Creating Value Through Mapping Experiences: Jim Kalbach

Creating Value Through Mapping Experiences: Jim Kalbach


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About Jim Kalbach

Jim Kalbach is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in user experience design, information architecture, and strategy. He is currently the Head of Customer Success at MURAL, a leading visual online workspace for remote collaboration.

Jim has worked with large companies, such as eBay, Audi, SONY, Elsevier Science, LexisNexis, and Citrix. Jim lived in Germany for 15 years before returning to the US in 2013. While there, he co-founded the European Information Architecture conferences, as well as the IA Konferenz.

Jim is widely know for his book, “Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams”.

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Follow Jim Kalback on Twitter: @JimKalbach

Get Jim Kalbach’s book: Mapping Experiences

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Follow Mary Drumond on Twitter@drumondmary


Mary Drumond: (00:05)
This is Voices of Customer Experience, a podcast where we bring you the very best thought leaders and practitioners of customer experience and its overlapping verticals such as marketing, analytics, behavioral economics, Journey Mapping and design. Our goal is to help you be better at your job by listening to the experiences and leadership of others who like you have dedicated their careers to improving the dialogue between companies and customers. Voices of Customer Experience Podcast is brought to you by Worthix, the first and only self adaptive survey for measuring customer experience. Discover your worth at

Jim Kalbach is a noted author, speaker and instructor in user experience design information architecture and strategy. He’s currently the head of customer success at Mural, leading visual online workspace for remote collaboration. Jim has worked with large companies such as Ebay, Audi, Sony, Lexus, nexus, and Citrix. Previously, Jim Spent 15 years living in Germany where he co-founded the European information architecture conferences and also co-founded the IIA conference series in Germany. 

So welcome to one more episode of Voices of Customer Experience with your host, Mary Drumond. Joining me today is Jim Kalbach. Hi Jim. 

Jim Kalbach: (01:26)
Hi Mary. Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here. 

MD: (01:28)
Jim is an author of a fantastic book that I read last year called Mapping Experiences where you really get in deep into customer journey mapping and diagrams, et Cetera, right? 

JK: (01:39)
Yeah, exactly. I take a broad approach to mapping. So although customer journey mapping is one part of it, I actually look at things kind of from a 10,000 foot view and why do we create these maps? How do maps help us understand experience? 

MD: (01:54)
So even though most people assume that the entire market is super familiar with journey mapping already or experience mapping and mapping in general, the truth is there are a lot of companies who haven’t even got started in their individuals, listeners of our podcast, who may not even know what that is. So for their benefit, can you kind of just put it in a nutshell for us and explain what the concept means? 

JK: (02:19)
You know, I think for me it goes back to the word experience. Whether you’re talking about customer experience or a user experience where where I got my start or even employee experience a, that’s a new field that I’m looking at closely as well too. The word experience is really squishy and fuzzy and usually includes things like emotions. Man, you’re usually trying to take a holistic view of the world when you use the word experience. So when we say customer experience and we’re trying to get our teams, our internal teams on the same page, the question comes up, well how do we define that? How do we understand that? Okay, how do we make sense of experience? I think one way that we’ve been seeing, and I didn’t invent this, this was just an observation that I have, that there’s lots of different ways that people have tried to visualize experience and I think that’s a key way to make it tangible and typically you’ll have a chronology, some beginning point, some ending point. 

JK: (03:12)
You know when a customer becomes aware of your brand too, when they renew a subscription or something like that, and then some phases in between. What you try to do is look at some aspects across that chronology that you believe describe their experience that’s relevant to your organization. Typically it’s things like what are they doing, thinking, feeling. But there might be some interactions with a specific, you know, technology or touch point with your company and then you map this out and it’s a really compelling way to do customer research or to summarize, you know, observations. You can write a 50 page report of, you know, a researcher, a study that you’ve done, and we know people don’t read 50 page reports. Instead you have everything on one page and people walk over to it and say, tell me more about it. So that’s compelling and it’s also concise, right? It’s very compact. You can have really how powerful conversations once you have that visualization. 

MD: (04:03)
Well, Jim, you, you got your Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and in Musical Theory and Composition, right? How did that lead you to experience mapping? 

