7 Things to Consider When Designing a CX Journey Mapping Workshop

If you have participated in a Customer Experience Journey Mapping (CXJM) workshop you may now be wondering:

Customer Experience Journey Mapping...and now what?

How can I take this CX Journey Mapping and implement it in my department and/or company, so that we can become more customer-centeric and reap the benefits of this great methodology?

Well, I have good news and bad news for you:

The good news is that you have made a great first step. This is because:

  1. You are recognizing CX is essential to your business (Congratulations!: this sets you apart from many businesses nowadays), and
  2. You got exposure to the CXJM methodology, which hopefully felt refreshing and energizing.

The bad news is that you have real work to do and no one is going to do it for you. This work probably comes in addition your daily work routine.

Fortunately, I've compiled the following list to help you...

7 Things to Consider When Designing a CXJM Workshop Tailored to Your Customer Journeys:

1) Get a sponsor for your “internal CX revolution”- someone who is high up in the hierarchy, has strong visibility, and the decision power to dedicate resources to redesigning the experience for your customers. And if you don’t have hierarchies and follow a holacratic model, hallelujah for you!

2) Be patient - Don’t expect results overnight, prepare for long-shot results. Only after a few CXJM workshops can you set priorities and get a solid idea of potential projects you want to work on.

3) Prepare to break silos and be challenged by people within your organization. People are resistant to change and although many will say they understand the importance of CX, when the daily routines kick in, their enthusiasm may waver. (Note: nothing wrong with you, this is human nature). It is up to you to keep these people engaged!

4) Take a critical look at the customer journeysyou work on: Ask yourself “Is this journey truly from the customer's point of view or is it reflecting our company’s internal 'inside-out process view?” The line between the outside-in and inside-out view is very thin and I am constantly seeing people  mix these up without even realizing. Don't be one of those people!

5) Keep the workshop artifacts.  Post-its with ideas, descriptions of personas, customer journeys, hypothesis statements you generate from the CXJM workshop(s), don’t throw them away! Make them visible in the halls your company, entrance of the cafeteria, toilet doors, cubicle walls, common coffee areas, etc.

By doing this you will:

  1. Remind the participants of the workshop results and their roll in carrying them forward.
  2. Raise curiosity within your organization. Curiosity is a very powerful force that is underestimated in many work environments, both large and small.

6) Set measurable goals for your CX redesign, like you will do with any other project (i.e. first prototype of a new product line shall be ready by MM/YY; get virtual assistant function ready on our page by MM/YY). integrating this into your existing project roll out structure is often helpful here.

7) Be prepared to fight internal stickiness. Sometimes this means doing things like bringing in external facilitators to run the exercise or engaging your end customers in the workshop.

And if you’re still wondering what the benefits of a CXJM workshop are, here are two teaser videos that explain the power of our Customer Experience Journey Mapping workshops.

  1. CXJM workshop in English,
  2. CXJM workshop in German

Thanks for reading and happy Journey Mapping!

Introducing our Employee Experience Journey Mapping Toolkit

We are excited to announce the official rollout of our Employee Experience Journey Mapping toolkit!
This is the page where you can download all of the latest printouts, slidedecks, and facilitation guides that we use to run our Employee Experience Journey Mapping (EXJM) workshop program.

EXJM is a people-centric discovery process that helps organizations rapidly frame their employee experience challenges and formulate innovative solutions. The objective is to deliver better employee and candidate experiences to improve engagement, productivity, performance and competitiveness.

As you can see in the below slides, This methodology is closely linked off of our existing CX Journey Mapping process.

The EXJM program is the brainchild of our good friend Hajer Mabrouk -  who after a brief collaboration - has really grabbed onto this and made it her own. We're very happy with what she's built so far and we look forward to a continued collaboration.

Let us know what you think! and keep your eye out on our sidebar upcoming EXJM workshops coming to your area.

Updated CX Journey Mapping Process Diagram

In association with the release of our latest CXJM workshop deck, here is an updated version of our CX Journey Mapping Process Diagram that reflects our latest refinements to the process.

This diagram is a simple one-page visual illustration of the five phases of the process and their associated steps.  Alongside each step is a visual reminder of which sticky note color is used, as well as an example entry.

Customer Journey Mapping Diagram
Customer Journey Mapping Diagram

Download links:PDF or JPG

Key differences from our previous CXJM process steps:

1) The Persona, Brand Attributes & Key Trends have all been moved to the front  This provides a clearer overview of these three components, creating a better understanding of their overarching importance when building effective Journey Maps.

