The Limitation of Customer Journey Thinking

ginkoGinkgo should be very good for peoples memory and thinking. Thinking is why I’m not a big fan of the Customer Journey. People typically think in drawers. The Ginkgo leaf shows that there are hundreds of lines which comes together.

The Customer Journey describes a process a user is walking through till he reaches a conversion point (purchase, registration, etc.). It’s a rigid process which does not reflect the reality.

But first of all let’s have a look what a Customer Journey is. There are 2 understandings of the Customer Journey out in the market:

Phase (to reach a goal / conversion)  Touchpoints (typical steps to take)
  1. Awareness
  2. Favorability
  3. Consideration
  4. Intent to Purchase
  5. Conversion
  1. Mobile
  2. Social
  3. Retail store
  4. Talk with Friends
  5. Webshop

Through a Customer Journey we are looking on the phase and/or the touchpoints. Within our #CX strategy we should have all touchpoints included, but is this sequence relevant?

There are so much factors which influence the sequence that we can’t focus on the sequence and should follower another direction.

The phase journey is much more relevant, but whatever the target is (buy, registration, etc.) the journey ends at this point.

Does Customer Experience ever ends?

A conversion (purchase) is just one milestone someone reaches. We should not stop after the first milestone. Customer Experience never ends, so let’s think about milestone 5, 10 or 20 for example.

Through the big amount of data there is a great chance to understand someones phase. To do so we need to bring all our data silos and all possible information together, analyze them and predict the next step of someone. There are much more than these 5 phases. This could be 10, 20, 30 or more and they could be more granular or just more after the conversion phase.

It’s essential to have all these in mind, but we can’t focus ourself on all this possible phases.

What we need is a system, however we call it (there are plenty of names out), which collects data, combines them analyze them and predict the next step. A system which builds the individual phase for each person… and this could be phase 132. This is nothing we can handle manually. To be with the right information at the right time at the right place we should focus ourself more on the way how to understand someone, everything else will be done  by the system.

What I’m trying to say is to think out of clusters. There are to much and we shouldn’t place people in drawers. They build their own phase and switch them (forward and backward) very quickly. We should work with phases but not focusing our thinking on it.

Focussing more how to get an integrated approach in the entire company is essential. This means to bring together sales, marketing, product management, customer services, etc. together to deliver the right things within the individual phases.

Customer Journey thinking limits ourself to much an drawers and makes it difficult to think out of the box, change ways and be flexible. Let’s do the right things with the right view.


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