JK: (04:16)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean on paper, those things, I totally get that those things seem unrelated in my mind. It all makes sense. And I do think there are some similarities in both of those fields, information science and music, and that is as kind of an abstraction, being able to abstract the world and then also being able to create a structure around that abstraction, right? So when I was studying music composition for instance, know I’d pull up a blank sheet of music paper and then have to think about what’s the underlying structure of a song that I’m trying to compose, right? And then, and then the surface comes on top of that. And in information science you might have a body of information that you’re trying to put a structure on and those structures are abstract. So when we talk about mapping and journey mapping and mapping experiences, it’s not reality. The map is not reality. The map is not the territory as they say, right? It’s an abstraction of reality. I think there’s a similar motion in observing the outside world and then creating a model and abstract model of that world for some benefit in music and the information science and mapping actually have at a super high level have have that component to it. 

MD: (05:25)
So do you consider yourself kind of a a creative right brain, if you would, person that kind of just sees the world from the creative standpoint as opposed to numbers and algorithms and that kind of stuff? 

JK: (05:39)
I think more so, although mapping it does have a lot of creativity and pattern recognition, right? It’s all about looking at the world and finding patterns and then putting that through a filter. In the case of mapping, that filter is a visualization and then you have a structure, so I do think that there is a left brain side of it that’s in the structuring of the information, but it’s a, it’s a lot less about data and analytics and system thinking and things like that. Right? 

MD: (06:08)
It does require a lot of craft and creativity to be able to map 
from a practical standpoint, Jim. Even though you wrote this amazing book with all this information in, it’s so insightful for people who actually have to get their hands dirty and get the job done. How much do you actually participate in creating experience maps inside corporations these days?

JK: (06:23)
I worked for a company now called Mural. That’s an online collaboration tool. It’s basically a virtual whiteboard, which by the way is great for mapping. That’s one of my attractions, you know, for to working at the company is that a, you know, I can apply my productivity from, from my past jobs on the job here, but I’m actually not working a lot on projects where we’re doing a lot of mapping. We do, we do some internally, but I’m doing less consulting and working with either external clients or business units for the companies that I worked for in the past internally. So I’m not doing as much of the mapping that I used to do. That led up to the book and the book really is the culmination of my experiences because when I was, when I was doing mapping as a consultant and internally as well too, there wasn’t a good resource out there and I was trying to string things together and I had some revelations as well as I’m making a lot of mistakes that I kind of wanted to put down on paper. But now I’m mostly teaching mapping. Right. So that’s my big outlet for mapping. Now I have some workshops and I’ll give talks right a lot and podcasts and things like that. So I’m doing probably more teaching of mapping now than actually consulting on projects. I do keep up to date and relevant and I will do a mapping project here and there. 

MD: (07:31)
The inspiration to, to write the book and to start came from your own experiences and you know, you mentioned that there wasn’t a lot of material out there, so how did you come up with this? Was it trial and error? Did you base it off of publications, off of documentation? How did you actually gather the information to create this structure? 

JK: (07:50)
It was a lot of trial and error first kind of on the job. Uh, you know, I was in the middle of mapping projects myself and I was confronted with terms like customer journey, map, service, blueprint, mental model diagrams, those all kind of have a history. And I was, you know, sitting there with without any way to kind of harmonize that. Uh, you know, I had, I had some revelations.

JK: (08:11)
how to approach those terms and I started researching them before the book came out. I started teaching a workshop that was the kind of the culmination of my experiences. I started packaging that up into a workshop and for about four years, you know, I had given probably several dozen workshops on the topic, which helped me refine the way that I was presenting it, but also from the participants, the students of the workshop. I heard their questions and then I was able to more and more proactively address them so that by the time I got up to the book, I had a clear framework for how I want it to present things. I was proactively addressing questions that I know I got from, from a lot of the students in the course. And I really just wanted to kind of put that all down to help people not make the mistakes that I had made in the past.

MD: (08:56)
Well moving into the book itself and some of my perceptions of the book. Great Book by the way, extremely insightful, maybe the best all in one solution to find like a full end to end solution for journey mapping I feel. But there’s one thing that caught my eye right in the preface of the book where you said, let me try to find it. He said the book is not for Cx Management. I think you, you made a point of making that abundantly clear. So why, why was it that you position yourself that way is and like don’t use this for customer experience management. 

