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Recently it occurred to me that when companies do Journey Mapping or Process Redesign exercises what they are really doing is trying to understand where they are today, where they need to get to and what changes they need to make to get there. The trouble is that it’s not enough to logically uncover the changes that need to be made, you need to get people to actively buy-in to those changes and the actions to bring them about or everyday life routines will quickly get in the way. To get that buy-in, organizations should use Change Marketingto actively use the full marketing toolset internally the way they do externally. Here are 5 reasons you need to actively market the change you want to create:

1. Most transformation initiatives fail due to lack of communication
If you look at reasons given for transformation initiatives failing, from vision not being understood to people not buying in, you can trace that back to communication. At its heart, marketing is all about communication and persuasion.

2. Communication planning helps you tailor your communication to the audience.
Whether you are using content marketing, inbound marketing, conversion optimization or other marketing techniques on your internal audience, they invite personalization and thinking about how to structure your communication to gain buy-in. Connecting the message visually to the action items that need to be delivered in order to realize that vision provides a foundation for confirming understanding.

3. Most people are visual. Taking time to construct your visual language helps unlock that understanding.
Taking the time to document what you are marketing and how you want to market it to the organization in order to gain what buy-in helps set the stage for building a visual language that you can use to get there. “A picture is worth a thousand words” precisely because 60-65% of the population are visual thinkers.

4. Persuasion is more powerful than force – and more effective.
Unfortunately the corporate hierarchy often leads to persuasion by diktat – which isn’t very effective against the power of the everyday inertia of an organization. Contrast that with the power of empowerment – people understanding their role, seeking out the resources and skills they need and acting in an accountable way because they have bought-in to the change necessary, and can easily connect their role to how it contributes to the achievement of the vision. Change is still hard, but it’s a lot easier when everyone is pulling in the same direction.

5. People exist to help each other – getting them to buy-in creates a force multiplier.
One thing that makes marketing go viral is the inherit social nature of humans and our desire to help each other through sharing information we value. Organizing your change marketing in terms of templates, components and instructions helps to those you have gained buy-in from to be change agents themselves and spreading your marketing message throughout the organization.

Using visualizations and adapting a marketing mindset will greatly increase your chance of successfully planning and implementing change. Transformation is focused on providing the best solution to supporting you in this. If you are looking to implement Change Marketing at your organization, let’s talk!


 

FABA Analysis

Today I’m working on improving our messaging across the customer journey using a FABA map within Transformation.ai that I can visually create, collaborate on and then connect to data.

What’s a FABA? It’s something I created by taking one methodology and adding a letter. It stands for:

F: Features

A: (Comparative) Advantage

B: Benefits

A: Advantage (of the Benefits)

Features are things your product does – in the example at the top of the screenshot, it is the fact that the shirt is made of cotton (I got this example by the way from the video I’ve included in the background below). The way I use it, is that I have feature categories in my product – in the example screenshot it is our Background Builder category and within that I list all of the features that make up that category (Background Builder is used to create and save custom backgrounds for Journey Maps, Process Maps, and tools like FABA and JTBD). In terms of how I’m using it today, as you see from the screenshot below, one of those features is is the Drag-and-Drop Background Creator.

Journey Map Background Builder Features

(Comparative) Advantages are what make those features different, unique or better – in the example at the top the cotton shirt breathes (implied is that it breathes better than say polyester or other synthetic fabrics). Taking the features in your product and making sure you understand their comparative advantages versus the competition (be the companies or alternative ways of doing things) and build your messaging at different stages of the journey to communicate those advantages clearly, and in context. Applying the same to features you are thinking about building may save you a lot of time in avoiding creating features that don’t have clear comparative advantages and also make your rollouts of new features more impactful. Continuing with the example, I’m working on you can see below that one of the advantages of the Drag-and-Drop Background Creator is it recreates existing backgrounds in other media such as PowerPoint, butcher board etc.

Journey Map Background Builder Advantages

 

Benefits are what all this means to the customer, what they get out of using the feature. In the example at the top the cotton shirt that breathes well keeps you cool on a hot day. That’s what it means to a customer who buys that shirt. Taking the time to link your features and advantages to benefits helps to remind you to talk to those benefits in your messaging and put that messaging in context to the stage of the journey. Once again, this is also a great exercise for product features that haven’t been built yet, to help in decision-making in terms of prioritization and whether or not to build something at all. Following along the map with the Drag-and-Drop Background Creator we can see below that benefits include the ability to use maps and touchpoints that are already “the way of doing things” thus reducing costs associated with having to learn something completely new, and ability to build background templates that best match a companies unique needs.

