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Customer journey mapping team

Who should be on your customer journey mapping team?

31st May 2019
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If journey mapping is to drive change, you need the right people on the team.

The question of who should be on your customer journey mapping team is actually the most important to answer. That’s because we’re working to ensure that journey mapping drives change... but we know that usually, it doesn’t.

What’s the right journey mapping team?

The reason selecting the right team is so important comes down to change management. If teams don’t feel they’re part of the process, then they won’t own the insights. And if they don’t own the insights, they’re unlikely to own the action.

We used two primary resources when we built the journey mapping best practices outlined in our bookOur survey of journey mappers and the ADKAR change model.

Our survey showed that an intuitive approach to journey mapping failed to drive action 2/3 of the time; it also identified the top three factors of success:

  1. Involve a broad, cross-functional team;
  2. Involve customers;
  3. Select the right journey to map.

The team is the most important factor, but we answer that question last because who you involve varies based on the journey and customer selected. You would involve different teams for an onboarding journey than you would an invoicing one. You’d also use a different team makeup if you’re mapping your distribution partners (e.g., independent agents, retailers, etc.) than for end customers or employees, so it’s last.

We bumped this up against the ADKAR change model by Prosci. The model has five requirements for change:

  1. Awareness – teams must be aware of the need to change.
  2. Desire – teams must want to change.
  3. Knowledge – teams must know what to change.
  4. Ability – teams must have the ability to change.
  5. Reinforcement – the need for change must be continually reinforced by leadership.

We find that too many programs focus on Awareness and Knowledge – “You need to change, and this is what you need to change.” That rarely creates the desire to change.

Imagine if your journey mapping finds that your communications are confusing, and your communications team members don’t understand what is required of them. One client found exactly that. In fact, their materials were written at the tenth-grade reading level, causing many customers to have a hard time understanding. If they hadn’t included the legal team in their journey mapping, they would have had a hard time getting their attention.

We made sure to include one of their lawyers as part of the team. As a result, she learned first-hand about the communication problems and became a strong partner in streamlining and simplifying the messaging.

We work with our clients to break participants into three teams:

  1. Day-to-day project team. Attend small weekly team meetings to knock down barriers and ensure continual progress. This team works within the company to acquire necessary customer lists, existing research and operational data. 
  2. Journey mapping action team. The core team who will take action. This team participates in the kickoff, reporting, action planning meetings and helps build the hypothesis maps. This team will include representatives from all areas that will be impacted by the results of this project, such as finance, IT and technical support. 
  3. Sponsor team. These leaders participate in stakeholder interviews and receive updates as the project accomplishes key milestones. 

The sponsor team involves more than just the person paying for the project; it includes all leaders whose help will be needed once the project is complete and action is needed to improve the customer experience.

Once the sponsors are identified, we look next to the Action Team. This is typically 15-30 people from across the organization, including representatives from all the departments impacting the journey.

Before commencing with mapping, take the time to consider who you need to bring along the way, and ensure they’re part of your teams. This will be the most important decision you make to ensure you drive action at the end of mapping.

How Hard Is It To Be Your Customer: Using Journey Maps To Drive Customer-Focused Change, by Jim Tincher and Nicole Newton, is available now: You can read more about it at


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Sandeep Raut - Founder & CEO Going Digital
By rautsan
07th Jun 2019 05:28

good read Jim, I had written an article talking about how digital transformation is impacting the customer journey.

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