Insights on Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), Operational Risk and Product Stewardship

Customer Journey Mapping: Introducing Our New Compass to Excellence

April 19th, 2017
Jeremy Johnson
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Things are taking shape swiftly at Sphera.

We want to get to know you better as much as you want to get to know us better. That’s how it should be. Being better informed allows us to do our job better by exceeding your expectations. Many companies are satisfied to be product and services vendors, but our goal is to become true partners with our customers.

Any journey toward that goal requires a well-charted map, and with all due respect to Robert Frost, we plan to take the road less traveled by.

In the past few weeks we began rolling out Customer Journey Mapping presentations to some of our customers as part of our larger product outreach initiatives that also include our upcoming client customer group meetings, getting-to-know-you-better sessions in person and by phone as well as our can’t-miss inspire conferences coming this fall. To our knowledge, our Customer Journey Mapping approach is unique to the Operational Excellence solutions space, and we’re very excited about it.

A relatively new concept, Customer Journey Mapping, according to the Harvard Business Review, “is a very simple idea: a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company.”

It’s a simple concept, yes, but definitely not a simple thing to execute. Think of it as a dropping-bread-crumbs way to understand key business processes in your business with GPS-like accuracy. We spend the equivalent of 60 workdays creating each map to help give customers a bird’s-eye view of their “terrain”—whether it be oil and gas, biopharma or chemicals—to show Sphera’s capabilities to address industry opportunities and challenges across multiple business processes. The Customer Journey Mapping process is helping us lay the foundation for future product engagements with our customers.

And each Customer Journey Map is packed with information compiled by our expert Customer Journey “cartographers” who explore areas such as user experience, mobility, system integration and platform transformation. With all those data points compiled into one document, it’s no wonder why they are printed on 4-foot x 10½-foot posters. At that size, they put your fourth-grade teacher’s world map to shame, but more importantly they give our customers the opportunity to look at the potential risks in their respective industries in a new way.

In the oil industry for instance, we mapped out the combined upstream, midstream and downstream risks and challenges and where they interconnect. We then worked with our clients to point out potential pain points at each of the three major components of the value chain.

We’ve completed a significant leg of our effort to show off the new Customer Journey Maps, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback we’ve received from our clients. Customers are welcoming the opportunity to learn more about the transformation of our organization and the renewed focus and rigor that has accompanied our new brand.

Our vision is to take Sphera’s products and services to a whole new level with significant investments in people, processes and products. That investment has already started to come into play with the release of Intelligent Authoring 4.9 to help companies comply with European Union regulations for Substance Volume Tracking as well as our new mobile app to empower on-the-go workers to be able to record their incidents and observations much easier.

Customer Journey Mapping is the next iteration of that promise to put our investments to work for the good of our customers. And in the coming weeks, we’ll focus on additional sessions centered around specific business processes, which represents the next phase of our commitment to partnership with our customers as we add to and evolve our solutions.

Either way, this is where our new journey begins, and we want you to come along for the ride.

Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson is Sphera’s director of operational risk solution management and Customer Journey Mapping project lead. He is a 10-year veteran of the EH&S and Operational Risk space, having held roles in product management, product development, professional services and product marketing. Prior to joining Sphera, Jeremy spent five years in product/program management in the automotive and commercial vehicles industries.

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