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Customer Needs: A Critical Component of the Customer Journey Map

By John C. Mitchell

A couple weeks ago, I attended my first-ever CXPA Insight Exchange, the annual conference of the Customer Experience Professionals Association, held in Phoenix, Arizona. In only six years, this event has become a must-attend gathering for professionals in customer experience, customer insights, and product design. Over 350 people participated. The program was terrific, as evidenced by the fact that final keynote drew nearly the same crowd as the opening address—a rarity among the dozens of conferences I’ve attended in my career. 

Several speakers described the importance of understanding customer experience as a journey that begins with pre-engagement, culminates in a purchase, and ideally, resolves to ongoing loyalty. Along the journey, customers encounter “moments that matter”—milestones that define the journey. Understand the moments that matter, the thinking goes, and you know where to direct the focus of your CX initiatives.   

So, what does it mean to understand the moments that matter? First, we need to know the specific tasks and subtasks, sometimes called “jobs-to-be-done,” that customers wish to complete at each step in the journey. But then, we need to understand the detailed customer needs—the underlying benefits sought by customers within the context of the journey. At any point in the journey, there could be dozens of needs that must be considered. Only by understanding these needs will we be equipped to make decisions about the design specifications that lead to new products and new experiences. (For more on customer needs, please refer to my recent article, “What is a Customer Need?”)  

Helping clients understand customer needs at every step of the journey has been at the center of AMS’s client work since our founding in 1989. If you’d like to hear more about how we help clients understand their customers’ needs, contact us today.

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