Journey Map Background Builder Benefits

With the FAB analysis you stop at Benefits but what is really powerful is to figure out the Advantages of those Benefits. Keeping you cool on a hot day is great, but avoiding embarrassing sweat stains makes it clear the penalty incurred for not achieving the benefit. This attack of the status quo makes it much more clear the value of the benefit that you are getting. This is powerful not only for messaging during the Acquisition process but also and especially during the Adoption and Assimilation parts of the journey, because it can serve as a good reminder why the work to move away from the old way is necessary and worth it. Finishing off the map for the Drag-and-Drop Background Creator we can see an advantage of its benefits is greater adoption of journey mapping and other collaborative strategy efforts leading to more and greater results from journey mapping and collaborative strategies, and for the View, Load and Edit Existing Backgrounds feature the advantage its benefits is achieving greater innovation velocity.

Journey Map Background Builder Advantages from Benefits

What’s also great about the FABA map, is that now that I have it I can hook in data to confirm or deny what I’ve written. This could be survey data from an integrated SurveyMonkey survey and it also could be product usage data or content analytics using tools like GoogleAnalytics piped directly into my FABA touchpoint.

Journey Map Background Builder FABA benefits survey

What’s more, with the chat interface integrated directly into the touchpoint, along with my notes, media and data, I have a one source of truth place to talk about this specific feature, comparative advantage, benefit, or advantage of benefit, making it easy to have everything at hand and everything in context.

Background

The background on the FABA is that I started with the FAB analysis methodology and you add the the last A of Advantage of the Benefits. I got started with this when Michael Kovalio, our VP of Marketing introduced me to the Features, Advantages, Benefits analysis, which is a great exercise. As is my wont, I did some further research on the Internet Body of Knowledge (IBOK – I think I just invented that term) regarding FAB and came across this great video which contains the inspiration for the cotton shirt analogy.

Coincidentally, at the same time I was researching how to refine my personal voice on social media (perhaps the topic of a future post) and I came across this great copy writing video that looked at an FBA analysis (Features, Benefits, Advantage of Benefits).

Basically I combined the two and voila! – the FABA came to be.

If you’d like to put the power of FABA to work in your business, sign-up for a free trial today and then go to Map Library -> Global -> FABA map template and use the Action -> Clone map function to get started!

 


customer success journey map

customer success journey map

I’m currently working on journey maps for Transformation.ai’s customer success processes. They are extremely clarifying for what needs to be done, how to see it from the customer’s own perspective, and how to measure our efforts in an ongoing and unified way. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of the ways that it is dramatically simplifying how we ourselves approach ensuring the success of our customers.

  1. It reminds you of how the process of training and onboarding relates to success.
  2. It shows you where you can insert surveys into the journey to make sure you are on track and can adjust and improve based on the results.
  3. It helps keep all of your notes in one place.
  4. You can quickly and easily create individualized maps for each customer.
  5. It organizes tools, people, assets and processes so that people see how they need to collaborate across functions.

It reminds you of the importance of training and onboarding in context of a process over time.

Seeing how training and onboarding relates to the timing of check-ins and progress helps to create your syllabus and helps set expectations as to what is realistic in terms of training people up on your product or service. Adding feedback to the process will help refine this syllabus and tailor it to individual learning personas in your customers.

customer success survey integrated with journey map

It shows you where to create and deploy surveys across the journey to make sure you can continually improve based on contextual feedback

Seeing a journey map and being able to connect directly to your survey tool such as SurveyMonkey (Transformation.ai integrates directly with SurveyMonkey) makes it easy to create and monitor surveys within the context of the journey to get feedback to confirm or challenge your assumptions, allowing you to continually improve that journey. At the same time, your customers will know and appreciate that you are making an effort to really hear them. Of course, you can also insert different types of surveys such as NPS surveys that give you different types of actionable feedback and measurement and the journey map helps clarify where to use them and how to process their meaning in context.

customer success journey map notes

It helps you keep your contextual notes all in one place for easy retrieval and understanding

Personally one of my biggest peeves is when I have to search around for data or notes and then somehow parse that back to whatever I was actually trying to focus on. When I’m looking at a customer journey segment I want to have all my relevant information at hand. By mapping the segment in Transformation.ai, I can use the Touchpoint Notes Input feature and/or the content upload feature to pull it all together, not to mention adding text and links to the various areas around the map as well.

individualized customer success journey maps

You can create individualized maps for each customer to collaborate around their actual success journeys

