Your front-line employees are top notch. They (almost) always do what is ‘right for the customers’. Although there are exceptions, we mostly hear about how they go out of their way to wow your customers. They are the custodians of the remarkable CX that your brand promises to deliver. Their proximity to your customers makes them an excellent source of intelligence during the journey mapping process. They understand your customers, and their pain points like no one else in the organization. So, it’s no surprise that the CX teams turn to them for insights during the mapping exercise. But many CX teams make a common blunder.
Front-line inputs are critical, but not sufficient. They tell only a part of the story – the ‘inside-out’ part. Customer journey maps created using the inside-out perspective only can be dangerously inaccurate and misleading. CX teams that undertake experience (re)design efforts based on such maps run the risk of coming up with a flawed design that doesn’t address all the needs of the customer.
The right approach
So, what is the right approach when it comes to understanding CX?
It is gathering the ‘outside-in’ view of the customers’ experience, and using it to a) validate the inside-out view, b) identify gaps – if any, and c) undertake re-design efforts to address not just the customer pain-points but also the gaps between the two views. There is no substitute to getting the customer’s view on the CX at each touch-point and interaction along their journey. Would you ever imagine designing & developing a product without validating the idea with potential customers? Designing the customer experience is no different.
I’ve come across CX teams that skip this critical step in the journey mapping process only to go back to the drawing board in a few months. In many cases the CX teams skip this important step because it’s logistically difficult to gather & analyze large volumes of customer data to map the outside-in journeys. It requires resources to set up a listening system, maintain it, and analyze the insights it generates. CX teams are seldom staffed to do it all. In-person mapping workshops can be effective for quick & dirty mapping. But this too can be logistically challenging. Gathering more than a handful of customers in a room and orchestrating a successful outside-in mapping session isn’t easy.
This is where we can help!