Customer Journey Mapping is complex and should be helpful for you to understand the journey and how to help the customer. But first of all it helps you… and while you waste time on creating the journey, the customer is walking.
Describing a customer journey is a) running behind the customer which is a reacting or b) defining the customer journey the customer will go which isn’t the customer’s journey. You spend much time in creating 1,2,3 or up to 5-6 journey, but you have 1.000.000 customer and every journey is different… don’t try to press 1.000.000 customer into 6 journey which you think are the main journey. That is not customer centric.
To understand in which of the thousands and million journey someone is we need data. It’s much better to spend time in identifying data and data sources and make them usable than spending time in creating customer journey maps. …but yes, we need some visibility for us to think about the right data.
Let’s assume you are managing a zoo and you are thinking about visitors. There are 3 phases of a visit, before, during and after. Let’s brake them down.
This is a very simple journey map. Like all maps it’s static. Does it need more? I think no!
We have great systems to recognize pattens, behavior and key steps. They can assign things to individual journeys. More important than the journey is the phase someone is. In each step (before, during, after) there is an interest, need and / or pain which we have to identify and act on. The step is the moment of time where we can make the difference.
So what is the fundamental nonsense of customer journey mapping?
- It is a tool build for business / marketing to visualize. It is not build for the customer in it’s core
- People waste to much time in building multiple customer journey maps
- Customer journey maps are not 360 degree and 1:1 focussed, they cluster things ad people (customer)
- Customer Journey Mas should help us to understand the customer… which is wrong. The customer data helps us to understand the customer
The last point is key. Why do we (as a person) need to understand each customer? In it’s complexity this is to much today and we have great systems who do so. So we should feed the systems with data and content and let them do the rest.
So why is customer journey mapping so popular?
- Everyone understand what it is
- It is easy to use
- It helps mainly marketing departments
- And mainly: Consulting companies can sell it very well with a huge amount of hours
Many topics I highlighted in this article are provocative and maybe black and white. But think about the core message behind. I just want to set the focus on the most important things.