Gathering all your notes, data, conversations and the like gets really powerful when you create an individualized map for each customer. Now I don’t need to hop around between a bunch of different systems to get a picture of what’s actually going on in terms of the customer success journey for a particular customer, I can just focus on the map for that customer. Using the Touchpoint Conversations feature I can carry on conversations related to the map and touchpoints and have it all stored in the same place and context.

customer success journey connected assets

You can pull together all of your tools, assets, people and processes for easy organization and coordination

One of my favorite things about mapping out customer success into a journey is pulling together assets like videos, images and links into the same view, giving me a clear picture. At the same time, I’m organizing the tools we use, connecting customer experiences to internal processes, and connecting all of the above to feedback systems like SurveyMonkey and GoogleAnalytics. This gives me insight and collaboration that would be very hard and time consuming any other way. When I have a conversation internally about a specific touchpoint, I have everything at hand to refer to and it speeds up the conversation and action greatly.

Those are 5 ways that I’m going to save a bunch time today pulling together some success journeys we are working on. If you are looking to do the same, you can sign-up for a free-trial and ask for our customer success map and touchpoint templates to help you get started.

 

 

 

 

 


We’re happy to announce that we’ve released an API for all data that you create using Transformation.ai’s customer journey management software. One of the key differentiators that our customers love from Transformation.ai is how easy we make it to connect up all of your disparate data silos into a holistic view of customer journey maps and touchpoints. That said, we didn’t want to become a new data silo ourselves, which is why we are very happy to be releasing our API today.

What are some of the things you can do with our API?

  • Pull in contextual data about your customer journeys into your CRM, Marketing Automation, Customer Success, Project Management, Data Analysis tools and more.
  • Create and enhance applications using map, touchpoint and integration data.
  • Provide new data sources to pull into Transformation.ai’s interactive customer journey maps such as Internet of Things sensors, custom databases and services and more.

If you are a customer of Transformation.ai, talk to your account manager to enable the API on your account and to receive documentation. If you are a developer looking to develop applications for the Transformation.ai platform, sign-up here and we’ll be in touch.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you build with the Transformation.ai API!


Customer journey maps are increasing in importance as a way to envision, execute and monitor great experiences for prospects and customers along the journey of different interactions they have with your company. One key problem with the classic maps made up of sticky notes, drawings and flow charts is that they are static after they are created. For them to really help you in being agile you need to connect them to real life. Transformation.ai’s customer journey mapping software is built with that in mind, which is why every touchpoint on every map can be connected to Feedback Loops that integrate with real life. In the following post we cover how to use the Hubspot marketing automation integration to do just that.

If you like to watch versus read, above is a video that walks you through the steps in setting up a Hubspot integration, one of the many available integrations, on Transformation.ai.

The first step is to connect your account, which is really easy thanks to Hubspot’s API. You’ll find the Hubspot integration tab in the bottom left. Just enter your HubID and hit Generate Token and make sure you login to the portal that you want to connect to Transformation.ai. You can find your HubID in the top right of your dashboard.

Once you connect you will see the content tabs next to your credentials tab. Click on Web Pages to see a list of pages that you built using Hubspot COS and/or are tracking using the Hubspot tracking code. If you want to create a touchpoint from one of those page, just hover over the page you want and on the right of the bar click on ‘Generate Touchpoint’. It’s that easy.

Next you can edit those touchpoints you’ve generated under the Touchpoint Inventory, editing title, description, stage, connections, and icon.

From there you can go check your Map Library and connect existing touchpoints to Hubspot to build feedback loops at those touchpoints. You could also create new maps using the map library. In the screenshot below we have an existing map that we are clicking on a touchpoint to access.

 

 

Once inside we can associate the touchpoint with data in Hubspot by selecting the Hubspot tab and associating content and KPI’s with the touchpoint as you can see in the screenshot below.

 

 

After you’ve done that, you’ll immediately begin to see the data show up under Feedback Loops. If you’ve set a target for the KPI’s you’ll see those in brackets. At any time you can change what KPI’s show up by selecting or unselecting them under the Hubspot tab. Once you have it properly set-up your Hubspot Feedback Loop should look like the below screenshot or similar.

 

 

Once you can see your Feedback Loops in context the fun is only beginning – now it’s time to make changes in real life to continually improve. As you make those changes, you record them under Version History so that you can see how changes you made have resulted in changes in the Feedback Loops until you are satisfied with how that Touchpoint is performing. And that tribal knowledge on how you achieved your goals at this Touchpoint is then available for posterity – anyone on your team can just go back and see how what changes created what results and use those in other situations in your business across the customer journey. Below is an example of a Version History, with accompanying contextual conversation related to the Touchpoint over time.