2) Teams select one moment need together & one emotional need asindividuals This change helps teams quickly move towards brainstorming the core emotional drivers, which is a key skill we are trying to unlock with participants in our Journey Mapping workshops.

3) Desired new attitude & behavior now come before building CX Design Canvas We've found doing this step before brainstorming innovations really helps focus teams their ideas on things that truly meet the selected transformation impact.

All of these additions are also reflected within the slidedeck that can be found on the CXJM Toolkit page

Updated CX Journey Mapping Workshop Slides

We are excited to be rolling out our new and improved version of our CXJM workshop deck that reflects all the refinements we've made over the last 12 months. We've incorporated lots of your feedback and have used it to make our Journey Mapping methodology even more efficient and effective.

This file can be downloaded as a PDF or as a PPT

New updates include:

  1. New slidedeck with improved formatting
  2. better examples throughout the deck
  3. refinements to Journey Mapping process

More details about the changes in our Journey Mapping process in in our overview of the CX Journey Map process diagram. 

New Roll-up CX Journey Mapping Poster

We're excited to introduce a new way to facilitate great journey mapping sessions with a "roll up" version of our CX Journey Mapping boards.  This new poster makes it easier to set up and run a CX Journey Mapping session. Instead of using large foam core boards, butcher paper, or some other medium, we put everything you need on one large poster.

This new poster provides:

  • The Jen/ZoomGo story line across the 3 posters
  • A map of the overall step by step CX Journey Mapping process (bottom left)
  • Dedicated areas for brainstorming needs, processes, & innovations
  • The CX Design Canvas, with color coding to simplify instruction
  • Clear designation of areas for On Stage, Back Stage, & Attitudes

Roll up Customer Journey Mapping Template

Like any good CX practitioner, we have piloted them, incorporated feedback, tested revised versions, and are now ready to share these more broadly.  We've found that not only does it speed up the set up for your session, but that it greatly improves the learning experience for the participants.   We've been using it it at our recent workshops and have found it to be an all around great experience.

Download Links:

CXJM Learn Workshop Templates: ZoomGo Chapter 1 - ZoomGo Chapter 2  - ZoomGo Chapter 3

CXJM Design Session Template: Blank DIY Roll Up Poster

Tips & Directions for use:

  • Print these on 42 inch by 96 inch paper  (can be re-sized to fit metric paper sizes)
  • Laminate it using a matte finish to reduce glare and improve longevity
  • We recommend 3M adhesives to mount it without damaging painted wall surfaces
  • Ensure you have enough contiguous wall space in your meeting location
  • You'll still need to print out blank CX Hypothesis Statements for the final step in the workshop

Let us know what your think of these and please send us some pictures of you using them in action!

5 Tips For Building Great Customer Journey Maps

We've spent the last 2 years building Customer Experience Journey Maps with clients all over the world. During that time we've learned a lot of great information about how to maximize the value and effectiveness of your Journey Mapping activities.

Here are 5 quick Journey Mapping tips we've collected in our work:

1) Start small (be assumptive):

It can be easy to get bogged down by trying to build the perfect Journey Map. Be careful to not let the scope of your activity overwhelm you. We recommend starting things out assumptivly with low resolution when creating your initial Journey Maps. From there you can perform validation exercises on the areas that require more detail to understand.

2) Keep it collaborative (cross-functional)

Journey mapping provides the most value when done with a wide range of people from your organization.This will help maximize your collective understanding during this activity.

Here are some examples of people to consider including:

  • Someone with a good understanding of strategic business objectives and financials
  • Someone who knows the arch of the sales relationship
  • Someone who understands CRM system and email marketing touchpoints
  • Someone with insight into product direction and development
  • Someone from front-line customer support

3) Build initial Journey Maps in person

Whenever possible, we strongly recommend creating your maps as a collocated activity. Journey Mapping requires high energy, collaborative decision making and heavy focus.  For these reasons, teams who do their initial mapping activities in person tend to gain greater value from their efforts.

4) Use consistent sticky note colors

This may seem trivial, but using a consistent color pallet will maximize your ability to gain rapid understanding from viewing a Journey Map. This will help everyone gain a clear understanding of the layout at a quick glance.

5) Make your Journey Maps visible

It’s no secret that Journey Maps draw attention. These maps can serve as a great reference point for bringing different stakeholders up to speed on your efforts. We recommend placing your maps on the hallway walls, in meeting rooms, or anywhere else that will get them seen by passerby's.

Hopefully these tips are helpful for you. We’d love to hear some other suggestions you have for building great Customer Experience Journey Maps in the comments below.

