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How are your journey mapping efforts coming along?

You are mapping, aren’t you? (If not, I can give you a few reasons to get started now. Well, after you finish reading this post, of course.)

And you’re following all of the key principles of mapping while you’re doing it, right? Your maps tell the customer story accurately? And they’re actionable?

Good. I thought so.

Let’s focus on your journey mapping workshops. I’d like to add one more requirement to the workshop guidelines I outlined last fall:

Invite your CEO to attend – at least for a portion of the workshop.

Why? It’ll be extremely eye opening for him or her. Here are a few of the benefits of having the CEO attend. It will…

  • Solidify executive commitment for focusing on the customer experience and dedicating resources to making ongoing improvements
  • Help her understand the experience in general
  • Identify how painful we often make the experience for our customers
  • Shore up the need for cross-functional commitment and involvement for every single journey
  • Help her understand the customer
  • Provide a clearer understanding of the jobs to be done by the customer, as well as his needs and desired outcomes
  • Emphasize how important handoffs from one person, area, or department to another are
  • Ensure that everyone understand that what happens between touchpoints is (a) out of your control but (b) in your hands to mitigate its effects

Does some of this seem a little tactical for what the CEO might want to see? Yes. And yet, no. “Want” to see versus “need” to see: two very different things. Journey maps are a great learning experience, not just about the customer but also about ourselves, for the entire organization; and the CEO is not an exception or immune to that. As a matter of fact, the more the CEO knows and understands on this front, the more we open her eyes and heart to focusing on the customer and the customer experience.

Every time I’ve done a journey mapping workshop and had the CEO stop in, even if just for an hour, it’s been well worth it. I always describe that experience for the CEO as “eye opening” because, well, it is!

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. –Oliver Wendell Holmes