CMSWire Contributor Q&A With Tobias Komischke

CMSWire Managing Editor Dom Nicastro catches up with CMSWire Contributor Tobias Komischke on customer journey mapping and “jobs to be done.”

The quest to deliver a great customer experience through design comes with the need to have a structured process in place. Two methods in particular enable customer experience professionals to accomplish this task: Journey Maps and Jobs to Be Done.

CMSWire Contributor Tobias Komischke shared that message in his article earlier this year, Using Customer Journey Maps and Jobs to Be Done for a Better Customer Experience. “These methods lead us from a fundamental needs analysis to an action plan for delivering products and services that customers really need,” Komischke wrote.

We caught up with Tobias for a Q&A on the topic. Editor’s note: This transcript is edited for clarity.

Dominic Nicastro: Hey, Dominic Nicastro here, managing editor at CMSWire. We’re with our latest outstanding CMSWire contributor, Tobias Komischke, UX Fellow at Infragistics. What’s going on Tobias?

Tobias Komischke: Hey, Dom, how are you?

Nicastro: Good. How are you?

Komischke: Pretty good. Thank you. 

Nicastro: So good to be joining you. Is that sunny Princeton, N. J., in the background? Or is that a phony background I see? 

Komischke: Yeah, that’s my dreamy background. I’m not sure where it is. But I see palm trees, which I could really use right now.

Challenges of Customer Journey Mapping

Nicastro: Yeah. I’m in the northeast, with me being in Boston (since moving to the Granite State), you being in Jersey, we’re always dreaming of somewhere down South, you know. We’re not exactly thinking of going to Canada anytime soon with the weather. But nonetheless, here we are. Your latest article is talking about, you know, journey maps, and everything in between. And, you know, when I think, Tobias, of journey mapping, you know, and CX, I think of these little Post-it notes all over the walls, and everyone’s getting excited in a room. And they’re like, yes, yes, let’s do that. Let’s do that. Take that. Put it in the file. But there’s got to be some challenges around this. I mean, what are some of the common challenges you see with being in journey mapping?

Komischke: Yeah, I think you’re right there. They are fun, you know, to be creative. But there are some issues there, in terms of failure modes. I think one is that it’s really important that the whole journey map reflects the customer’s perspective and not your own. Right? As we create them, it’s so easy to just think about our own view on this. And a symptom of that is if you see a customer journey map that says, well, here is the first touchpoint between the customer and us. And here’s the second one, here’s the third one, you know, touchpoints, maybe a website or a service call, a sales call. 

But guess what, the customers may have many more steps and touchpoints beyond yours. Then the question is, do you know about them? Do you know what happens there? Because maybe there’s an opportunity for you as a company to say, I think we are really in the position to help the customers in that phase. We have not done that before. They have not engaged with us in this particular step. But we may be able to help them quite well. So I think that is one of the issues. 

And I think the other issue is that sometimes journey maps are being created without customer involvement, without having real data from customers. 

Nicastro: Wow. 

Komischke: And that’s not great, right? Because that’s just you dreaming. And so if you really have no customer insights, that’s not great. But yeah, you could then create your own customer journey map as a hypothesis. Right? Fine, call it a draft, whatever. But you have to verify it at some point with customers, you have to have the VoC, the voice of the customer, to verify that assumption. 

So I think that’s two and maybe a third one is, what impact does your journey map have? Why is it a great result? An artifact that you as CX team create? But then, who’s taking this in? Who do you report this out to? What impact does it have? Why if you have it and nothing happens to it, and with it, then why do you even do it? Right? That’s a huge problem.

Related Article: 4 Strategic Approaches to Customer Journey Mapping

What Is the Jobs-to-Be-Done Approach?

Nicastro: That’s right. There’s so many times, Tobias, in a business sense, where I feel we all congratulate ourselves on doing something, where we get really intense and we work hard. You know, we work hard, we go into these meetings and we say, this is how we’re going to do this going forward. This is the journey map we’re going to create. And then it just becomes a sort of document that lives somewhere and it goes away. Right? You go back to the same old processes. So taking it to the next level is the key. And one of the things you talked about in the article is the jobs-to-be-done approach. First of all, I love that title, jobs to be done. I feel like that’s like my wife’s approach. Jobs to be done. Jobs to be done. Don’t lay on the couch. Do not lay on it. But what, how do you, what is that in reference to in terms of CX in journey maps?

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