Five Questions with Brian Raboin of HOSTING

Brian Raboin
Brian Raboin

We’ve had the privilege of collaborating with Brian Raboin, the Chief Strategy Officer of managed cloud services provider HOSTING, over the last year. His enthusiasm for discussing the importance of customer experience is contagious. In the best possible way. Here, Brian shares some of his insight into why a customer-centered strategy has been a winning formula for HOSTING.

Brian, we know you’re kind of a big deal in customer experience strategy circles these days. Tell us a little bit about yourself. When you’re not setting CX strategy, where might we find you? Favorite superhero?

I’ll try and make this short. It was a Tuesday in 1971. It was raining. I was born in Delaware because I wanted to be close to my mother. "I was born at a very young age." - Groucho Marx.

I live in Denver, Colorado with my wife and two children. I left the uncertainty of a corporate job with McDonald’s to join the stability of a start-up in 2001 when I joined HostMySite as the fifth employee. Fast-forward to today and HOSTING is the integrated combination of three companies – HostMySite, NeoSpire, and HOSTING. When I am not focusing on CX Strategy or talking about building a Service Culture, I enjoy doing things to make my colleagues, family and friends laugh. Currently my office window is a real life replica of level 1-1 from Mario Brothers. I also make balloon animals for people’s anniversaries and birthdays.

As for my favorite superhero, I would have to say Iron Man. I saw a graphic once where Clark Kent says, “No one must ever know who I really am.” Bruce Wayne says, “To protect my city, I must wear a mask.” Peter Parker says, “No one can ever know my secret.” And Tony Stark says, “Screw it, I’m Iron Man.” I like that Tony innovates and is iterative in the process. He always has different versions of the Iron Man suit that he is working on and takes successful ideas and applies them in different ways. He learns from the failures, and the failures just make him want to do even better. He is also uber-rich and drives some pretty awesome cars.

You've recently taken up the position of Chief Strategy Officer at HOSTING. Could you tell us a bit about your position and the role CX plays when setting your corporate strategy?

My new role as Chief Strategy Officer is to take a lot of what we have done internally with regards to building a service culture and to turn that outside-in through thought leadership and activation leadership. For example, using CX Journey Mapping (CXJM) and measuring the true impact on an organization from a revenue standpoint is critical in determining the overall success of the process. But for a process like CXJM to be successful, an organization needs to know its vision, values, culture, brand, customers, market, and competition. Getting those pieces in place is critical for companies today to build a good customer experience.

My role is to get those pieces in place for HOSTING and then effectively innovate around the customer experience not just at the product level, but also from initial engagement through the entire customer life cycle. The questions I try to answer are how can we innovate for the customer at all levels to show our vision, values, culture and brand? How do we know that our vision, values, culture and brand are valued by our target customer and market segment? What new markets will find our offerings distinctly valuable compared to the competition? What are the customer's problems, needs, desires, passions and goals that we can satisfy? And how do we do it in a distinctive way that our target market and customers will find valuable?

To that end, I am writing, talking, workshopping (I just made up that word) and activating not only HOSTING, but other companies, so that they can build their own service culture and customer experience.

You’ve been a great partner of ours over the last year, sharing your experiences using CX Journey Mapping (CXJM). What was it about CXJM that really resonated with you and your teams?

Why thank you! You have been a great partner as well.

What really clicked for us with CXJM was the idea of telling a customer story and the uniqueness of the innovations that fell out of those stories. CXJM re-focused us not only on value, but on the problem and on the customer need. It made the customer come to life for us and allowed us to experience things from a first person perspective.

We used to write Agile user stories like,

“As the customer, I want to see a backup log, so I know my backups have run and when.”

After CXJM, we started writing,

“As Bobby, the System Admin who works 60 hours a week and is on-call 24x7, I want to know if, when and why a backup failed and have a say as to when it will run again. Because if it runs at the wrong time during the day and causes the application to slow down, my phone is going to ring off the hook and my email is going to blow up, and I’ll spend hours trying to figure out what the hell is going on, pulling my hair out, while people are yelling at me thinking I am incompetent. Only then to learn HOSTING automatically re-ran the backup without me knowing.  And when that happens, I will hate HOSTING with the heat of a thousand suns.”

The old user story delivered functionality that gave visibility into the backup process. The new user story using CXJM solved for the problem of an overworked, on-call System Admin who doesn’t want to get yelled at more than he already does. Solving for the latter brings so much more value than just building the former. CXJM allowed us to really get outside of the box when it came to solving problems where both the customer and the company benefited. We are now writing stories that will create an experience that will move customers to be advocates. Not everything you do will make a customer an advocate, but CXJM helps identify the points of frustration as well as opportunities to build advocacy.