JK: (09:28)
Yeah. I think the keyword there is more on the management side than the customer experience. My background is in digital product design, design strategy, Ux, right. So a very, very creative and generative type of role. Uh, you know, I had in my previous jobs where we were trying to gather a team of people that gather as a team of stakeholders to create something new or to improve something that was already existing I in terms of a product or a solution on the marketplace. Right? So the, the type of mapping that I described is one of more of a generative type of mapping. There is a whole class of tools out there for instance, where you can manage the customer journey in real time. Oh, you know, using a map like structure for instance. And that’s kind of, that’s kind of an ongoing, more of a management, more of a summative rather than a generative type of, of uh, use of mapping, which is great, but I don’t actually have a ton of experience in that field. 

JK: (10:25)
So I just wanted to kind of make that distinction because I know a lot of people who are looking at managing customer journey or customer experience over time are looking for more quantitative, up to date, up to minute, you know, statistics and metrics and things like that. The type of maps that I described are more of a springboard into creativity. It would be something that you might do print out on a wall and have a workshop around it. And then the question that I always get is, well, how does the map, you know, how do you keep it up to date? And the answer is, well, you’ve probably already figured out the solutions, worry about the solutions, you know, the, the new designs and things that you came up with. That’s what you want to keep up to date. I kind of see the world and kind of two different types of mapping, mapping for generative purposes and then mapping for summative or management purposes. So that’s why I put that in the book. 

MD: (11:08)
Well that’s actually interesting. Let me ask you, which part of the organization do you think should be responsible for experience mapping? 

JK: (11:15)
That’s a really, really good question. Um, I butted heads with people in the past cause I was always in Ux teams and then I’d go over to the CX team and they’d say, no, no, we’re doing the journey mapping. You don’t do the journey mapping. And I was like, no, I think I know how to do journey mapping. So it’s a really good question. I kind of wrote the book for everybody. I think it’s a full contact sport. I hate to have it be owned by any one kind of one field. Right. And that’s why I framed it very, very broadly. If you’re in service design, you can do a service blueprint. If you’re doing product design, you can do an experience map. If you’re in Cx, you can do a customer journey map, right? I want to, I want it to write the, for all of those kind of functions and fields that you find inside of an organization. The problem that that brings up then is people are, are, are duplicating work or they’re working on the same thing in a different way, and then you’re, you’re not, you’re not sync up. So, you know, I think that’s kind of the, the frontier. The final frontier is how do you get the organization to align to just one type of map or one x, one expression of a, of an experience. I talked about that a little, tiny little bit in the book, but not that much. 

JK: (12:24)
But again it was an important part, like literally my next, uh, talking about the alignment of diagrams and the importance of seeing the big picture and not having each department’s siloed off with their own charts. Right. Yeah. So I, I am imagining that you added this because of experience and, and due to seeing this happening like in real life, right? Totally. 

JK: (12:48)
Yeah. Oh Man. You know, I do have experience at some organizations where where they were trying to look at, uh, you know, a high level representation that they can then break down and kind of spawn off and say, okay, you know, you, you own this part and you double click and then you can create, you know, more maps there. So, you know, when we talk about mapping, you know, the level of granularity or the level of abstraction is a question. If you want to map a journey across a customer, all of your customer types and across all of your touch points, you can do that. It’s going to be really abstract and lose a lot of detail. You can take any one component of that, of that super high level journey and break it down and create a series of journey maps from there and even double click and go down from there. 

JK: (13:30)
Right. So one of the questions that you have to answer when you’re starting a mapping project is at what level of abstraction do I want to work? And it is possible to have an overarching kind of north star, a framework that then multiple disciplines aligned to, and they can own their own bits, proportions of it, but it aligns to something larger. I guess the question then is who owns that larger thing? Right, right. And yeah, that’s, yeah, that’s where the turf wars and things began. And I haven’t, I haven’t sorted that out and fight for myself to be honest with you. 

JK: (13:58)
You’re not writing a book about inner inner company politics or any, but yeah. 

JK: (14:03)
there is a sub substrate in my book where I do address that, but it’s more of a, from a bottoms up standpoint and that’s, you know, I want to, to arm people with the knowledge and the knowhow, how to do it. Uh, but kind of from the bottom up and I haven’t, I haven’t tackled that top down problem yet, but I wanted to, I wanted to say you can do this and your department can do it and try to have come more of a grass roots approach to mapping, right? That’s going to have its limitations and big organizations. 

MD: (14:28)
The company that you work with right now, mural, can you build customer journey map on that platform? 

