As a customer and I were reviewing their Intelligent Framework this week they asked whether they should be sharing the customer journey definition with their customers and telling them where they are in their journey.
Absolutely share the customer journey map with the customer.
The whole point of the customer journey map template is to be able to use it exactly as that – a map to show the customer where along the path to success they are at in achieving their desired outcomes.
It was an AHA moment for them.
The light went on and the excitement at the realization of how the customer journey framework was going to help the customer and them at driving desired outcomes was palpable.
How to Create a Customer Journey Map That is the Desired Path to Success
When done correctly, that is mapped from the customer’s point of view and considering their business context holistically, the customer journey map becomes the north star for everyone involved in ensuring customer success.
The customer journey outlines the path to success, i.e. the repeatable steps at achieving business value.
It aggregates and codifies the best practices used by a vendor’s most successful customers and it incorporates their customer base’s typical business context so that the vendor can understand the larger context within which the product/service is being applied.
When the customer understands that the customer journey template is, in essence, a benchmark path to success based upon all previous successful customers, they are more apt to following the prescriptive approach that Customer Success lays out for them to achieve their goals.
When the vendor understands the typical context within which the customers are operating – understanding their customer’s total business and empathizing with the typical moments of truth for the customer – they are much better equipped to act as credible, trusted advisors.
Customers will trust and follow an approach they know is predicated on the success of others just like them.
They will also be able to adopt and use the product faster when the vendor is guiding them in their own “language” so-to-speak.
Share the Customer Journey Map and Keep on Sharing it
When a vendor creates a customer centric, intelligent framework that holistically aligns operations to the customer’s total business, it predicates all that it does to support the customer upon the most successful path to product adoption, usage and expansion.
That is, the customer journey template or desire path.
It therefore makes complete sense to share the customer journey map with customers throughout their entire journey, at nearly every interaction.
It’s like a “mall map” letting the customer know where they are in reaching their final desired outcome.
This frame of reference serves as a consistent reminder of what the customer is trying to achieve (helping them stay on course to their objectives) and how they are going to achieve it (helping them stay accountable to achieving their objectives).
The customer centric, intelligent framework founded upon the customer desire path – mapping the vendor’s people, process and technology in alignment to the successful customer journey – ensures that the vendor is directly aligned to supporting the customer along the customer journey stages and with the proper context in mind to deliver a seamless and better customer experience.
In other words, when a vendor shares the customer journey map with its customers it is helping the customers know what they need to do to achieve success and it is helping the vendor’s organization know what and how they can best help the customer given their current context.
The customer journey should therefore be used as the common anchor point for everyone as it keeps everyone on the path to success.
Share the customer journey map with the customer in the acquisition phase to let prospects know that they are in good hands because the vendor has proven steps to achieving success, share it with customers when they start to onboard and may be confused and wondering how they are going to achieve their goals, and share it with them throughout adoption and further expansion so they can benchmark themselves against the best and continue to realize more value from the product/service.