Which customer journeys to select? Think holistic as well as discrete

Updated: Jan 31

Alongside deciding who the customer is and how to develop their personas, another key question for CX professionals is: which customer journeys to select?

This is answered by prioritising journeys over two dimensions (as per the value irritant model): potential value to the business and potential value to the customer. This is shown in the diagram below which also illustrates the two types of journey:

Discrete (in green)

An example here might be let's make the buying journey as seamless and engaging as possible. These types of journeys are easy to understand and tend to follow a clear flow.

Importantly, there is usually good governance and compliance of these journeys in the firm e.g., via marketing.

Holistic (in blue)

These are journeys that hit on an objective such as 'improve recommendation'. These objectives represent the customer takeaway from an experience. Which means, they are influenced by experiences from across the end-to-end journey.

It's important to note that an objective is not the same as a KPI. For instance, 'improve recommendation' journey is a perspective influenced by not just an NPS KPI but also by multiple behaviours.

As can be seen below, sometimes 'improve recommendation' experiences also hold a mix of both a direct and indirect impact on business value while complaints could fit anywhere.

Unfortunately, there is usually poor governance and compliance of these journeys in the firm. To influence these journeys, first consider how well your CX design function is working.

Once journeys have been selected, CX professionals will be in a position to use journey mapping as their as is and to be design framework.

Management implications

Usually the journey of most interest to the business is the buying experience. However, while this is a natural target and one directly related to return it is not the full deal.

While you may want to influence the customer by making the buying process easy, engaging and personalised, from the customer's point of view, other holistic journeys related to a key objective (and KPI) may be more important and overwhelming in terms of how they perceive you

So, walking in the customers shoes, other journeys that impact how the custom feels towards the experience, after they experience it, may be more relevant. In other words those journey objectives that influence the customer takeaway judged through NPS/ CSAT or as I promote 'more stories like this fewer stories like that'; which to my money is better suited to the objective of extracting customer value.

The bottom-line: competing on the experience the customer has, raises expectations, differentiates your brand and creates new sources of value. Not least this means the customer also comes back again to experience your great sales experience! i.e., a good customer experience based on customer needs, wants and expectations (or their improvement) correlates strongly to sales.

Whatever you select ensure a good balance between what is of most interest to the business and critically what is of most interest to the customer.

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