so much for spending time. And we're having a coffee, and I want all of your expertise and we'll we'll talk again soon. Sounds great.

Stephen Shay  26:19
Thanks, Taylor.

Taylor Fitzpatrick  26:20
Thanks, Steve.