Do You Know Your Customer’s Journey?

Do You Know Your Customer’s Journey?

How easily do you fit in your customer’s shoes? Today’s show is all about the importance of empathy and understanding your customer’s journey. David and Justin discuss the role of the journey and tools such as journey mapping to help you better understand the context of your business from the lens of those you serve. Here are the notes from the show:

  • Customer journey is the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just a snapshot on time, but through the entire arc of being a customer.
  • Key principles include
    • It’s other-oriented vs. organization-oriented
    • It thrives on empathy – which is different than sympathy – it’s understanding at a fundamental level what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes
    • It assumes humans have intrinsic worth – what worldview supports this the best?
  • Servanthood is embedded in this whole process. For a business to be truly customer responsive, which they all need to be, they must focus on others, namely their customers. Service and other-oriented-ness is exactly what Jesus was, and what the apostles taught us to be. See Philippians 2:5-7.
  • Anatomy of a journey map (see a good example here)
    • Begin with the POV of the customer – note the steps they take along their journey – what are they doing?
    • Look for higher level categories – these are journey phases
    • Take note of the touchpoints they interact with – both with your organization as well as others. Examples include performing a search on Google to find a product as well as registering for an online account with your ecommerce site.
    • Consider sentiment along the way – with every step in the journey, what is your customer feeling like? Happy, sad, aggravated?
  • Adam Richardson’s “Understanding Customer Experience”. Adam has a good article in HBR that unpacks the elements of customer experience/journey:
    • Actions – What is your customer doing at each stage of engagement with your organization? What
    • actions are they taking to move them to the next stage?
    • Motivations – Why is the customer motivated to keep going to the next stage? What feelings are they feeling? Why do they care?
    • Questions: What are the uncertainties, jargon, or other issues preventing the customer from moving to the next stage?
    • Barriers – Why structural, process, cost, implementation, or other barriers stand in the way of moving on to the next stage?
  • It’s critical to constantly engage your sensing system:
    • Journey map is always in progress
    • New media channels, new products, new innovation create journey changes
    • Consider the impact search engines had on your personal journeys
    • How did we ever find and research products before the internet? 🙂
  • Although Jesus did not have the benefit of research, in-depth- interviews, etc., he had something much more powerful to understand the spiritual journeys of people he ministered to – The Holy Spirit.
    • Over and over again in the gospels, you see Jesus using much customized experiences (many of them sensational) to meet each person in a way that would move them forward on their spiritual journey.
    • A few examples will help. He met Peter with fish, because Peter was a fisherman, and had just had fished all night long and caught nothing. He met Zacchaeus with acceptance, because he was hated as a tax collector and needed desperately to be loved. He met the woman at the well with living water, because her deep spiritual thirst mirrored her walking a long ways in the heat of the day to get water for sustenance. He met Nicodemeus with spiritual insight, because he could not reconcile Jesus actions with what people were saying about him. Jesus by understanding where they were in their spiritual journey tailored the experience they had to open them to the gospel and who he was.

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