JK: (14:33)
You absolutely can. Um, mural is basically an online whiteboard. You can access it right through your browser. And the interaction is a lot like Google maps. They use zoom in and out. So, you know, see your mural or the canvas. It’s a basically a board. It’s a digital board that we give you the illusion of space by zooming and panning around. Yeah. And then we have elements that you can add to it, sticky notes, text elements. You can even upload images and graphics and things like that. So you can build a journey map in mural just like you might on a whiteboard in a physical room. Right. And you know, we give you infinite amount of space as well too. So you can, if you had a 10 foot wall, you can easily replicate a row sticky notes on a 10 foot wall. You could easily replicate that in mural that you can even get a little bit higher fidelity from there as well too. 

JK: (15:17)
It’s not going to have the same graphic Polish that a map that was created in illustrator or Adobe illustrator might have mural for mapping, tends to be more of a working area, a hands on type of mapping where you want people to build the map in the first place, but then also use that as a conversation for, you know, so what, what are we going to do about this? Where, where are the opportunities, how can we address the pain points and those kinds of questions. You can do all of that kind of collaborative teamwork in mural really, really, really well. And of course, you know the, yeah, well these days our organizations are distributed, right? Um, if you work for any, any larger company, they’re growing through acquisition or they’re growing through moving into new regions of the world, then you know, I’m finding more and more that teams are saying, yes, yeah, I have to do all this work, but none of my teammates are sitting next to me. What do I do? Right? So, uh, it’s a great way to think digitally and think about mapping in a digital way. Again, this is going to be that more of that generative mapping, right? We are kind of coming up with the street to the framework and then brainstorming off of that. You’re not going to manage nps scores for each phase of the journey and in mural. 

MD: (16:21)
Right? Right, right. But what you can do, I mean, it’s the entrepreneur inside me speaking, is it when talking about, you know, each department, you know, sharing that map somehow, if you’re discussing a couple of minutes ago, it is a way to collaboratively build something that departments can then stem off of and build their own journeys or, or their own branches of that journey according to which vertical they’re in. 

JK: (16:43)
Right? Totally. Yeah. And if you, and if you’re thinking and working digitally and mural or some other tool as well too, you’re able to keep the momentum going, but you’re also able to include people who may not be able to get to your location. If you have a wall and you print a journey map out on a wall or you create a wall full of sticky notes that represent your journey map, basically, if you’re not in that office, you’re locked out of that information. You, your colleagues could take a photo, take a photo of it. But I don’t know about you though. Those photos are very unsatisfying and you know you get an email. 

JK: (17:21)
It makes you feel good that that information is not going to be lost, but that’s about the limit of the utility of taking a photo of a flip chart. But with mural, it’s live and dynamic. Everything gets stored in the cloud. So it’s kind of like working in a Google doc. You can have multiple people in there. At the same time and as you make the changes, the board changes in in real time. So it’s okay to work offline by the way because you know I love flying around the world and meet my colleagues face to face and you want to have that tactile experience of working with sticky notes because you know mapping is is like I said, it should be a full contact. It’s about engaging with other people and making sense of that journey and there’s no better way to do that face to face. But like I said, the reality of our organizations are that we’re not always going to be face to face. So how do you keep the momentum going and hacks like taking a picture of a whiteboard or trans even transcribing it, which takes a lot of time is, is very unsatisfying. Yeah. Mural tries to fill that gap and we’ve done a lot of work with a lot of teams using neural for mapping. 

MD: (18:15)
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MD: (18:45)
Yeah. Well that brings me onto another question that I have here, which is about the person who’s designing the Mat, the researcher or the designer, how they immerse themselves in the experience because there are a lot of different, yeah, players. Let’s say that that are involved in creating that map and your, how does the designer immerse themselves in ways that they can actually have the correct empathy perhaps and put the right information on there or information that’s not biased because I imagine that’s a big problem, right? 

JK: (19:13)
It is a big problem because as the map maker, you do bring a point of view. Know I understand the bias side of things, but I think at some point as well too, you have to embrace your viewpoint and say, no, I have a viewpoint of the experience, but that needs to be informed with a, with a lot of rich type of data that comes in both quantitative and qualitative. Yeah. As the map maker, you do have to know what you’re talking about. When you define the experience, when does it begin or end, whose experience is it? Which experiences are we looking at? Those are some of the questions that you need to answer before you start and then once you define that, you really do need to immerse yourself in that. Do the first hand interviews, talk to the people who’s experienced that is, you know, it doesn’t have ’em two dozen of them. 