One overlooked aspect I think a lot of people miss when doing CXJM for the first time is that while the ideas are out of the box, the best and most effective ideas and innovations are ones that not only support, but propel and push forward, a company’s vision, value, culture and brand. At HOSTING, we want our brand to be about “Serve” and “Guide”, which are the two things we always want to be doing for our customers. The innovations that come from our teams while using CXJM always push us towards more unique ways to serve and guide our customers.

Tell us a bit more about how you’re using CX design principles to create engaged employees within HOSTING.

For HOSTING, CXJM brought all parts of the company together to get a wide, horizontal view of the entire customer experience. CXJM works best for us when we can bring together a microcosm of our entire organization to build and experience the customer journey together. The innovations then come from any part of the organization and it brings a much deeper understanding as to what the customer really experiences. It also gets people involved in the success of the innovations who otherwise wouldn’t be involved or interested.  Now, we have Billing and Accounting people really interested in what Engineering and Operations are doing because they were a part of the creation of an innovation. It has blasted cannon balls into the silos of our organization, and that is a good thing.

Like Tony Stark who tries successful ideas in new ways, I wanted to see how CXJM could be applied elsewhere. So we are going to be Journey Mapping the employee experience at HOSTING to see where we can make that experience even better. This is important to me as part of our vision is having the “industry’s best team.” To attract the best team, we have to have an experience that will get people lined up at the door to come work at HOSTING.  We have done a lot this year to make that happen. We built a bar at the office in Denver that is always stocked with beer, wine and other adult beverages. This is important to me personally as I am taking over HR and Training with the goal of creating an awesome employee experience. Frankly, I only have a couple of tricks in my bag (CXJM being one of them) so I really hope it helps me in HR and Training. Incidentally, we also hired a full time lawyer. Despite the outward appearance, the bar and the lawyer are not correlated. However me taking over HR and the lawyer are.

Many companies understand that CX is the new business imperative, but struggle to find a place to start. Could you share any guidance or tips to help businesses build alignment and confidence to start a CX transformation?

The secret to our success in CX transformation was to just start. There is a book by Ari Weinzweig, the co-founder of a company called Zingerman’s, called “Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service”. He lists five steps to building a service culture. Step one is Teach It, and step two is Define It. When I first saw that I thought it was odd that they were in that order, and not the other way around. But the genius of teaching before defining hit me quickly. Transformation requires movement, energy, collaboration and action. The physical act of teaching involves movement, energy, collaboration and action. Also, teaching first makes you commit. Last year, we put December 10-11, 2012, on the calendar on for me to teach a class on customer service. We called it WOW training. When that invite went out to 10 people at HOSTING, including our CEO, COO, CTO and seven other people, I had no idea what I was going to talk about or do for two days. But I knew I had to do something. Six months later, the entire company had been through WOW training. We are now doing WOW 2.0 and Manager WOW, as well as CXJM Workshops, How to Hire a Rock Star Workshops, and Giving Reviews that Matter Workshops.

The other part of teaching first and defining second is that it allows the culture of the company to help define it. Find people that are passionate about CX and Service.  Passionate people like to talk about their passion. Oracle and the folks that work on Oracle CX offered me the opportunity to attend free CXJM workshops and support. I took unashamed advantage of every opportunity that was presented in front of me to learn from the CX folks at Oracle. I did buy them beer on occasion, which seemed to keep me top of mind when opportunities arose. With a little homework and an attitude of not taking no for an answer, you can find people who have done it before. And they will talk to you for free and teach you a ton - just because it is their passion. Just like every journey, CX transformation all starts with taking a first step. Just take it and keep going.

Compelling Example of Journey Mapping

student lifecycle example
student lifecycle example

The journey maps pictured above are one of my favorite examples of collaborative mapping to date.

A large cross-organizational team at the University of New England in Australia gathered for a day, divided into groups, and mapped a series of adjacent student and applicant journeys (the rectangular maps shown at right).

The best part is that they didn't stop there. A smaller team, working in parallel and continuing after the initial session, painstakingly remapped copies of these journeys onto a single, cohesive and connected student life cycle (shown at left). Incredible.

I particularly like how they chose to use the infinity-loop form of a customer lifecycle to visualize this. Not only is this form effective, it's also visually stunning (more later about leveraging this to attract attention in your organization).

Best of all: according to the folks that we have been working with there, the work produced a lot of "low hanging fruit" -- opportunities to improve the student experience that they simply hadn't seen before when working inside-out, in their departmental silos. Moreover, the teams left aligned and motivated to act on the opportunities they discovered.

Amazing what a bias towards action produces.

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