I am fanatical about the customer journey.
Anyone who has worked with me or been following my articles knows that.
To the point that when people think of my services, they think synonymously of journey mapping.
My messaging about the journey has worked. Check mark.
I realized however that while the importance of the customer journey has come across loud and clear, the reason behind it has not.
The reason I am fanatical about journey maps is because I am fanatical about world class performance.
Call it competitive drive, type A personality, perfectionism, whatever it is, I have always been driven to strive for the best.
I want that for my customers too.
I want to empower organizations with the capability to generate excellence for themselves and their customers.
For truly outstanding performance on a world level, an objective and execution is not enough.
Everything performed must align and be accretive to achieving the ultimate goal.
Analogously to my competitive swimming days, where at the world level 10ths of a second meant the difference between being on the podium or not, putting the hours training in the pool was not enough.
Nutrition, sleep, dry-land training, mental visualization (mentally preparing to win the race), extra-curricular activities (or basically not doing them) became crucial to the end game and were just as important at that level for winning performance.
It is the same with business.
A business needs to have a goal, a plan to reach the goal and the discipline to execute.
And the plan needs to be holistic and aligned to the goal.
Yet companies still do not understand how to align their business models to reach the outcomes they desire.
I consistently see companies with clear goals but who then conduct a sequence of disparate operational functions that work ineffectively at achieving the desired objective.
Companies incorporate all kinds of great elements into their customer experience (marketing programs, sales process, onboarding, education, Customer Success Plans, Quarterly Business Reviews, support, renewals, etc.) yet without being tied together through the lens of the customer’s perspective they operate as siloed “check-list” functions that do not necessarily advance the customer’s progress.
As the famous Peter Drucker once said “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all”.
For top performance, the business model must align completely to the overarching objective.
The overarching objective is to make customers successful at adopting and further using your product because this is what drives revenue.
So how does a business do this consistently?
It must understand what makes customers successful.
The customer journey is the success path codified.
It stands to reason then that aligning the business model to the success path of customers will be the most effective way of consistently making customers successful.
The customer journey provides the foundation upon which to put in place the appropriate business model that ties and aligns all the operational elements together to achieve the objective of making customers successful.
So, the next time you think of the customer journey as simply a map, think again.
It is the requisite, fundamental component required to drive world class business performance!