If Customer Journey Maps Won’t Get You To Your Destination, Then What Will?

Evaluate and improve your customer experience with the most comprehensive, detailed methodology available.


“We know in our hearts that we could do a better job for our customers, but we’re just not quite sure where and how to start.”

Sound familiar?  It’s a challenge that many organizations wrestle with, and – however they choose to phrase it – it’s the kind of sentiment that leads firms to kick off customer experience improvement efforts, often anchored with some type of “customer journey mapping” exercise.

In a recent Forbes column (“A Road To Nowhere: Why Customer Journey Maps Fail To Deliver Results”), I described the deficiencies inherent in customer journey mapping.  So, if that’s not the right tool for evaluating and improving your company’s customer experience, then what is?

At Watermark, the answer to that question has always been our “Customer Experience (CX) Reality Check” – a flagship component of our consulting services, so named because it helps organizations truly understand what it feels like to be their customer (whether those “customers” are individuals, institutions, distributors, or any other type of stakeholder).  The Reality Check accomplishes this via a very comprehensive and in-depth evaluation of an organization’s customer experience.

That detailed, granular dissection of the experience goes well beyond traditional journey mapping exercises and CX audits.  As such, it reveals issues and opportunities that other assessment tools fail to uncover.  (Think of it as customer journey mapping on steroids…  or, as we jokingly refer to it — a “colonoscopy” for your customer experience.)

At the heart of the Reality Check is Watermark’s proven 3-D approach:

  • Dissect the experience: Before you can improve the customer experience, you first need to understand its composition.  The Reality Check identifies the broad spectrum of touchpoints and interactions – live, digital and print – that are shaping your customers’ impressions.
  • Diagnose the experience: Next, using a variety of techniques (including activities such as customer interviews and observation sessions, mystery shopping and business simulations, and point-by-point examinations of experiential artifacts), the Reality Check evaluates the quality of each touchpoint – pinpointing strengths, weaknesses and impediments to improvement.
  • Differentiate the experience: Lastly, the Reality Check yields a detailed roadmap with “turn-by-turn” directions for transforming your customer experience into something extraordinary.  No consultant-speak, no platitudes, no theoretical models… Just incredibly thorough, actionable, touchpoint-specific instructions for turning more of your customers into lifelong fans.

The insights, strategies, and tactical plans that emerge from our Reality Checks are typically so comprehensive that they often end up guiding our clients’ CX improvement efforts for years to come.

Interested in learning more about Watermark’s CX Reality Check?  Contact us for additional information, and start turning your company’s customer experience into its greatest competitive advantage.


Jon Picoult is founder of Watermark Consulting, a customer experience advisory firm that helps companies impress customers and inspire employees, creating raving fans that drive business growth.  Author of “FROM IMPRESSED TO OBSESSED: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifelong Fans,” Picoult is an acclaimed public speaker, as well as an advisor to some of world’s foremost brands.  Follow Jon on Twitter or Instagram, or subscribe to his monthly eNewsletter.


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