JK: (19:56)
Look at the resources of information that you have internally, whether it’s metrics or reports or white papers that might inform that as well too. The other people will say, yeah, why is that there? You know, why do you get to say that’s their right so you, you better have a really good answer. But on the other side, what I also like to do is make sure part of the mapping collaborative as well too, and I say part of the mapping because what you don’t want to do is walk in with a whiteboard and a group of people and say we’re going to make a map together. You tend to get into rat holes. If you do that, you’re talking about when does one phase and then when the other begins and what’s the label on the face. I like the golden with a hypothesis into a session with my team and say, here’s what I found. 

JK: (20:37)
We’re going to break up the world until you know, eight different phases. So I like to have a chronology at least across the top. Also decide what facets of information you want to capture on the map. Do that advance and put some of the findings that you found that you’re super, super confident on there. And then maybe leave some of it blanks for the group to fill in. So, for instance, one thing that I like to fill in is what are, what are all the touch points that we as a company have along this journey? And do that as a group because then you’ll get buy in, right? Because they help you build it, right. Come in with, you know, 80% of your map done and use the group to fill out the rest of the 20 that’s one technique that I’ve done to kind of get that buy in so that people understand the map and they don’t have a not built here attitude towards it. 

MD: (21:19)
I like that. That’s important. One thing that I’ve noticed, I’m still astonished at times when I look at massive organizations that I imagine have consultants and departments, probably large budgets going into their customer experience or even their journey mapping. And yet they fail too. Notice some very important factors throughout the customer journey. Yeah. And they just failed miserably. You know, like, I mean, I think a decent example and it’s an easy one. So you know, it’s an easy target, but you know, like that, that Pepsi ad that had a temple gender on it. Yeah. How did Pepsi failed to see how that commercial would affect viewers? When you take a massive organization, especially like a, you know, a telecom, you know, if somebody goes to the store and buys a phone and walks out and the experience just sucks from beginning to end, how does that happen? How do they allow that to happen? So do you think it’s possible for a number one, a company to map out a journey perfectly with all of the experiences in them and to be able to control them to a degree where these things don’t happen? 

JK: (22:25)
No, not, not in the in absolute sense. Or you’re never going to have a map that is everything to everybody and covers everything. And that’s part of getting the target of what you’re mapping right in the first place. What you do want to, what you do on a map are, um, the gaps in knowledge that the company has or what questions your team has, right? The maps should fill some gap that’s relevant because there probably is a lot of knowledge that the team will bring to the table as well too, that you don’t necessarily need to map. So it’s really hard, you know, again, experiences as big fuzzy word, it’s going to be hard to cover everything, but what you want is a model that kind of surgically goes in and covers the most important things as well as the unknown things as well too. 

JK: (23:07)
And then, you know, there’s always going to be some friction inside of your company, between two silos of your organization that the customer might get caught up in. You obviously want to minimize that, but I don’t think you’re ever got ever, ever going to get that perfect. I think the, you know, the bottom line is it needs to be ongoing in the first place. You don’t just say, hey, we got the experience. Okay, check, it’s perfect. Let’s launch this thing. And we’re never ever going to have a problem because you’re always going to have constant optimization. And you know, I th I think, I think the other thing too is that it needs to be kind of cross functional and cross disciplinary. And for me that’s actually one of the values of mapping in general is that even though you know you might’ve created, you know that let’s say the marketing team created the map, they can invite people from product design and engineers and salespeople and even executives in and have all of those people together and they almost all can find themselves in the map, right? So it’s relevant to them maybe from a different perspective. But you’re able to get in a room together and have a conversation. So the mapping for me is also a silo breaker. Okay. Including as many people as possible is not only advised. I would say that’s part of mapping, right? Not being using about creating a nice picture that you put up on the wall. That’s called wallpaper. We don’t want to make wallpaper. You want to have conversations with your team. Right? And the map. The map is the springboard. It’s a catalyst for those conversations. 

MD: (24:24)
Why did you and your book split up experience mapping and journey mapping? Why are they doing? 

