Is Your Customer Journey Taking You... Nowhere?

Marketing organizations often struggle to move past personas and journey maps. But your CX insight isn’t worth much if you can’t turn it into actionable campaign content.

Customer experience is no longer the exclusive playground of the UX designer. As CX grows within organizations, so does the availability of robust digital marketing tools and the ability to launch campaigns without the need for IT deployment support. That’s why, more often than not, it's the marketing department that ends up responsible for the majority of customer touchpoints.

That’s why marketing teams have adopted many of UX’s core methodologies, processes, and deliverables. Unfortunately, they rarely go further than a few ceremonial steps. Even then, what’s produced is seldom referenced or built upon. Often, these teams are gathering all sorts of valuable CX insight — and then failing to turn it into real value for their organizations.

The Problem with Personas

Identifying and documenting personas is the most common first step for most teams. When done properly, it’s a step we can get behind, as it can be a great way to get started. (Back at the studio, however, we'd much rather work with user roles. If you’re interested in learning why, give us a holler.

In the last paragraph, you may have noticed the qualifier "when done properly." The sad fact is that personas are hard to get right. We've seen some pretty bad ones. Are you doubtful about how bad it can get? A quick Google image search turns up some real stinkers, often high in the results.

Your personas need to serve the needs of your business. That means they should capture valuable insights that you can translate into actionable ideas. If your personas aren’t doing that, they’re not living up to their potential.

How Lousy Can Help

Need a little help? We've run more than a few workshops on “Actionable Personas,” and can even audit your personas. If this is something you'd be interested in, give us a shout.

The Problem with Customer Journeys

Next, we'll often see teams trying to build out a fairly robust customer journey. Maybe it’s an idealized or aspirational journey. Maybe it’s just an order fulfillment workflow. Whatever it is, if you're particularly proud of it, you might print it out oversized, stick it on a cubicle wall, and smile goofily when you walk past it. But instead of using it, you just walk past it every day. (Maybe, one day, after walking past it for six months, you'll find the typo you missed. Somehow, they always seem to have a typo. Good work finally finding it!)

For many teams, that's where the customer journey’s functionality stops — as questionable wall art. They don’t really use the customer journey they built. Ultimately, everyone keeps going about their business in exactly the way they shouldn't… with self-referential inputs on critical (interaction) decisions.

Bridging the Gap

The third step in Lousy’s methodology bridges the gap between a customer journey and genuinely actionable campaign content. Here’s how it works:

  • We conduct a customer journey touchpoint inventory and condition assessment. This results in recommendations for service design modifications, and targeted funnel content for use in integrated marketing campaigns.
  • We utilize almost any existing research, VOC data, and your customer journeys to identify the various business goals and user needs. Then, we test and measure that those needs have been met.

It sounds hard. It's not. It's just rigorous, requiring some serious introspective skills. We’ll even admit it can seem a little boring. To be certain, it's not revolutionary thinking. But its power lies in its ability to help teams visualize their campaign message in its entirety, as a whole and not the myriad of independent touchpoints. That’s why we've had tremendous success over the past several years in using this methodology to support our clients. As we've used it, we've fine-tuned it based on our experience with clients in different verticals (B2B, B2C, SaaS). We also use it in our overall user experience practice.

You’re welcome to use our complement of assets and workbook from the workshop. Even better, we’d be happy to conduct a workshop in which we walk you through our rationale, its main components and their constituent pieces, and how we use it. We can also share a preferred way to share the resulting thinking across your organization.

At the end of our workshop, you will be able to:

  • Use existing strategy, customer research, and journey mapping to inform future campaign and business activities
  • Effectively break down the complexity of each phase in the journey, allowing for a hyper-focus on specific touchpoints
  • Integrate existing analytics and identify areas for investigation
  • Reduce the overall “churn” associated with marketing campaign execution
  • Accurately and effectively share the resulting thinking across your organization

Don’t let all that good work go to waste. Instead, let Lousy help you turn CX insight into true competitive advantage. Anyway, don’t you actually want to get somewhere with that customer journey?