The title of this blog post from Bruce Tempkin pretty much says it all: It’s All About Your Customers’ Journey. He laments:
Stanley Marcus, who was president and chairman of the board of Neiman Marcus, was once quoted as saying:
“Consumers are statistics. Customers are people.”
Unfortunately, the normal day-to-day activities inside of companies make it very easy for all employees to forget this critical fact. So, over time, the decisions that companies make end up straying farther and farther away from addressing the actual needs of customers. I often describe this phenomenon by saying that companies are from Venus and customers are from Mars.
Part of the cure is making an explicit map of a customer journey. He makes a call the create customer journey maps (CJMs):
That’s why companies need to use tools and processes that reinforce an understanding of actual customer needs. One of the key tools in this area is something called a customer journey map (also known as a touchpoint map). Used appropriately, these maps can shift a company’s perspective from inside-out to outside-in.
There’s lots of talk these days about shifting a company’s perspective. It’s really a paradigm shift from traditional command-and-control management styles to more customer-oriented perspectives. Bruce isn’t the first to encourage us to think outside in. Tim O’Reilly made this observation 5 years ago.
Of course, Bruce references his own Forrester report on CJMs. Email me directly if you want more information about the report.