Bricks and Mortar companies tend to grow digital/online teams, often markedly, separate from the “main” business. I believe that it is important for online parts of an organisation to think less like pureplay eCommerce teams, focusing on the digital specific journeys, and more like a team that plays an integral part in their customers’ interactions with their brand as a whole.
Customers have needs that transcend channels and organisational design, and we must allow them to easily carry out the activities needed to achieve those needs, and to achieve their goals, in whatever channel and in whatever order they want. This allows a business to operate its channels in concert, and not in competition.
Doing this will enable businesses to better deliver a joined up (or seamless!) experience across channels, time, products etc. It will also enable a business to better react to shifting customer behaviour, like a shift towards online interaction.
We talk a lot about channels, journeys experiences, and seamlessness; but we should be talking more about our customers’ needs. Customers have needs and goals that they are trying to achieve, and a business can best unlock value (and profit) by delivering experiences that help customers achieve their goals, in a way that is simple for them.
Following on from my post on using experience maps and journey maps, I’ve been thinking how to explain why the two artefacts themselves are important in their own, distinct right – and, specifically, why the experience mapping element is vital, especially in large corporate environments, where it is crucial to imbue empathy to drive customer centric business growth.
Experience mapping forces us to focus on the customer’s experiences throughout their journey… not just the journey itself.
Experience mapping forces bias towards how the customer is feeling and thinking; their emotions and drivers of behaviour. It helps us to build empathy and really get under the skin of customers as human beings. An experience map can be abstracted from segments and services and products, and forces us to think and feel as a customer would when they engage with us.
Journey mapping, alone, is too functional an approach; and focuses us too much on touchpoints and channels. Journey mapping can become complex when lenses such as segments, products and services are applied. This abstraction from the experience can cloud how we should craft and shape our interactions with customers.
While, without a doubt, very important, I contend that it’s vital to understand the drivers of behaviour as much, if not more, as the journey itself. This allows us to understand how a customer wants to feel, and how we can build experiences to make them feel this way.