Review by: Rox Burkey
In a previous life at a company that was notorious for being difficult to deal with as a buyer, we launched a Tiger Team to actually simulate what a customer had to go through to make a product purchase. The Tiger Team’s recommendation was to buy from someone else. My manager was most insistent upon our rewording the results in a rather loud and pointed manner to the party line expected. This event was what propelled me into wanting to become a Customer Experience (CX) professional. I wish our Tiger Team had this book to work from, but that was many years ago when the processes were not recognized, certainly not with the tools you will discover.
Jim Tincher and Nicole Newton are the most qualified people, due to their years of experience, who are focused on understanding the correct approach to journey mapping. Following their structured approach to identifying the potential problems will gain success inside any organization. You will find their passion and expertise on every page. The tools explained, such as using an ADKAR model for change management, are not just a fad du jour, but rather a treasure map that organizations can use to create bridges between silos, which can be applied to really put customers at the center of every business decision. CX is finding more inroads into customer centric businesses and this allows for a standard approach.
In my professional years, I have been exposed to and helped facilitate journey mapping exercises as a method to visually identify the disconnects that can occur in an organization. With a focus on identification of segments which can easily be rectified. If that is the only value from the process, then the opportunity to drive continual Customer-Focused improvements can be lost. This is a repeatable consolidation of the steps these consultants have taken which have worked.
Working with multiple lines of business inside organization to map customer steps for both direct and indirect interactions offers only one perspective. It is the making the customer a part of the journey mapping process that allows identity of real moments of truth that the entire organization can rally around for positive change. Long-term change that is incorporated into all business processes and customer interactions can be achieved using this methodology.
A repeatable, though tailored to the organization, approach will allow a business, regardless of their CX program maturity level, to take the first step and achieve amazing results. Most organizations, especially those which are past well established, have a hard time getting the internal silos to work together.
My favorite part was the guidance to selecting the right battle or problem. Once that is done it becomes more obvious on how to isolate the related journey, the right customer with their associated persona, and the right team to work together through the process to build success. The ease with which people from multiple teams can work toward a common goal, often depends on the culture of an organization. For positive change, this is a key element which can be gained.
I appreciate the detailed real-life examples provided to build internal support, but remember each organization has their own challenges which may not be exactly like those of competitors. The differences in technology, resources, people, and frankly leadership will make each experience in journey mapping different. If Journey Mapping is new for you, the expertise Jim and Nicole provide, will deliver you an understanding of how powerful the results can be for you and your customers. If Journey Mapping is not new for you, Jim and Nicole’s expertise gives you shortcuts in how to optimize the results at each touch point.
I heartily recommend this book as required reading for those in leadership roles. As a CX Professional, I will refer to this book often as a practical guide to help companies committed to optimizing customer experiences to positively impact the culture, workforce, and priorities focused upon.
About the Authors
Jim Tincher sees the world in a special way: through the eyes of customers. This lifelong passion for customer experience, and a thirst for knowledge, led him to found his journey mapping and customer experience consulting firm, Heart of the Customer.
Prior to launching his company, Jim led customer engagement initiatives at Best Buy and UnitedHealth Group. Over decades, he has honed his expertise, continually finding new ways to harness the voice of the customer to identify unmet needs, develop new products, and improve customer service. HoC’s journey maps and proprietary processes set the bar for best practices and are emulated throughout the industry. These powerful tools are designed with one simple goal: increasing customer loyalty. Nationwide, clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies are seeing customer-focused results.
Jim’s fascination with customer experience led him to become a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), only the second in the world to earn such a designation. He is also an active member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), serving as a CX Expert, providing advice to members worldwide. You’ll frequently find is point of views included on https://heartofthecustomer.com/cx-blog/.
Nicole holds a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Minnesota, and holds a master of business administration from Fordham University.
Nicole Newton has worked with Heart of the Customer for the past three years and is a Customer Experience Practice Lead specializing in B2B organizations. She is passionate about helping employees at every level connect with customers, and bringing the true customer voice inside organizations to inform decision making and strategy.
Her vast experience includes gathering and using customer insights to prioritize experiences that drive customer loyalty, identifying growth opportunities, and developing new products and services. Previously, Nicole built and ran customer experience and market insight programs at Thomson Reuters, a Fortune 500 organization.
Nicole excels at working with cross-functional and global employee teams to turn customer insights into innovative ideas for improving the customer and employee experience. She strives to learn something new every day, and enjoys teaching undergraduate and graduate students about marketing research methods and customer experience.