JK: (24:29)
Yes, that’s a great question to distinction. I really, I really, really liked to talk about it. I’m still refining, how do I talk about that? I have a nice little blog post on that as well too. I believe it’s a, it’s a different perspective. You’re looking at the individual from a different perspective. So when you talk about a customer journey map and if you just think about those words, it’s a customer. So you’re looking at the individual as a customer of your product, of your brand, right? They interact with your company and I want to see that interaction. We call that the series of interactions a journey. So it’s a customer journey map and experience map though. The way I define it at least is you’re looking at what the person is trying to do in their lives to get a job done. Right? So you know, the example that I use, I often speak at design conferences. 

JK: (25:13)
I use Adobe, the makers of Photoshop, if I’m a designer, I have a relationship with Photoshop and yeah, Adobe wants to understand that journey. When, when does it designer become aware of Photoshop? You know, why did they decide to use it? How do they continue staying loyal? Right? That’s what a customer journey map would be. What an experience map for me would be, what does a designer do on the job? And that’s not just going to be about Adobe. That’s going to be about how they start doing user research and then they create wire frames and brainstorm and then they interact with pms and create designs and then test those designs and usability tests, right? That’s a designer’s experience and those two things intersect. They’re not duplicative and they’re kind of orthogonal. I usually upgrade. Now I’m crossing my arms that you guys can’t see this. I had my arms and across that customer, a customer journey map is looking at the person by one perspective and experience map is looking at them in a different perspective. Both perspectives are needed, but you get a different picture out the other end. 

MD: (26:08)
So basically it’s another perspective and you need both in order to deliver a consistent experience maybe? 

JK: (26:17)
Yes, I absolutely do. Because you know one, one is really about how you’re going to help the customer get their job done, right. They experienced map is really looking at them and what they’re trying to do in general, what their objectives are on a day to day basis. Let’s say. The other is though they have to, in order for your business to be successful, they have to consume your product, right? So it’s looking at the, you know, the consumption jobs that they have as well too. And it’s really the, the equation is actually both of those, right. I a successful solution is we help the customer get their job done and they can interact with us in a satisfying way as well too. 

MD: (26:50)
Now, which one of those would be more useful for a user experience department? Like you told me that you started off there 

MD: (26:57)
as a user experience designer, I wanted to know what my user was doing on their job. Right. If I’m developing a new feature, let’s say it’s not interesting to me how they come in contact with an advertisement from my company on TV. That’s not going to help me do a design at that point in time. And that’s the both are important, right? But as a user designer, let’s say product designer, I wanted to know what’s the person doing because the product is solution. The service asked us first and foremost support that. Right? That’s my job to do that. If I’m working in customer experience or marketing or sales, there’s lots of disciplines that could align to the customer journey, right? Both presales in Postsales, right? Customer support, even you renewal department, things like that. You want to look at what the interaction with your brand is. I think awareness of all of those disciplines of those two different perspectives is super important. I think marketing should be aware of what people are trying to do that’s going to help them craft the right messages. Right? So, so it’s not, it’s not mutually exclusive basically is what I’m saying. 

MD: (27:53)
Which one or do both analyze effort? 

JK: (27:56)
Effort with the company? I would say the customer journey map because the effort, I haven’t, that’s a good, that’s a really good question. I haven’t used effort as a facet or dimension inside of experience mapping yet. I’ve seen effort as a facet of customer journey mapping and it’s a really great dimension by the way to include in your journey mapping effort and you can draw that visually. By the way, just to kind of get back to the mapping being a visual process, you can actually have a line that kind of goes up and down effort goes up, effort goes down here. Right? So that’s a great dimension to include in a customer journey map. Yeah, I haven’t included that in an experience map and I don’t know if I’d know how to do it because the question would be effort with what effort with their job, their their work. So I have to think about it, but it’s a great question. 

MD: (28:38)
Well, earlier in the season I had Matt Dixon and Matt Dixon kind of participated in the creation of customer effort score, the CEO. And one thing that he suggested back in 2010 when, when he wrote the book and when he put out an article for HBR, they got a lot of traction. And the reason I’m bringing this up is because there’s kind of this ongoing dispute in the customer experience world about it’s better to reduce effort, right? Trying to bring down that efforts or, yeah. Or if it’s better to design delight into the experience, you know, so taking a word out of, you know, condiments book of actually crafting that journey so that you have peaks and high end that create memorability. 