 

 

Between this post and the accompanying video you should be on your way in terms of getting set-up with the Hubspot integration for Transformation.ai and creating great customer experiences in an agile way. If you don’t have a Transformation.ai account yet, sign-up for a 30-day trial and we’ll be happy to get you set-up today.

 

 

BONUS

 

 

You can mix in other integrations within Transformation.ai to plan and create a holistic customer journey experience. For example, I created a survey through our SurveyMonkey integration that automatically connects it to this touchpoint when I create the survey from within Transformation.ai. Then I can embed that survey in a Hubspot email and will see both Hubspot and SurveyMonkey data directly within this touchpoint and map. Above is a screenshot of a survey created within one of the Touchpoints we used in this post.

 


Customer journey mapping is growing in importance among Software as a Service providers, as ever more companies realize that it creates a unique and powerful lens to truly break down siloes and focus the company on creating the types of great customer experiences that reduce churn, grow revenue and create armies of advocates in the market.

 

With that in mind, in this post we review 5 key benefits to customer journey mapping for SaaS and how to achieve them.

 

  1. Understanding your touchpoints
  2. Seeing how touchpoints connect
  3. Seeing how teams collaborate to create great experiences
  4. Understanding contexts at each point
  5. Identifying what needs to happen at each point and how to get data in context to understanding if that’s happening and how to improve

 

 

1. Understanding your touchpoints

Touchpoints are the key points along the customer journey where your customers and prospects interact with your company in some way – it could be viewing your content, talking to customer success or the very act of using some aspect of your SaaS product for instance. By taking the time to inventory all of your touchpoints, in preparation for mapping them, your team gains an understanding of each touchpoint and identifies ones that you haven’t thought of nor prepared for. While this is an ongoing exercise as new touchpoints are constantly being created in the real world, having all of your touchpoints gathered in one central place is a precursor to visualizing how they connect and how you can create great customer experiences at them.

Protip: If you want to make your life easy, use touchpoint inventory software for gathering all those touchpoints in one digital place.

 

2. Seeing how touchpoints connect

 

Our brains think in connections of dots and lines. Thus, the expression “connect the dots” is used to describe seeing a vision of the future and/or understanding something important. Connecting the dots for SaaS businesses means understanding how different touchpoints interrelate and connect and how the experience in one dot can influence the experience in other dots along the customer journey. The act of mapping these touchpoints in a connected visualization also exposes touchpoints that might not have been previously thought of and can now be planned for.

 

Protip: If you want to simplify how you create connected maps and make it easy to access and reuse them, use customer journey mapping software that lets you create, modify, clone and find your customer journey maps through an interactive digital interface.

 

3. Seeing how teams collaborate to create great customer experiences

 

Great customer experiences across their journeys requires the collaboration of multiple departments and functions. Having collaborative customer journey maps helps your organization to see what’s needed from each team to create those great experiences, who is currently managing or assigned to what, and how they go about it. The ability to have running conversations directly related to touchpoints on different maps helps to cut through the clutter and get right to the heart of the matter.

 

Protip: To get maximum value from customer journey mapping, involve at least 1 representative from each of the teams that touch the customer journey

 

4. Understanding contexts at each point

 

Each touchpoint on a map can have its own context and its useful to understand what those contexts are. For instance, different touchpoints may have different key performance indicators and goals for those KPI that would indicate the target customer experience is being achieved. Unlocking those contexts within the framework of a customer journey map helps teams drill-down quickly and easily to understand what’s going on, what can be done, what has been done, and what the results were, so as to feed that back into planning.

 

Protip: Setting KPI goals for each touchpoint and pulling in KPI data using customer journey feedback loops further enhance the value of customer journey mapping

 

5. Identifying what needs to happen at each point and how to get data in context to understand if that’s happening and how to improve

 

The true magic of customer journey mapping is that is uncovers what types of data are needed that would give a real-world view of what’s going on in actual journeys and what sources could be accessed to get that data. Using customer journey mapping software allows SaaS companies to integrate those data sources directly within touchpoints on maps to get contextual insight that can then be acted upon and those actions recorded, to be then measured against changes in results. This creates an iterative customer journey feedback loop involving (a) viewing results, (b) making a change, (c) viewing results of that change, (d) iteratively making a change again, and so on and so forth until satisfied with the results.

 

Protip: By connecting feedback to iterative actions, and record progress in a version history, you add agility to your customer journey strategy

 

SaaS providers by nature live online and most of their customer journeys are digital. To maximize the benefits, providers need customer journey mapping software that is digital and interactive so that they can use their touchpoints and maps in their habitual way of operating as a company. Transformation.ai has create software exactly with this in mind.

