In architecture, a desire path is the path that pedestrians prefer to walk on and have created as a consequence of foot traffic.
Land planners purposely leave land unpaved, wait to see what desire paths are created and then pave those.
The idea is to use human-centric design to create a path that is the most natural for people to follow so intrinsically they follow it.
It just feels right.
The Customer Journey is the Customer Desire Path
In business, the analogous desire path is the customer journey.
If a company understands and supports the path customers naturally take in using the product, not the one its organization outlines to its customers, the resulting customer journey path will be the most effective one at driving customer adoption, loyalty and expanded product use.
By understanding the patterns of its most successful customers, a business can consistently deliver customer desired outcomes and implement a proactive, repeatable customer journey that evolves as its customers do.
Revenue increases and churn is reduced as a result.
The Intelligent Framework™
The customer journey is the foundation to a customer-centric approach.
It leverages the aggregated understanding of the customer base to define the ideal path to success and facilitates the alignment of people, process and technology to most efficiently, proactively and holistically support customers through their lifecycle.
It informs how to prescriptively manage customers to successful adoption and help them use technology on their own terms.
Customarily, companies use customer journey mapping as an exercise to help with improving the customer experience.
This exercise involves illustrating the stages customers go through when interacting with the brand, from pre-sale to becoming a customer.
It was first used in marketing to understand interactions prospects had with the brand to identify relevant messaging and when to assist in the buying process.
The mapping did not extend much further past the traditional sales and marketing funnel.
However, the customer journey can and should be used to understand and map the entire success route customers follow in achieving their desired outcomes.
From a post-sales perspective, a vendor can gain insights and learn patterns from its most successful customers and outline a journey from their point of view.
In understanding questions like why customers bought the product or service, what they are trying to achieve in using it and how their company manages change within their organization, businesses can think and empathize from the customer’s perspective, not from their own product or business’ perspective, making it easier and faster for customers to adopt and use the products or services.
By observing the path that the most successful customers have taken to achieve their objectives, an organization can codify a repeatable, prescriptive and proactive customer journey for all customers to follow.
The desired path to customer success!