JK: (29:22)
Yeah, no, I think both. I don’t see why that’s all either. Or actually it was like, yes we want to lower the lower effort yet. Totally mean, but if you look at it like super successful solutions, right? Apple, right. Everybody you know, talks to is apple around as success story. They kind of did that, right? Yeah. It gets the job done well, the technology is great, the design is great, the marketing is great and you know, it’s just the trifecta of lots of different things. And I think that’s ultimately what we want to strive for. And that’s why I think you have to look at the word experience along different dimensions, experience with my product, with my brand and experience with their work or getting their job done. Right. And I think, you know, when we talk about the light and effort, you can look at that as dimensions of either of those axes. I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. I mean, ideally, ideally those two different perspectives are a union Yang are two sides of the same coin and not siloed. And you know, going back to our earlier point as well too, I think that’s why you get, you know, folks in marketing or CX going, well we own the journey maps and then people in UX and the product side. Okay, you guys own the experience map, right? Those things should to the degree possible, they should be two sides of the same coin. 

MD: (30:30)
So when you talk about envisioning future experiences, is that the moment that you would include these designs for delight moments for instance? 

JK: (30:40)
Yeah, I think so. A lot of the mapping that I talk about in the book really focuses around as his scenarios. You want to first understand the world as it is and then that becomes a catalyst for conversation. That answers the question. So what? And then you know the, so what could be, and you know I’m already envisioning how this might work in a workshop, what you, what you could do, like let’s say you had a map and as is his picture of the world and you had a group of people hopefully cross functional, you could say, okay, where are the moments that we can provide the most delight thought voting or something like that. Okay. Where are the moments where it’s the highest effort right now? Right on. Do you on that, that type of thing. Where are the biggest pain points for the customer? 

JK: (31:21)
Right. You can do some analysis, some interaction with the map to kind of come up with your own conclusions. Just say, Oh, here’s an opportunity. Look not only if we reduce the effort at this point, but if we increased the delight, you know the outcome is five x for us. Right? That kind of thing. But then it becomes a question of how might we, how might we actually address those things? Right? And that’s where, that’s where that creative generative work comes. And typically what I like to think about is if you have this as his picture of the world, you do some analysis, collective analysis together on top of that, and then either right below it or right next to it, do you know you can map what the future world looks like if needed. You could create a whole new to be map, but typically I find that the two B experience is right below that is his experience. And you can just kind of extend the map to say, okay, and here’s what we’re going to do. Or overlay it on top of the as is world that works. If you’re not fundamentally changing the order of the chronology, you can definitely do that. Future work right on top. As a layer on top of your as is scenario,

MD: (32:21)
We’re totally out of time. I could go on for longer if you want. Um, tell me something. How can our listeners hear more from you? How can they follow you? Is there anywhere that you publish your, your work that’s some easy access for people online, something like that. 

JK: (32:37)
Yeah, sure. My blog experiencing quite a long URL, but experiencing I have some tidbits from the book that I put up there. I’ve been quite bad in recent times of actually publishing things there. So, um, I think the last one was, uh, yeah, you get that blog guilty and everything. I’ve got kind of declared bankruptcy though at this point in time. Like I think it’s been so long that my followers are used to me not blogging anymore. Right? They’re like, no, uh, uh, but that, but that’s how it is. But I do have some snippets from the book in there, including a piece on what’s the difference between customer journey map and experienced math, so you can find a lot of that stuff on my blog. You can connect with me on Linkedin or follow me on Twitter at Jim callback. It’s at Jim callback on Twitter. I do post a every once in a while, particularly about my speaking engagements. I speak at conferences and I give workshops and things like that. Awesome. Thank you so much for being on today, Jim. Really appreciate it. Learned a lot. There’s a lot of fun. Thanks for having me. 

MD: (33:39)
Thank you for joining us on one more episode of Voices of Customer Experience. This podcast is hosted and produced by Mary Drumond, edited and co-produced by Nic Gomez and Steve Berry. This podcast was brought to you by Worthix. Discover your worth at

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Mary Drumond

Mary Drumond

Mary Drumond is Chief Marketing Officer at Worthix, the world's first cognitive dialogue technology, and host of the Voices of Customer Experience Podcast. Originally a passion project, the podcast runs weekly and features some of the most influential CX thought-leaders, practitioners and academia on challenges, development and the evolution of CX.



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