To get started seeing how interactive customer journey maps can dramatically impact your SaaS business, sign-up for 30-day free trial today and access success tips that will help your team hit the ground running.

 


In the context of digital transformation, customer experience planning, and customer journey mapping, you may have heard of a touchpoint inventory. In this post we’ll explain what that is, how to use it, and what benefit you get from the exercise.

Definition: A touchpoint inventory is both the process and the result of gathering together all the customer touchpoints that make up a customer experience journey for all journeys and all customers that a business has.

Here we use the term “customer” loosely, as not all organizations have customers. Some have stakeholders or taxpayers for instance, but here you can insert those in place of customer. Also, an organization can plan experience journeys for internal customers, like employees that going through onboarding and a lifecycle, or internal customers for specific reports.

The key benefits of a touchpoint inventory are:

  • Organization: To understand how to impact and improve all the experience touchpoints in your business, you first need to collect them and have them at hand. A touchpoint inventory provides the mechanism to do this, putting them all together in a way that can be easily accessed and utilized, making sure nothing is forgotten about, lost or misplaced. 
  • Clarity: Creating and conducting a touchpoint inventory puts the organization in a touchpoint or customer experience journey mindset and creates clarity around what the touchpoints are and how they connect. Visual cues that are used for touchpoints, particularly as part of customer journey management software creates shared understanding and transparency around touchpoints and the journeys they make up. 
  • Alignment: With this shared understanding comes alignment between teams and roles. While this becomes more apparent through customer journey experience maps that are created with these touchpoints, the act of touchpoint gathering and brainstorming starts the understanding. It gets teams on the same page as to what touchpoints represents, who is responsible for what, what’s involved at each touchpoint, and how different touchpoints connect. 
  • Re-use: The great thing about having a touchpoint inventory, especially when it is created and stored in touchpoint inventory software is that the touchpoints can be easily re-used again and again for different maps and purposes. There is still value in the sticky notes and big boards, but translate those into digital versions to make them useful in your daily work and across different teams, timezones and geographies for greater collaboration. 
  • Framework: A touchpoint inventory, and the strategic activities you can conduct with them, provide a framework for getting teams thinking about touchpoints and their properties, how they connect into larger customer journey experiences, and how those experiences can be improved to create competitive advantage at each touchpoint and across the system as a whole. 

How you conduct a touchpoint inventory:

We discuss this in more detail in the post on how to gather a touchpoint inventory. In short, you conduct a touchpoint inventory by finding the right interface for collecting the touchpoints and then you make a comprehensive list and connect the points to each other and other elements such as teams and technologies.  

Do you want to get started building your touchpoint inventory? Sign-up for a 30-day free trial today and get a guided tour on your first demo call.


When seeking to create competitive advantage through great customer experiences, it pays to engage in customer journey mapping. Before you can do that though, you first need to gather your touchpoints. In this post, we’ll examine how to go about gathering an inventory of those touchpoints and how you can use software to make the process more efficient and effective.

Step 1: Set-up the interface for brainstorming touchpoints.

In traditional customer journey mapping, you typically start with a large piece of paper or a wall and fill it with touchpoints using sticky-notes. In fact, you can also do this as a first step and then use it as a basis for entering it into a digital interface. Or you can skip that and go directly to software. One advantage of going directly to software is that you can access pre-built templates for mapping those touchpoints onto and an existing list of touchpoint examples that you can configure to suit your needs.

Why you do it: The right interface helps you brainstorm a comprehensive list of touchpoints.

Step 2: Brainstorm and select your touchpoints.

Once you have your interface, you use it to visually compile a list of all the touchpoints that happen in your business. If you want to expand touchpoints beyond customer-facing touchpoints, such as internal employee-facing touchpoints, you could do that as well or make that part of a different touchpoint inventory list. In the software interface, it is easy to add new touchpoints, and/or clone existing ones to configure them to represent a new touchpoint that you need.

Why you do it: A comprehensive set of touchpoints helps create better customer journey maps.

Step 3: Connect your touchpoints to each other and other elements

Using the touchpoint connection interface, make connections between touchpoints and with other elements such as teams and technologies and these connections will then automatically appear when you are plotting them on a customer journey map.

Why you do it: Through connecting the dots of the customer journey you gain a richer understanding of how to create competitive advantage at each possible touchpoint.

Now that you have it you can use it map your customer journey experiences according to touchpoints and elements that connect to them. Sign-up of for a free 30-day trial today to get started breaking down siloes and creating more aligned customer journey experiences.


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