Why a Roadmap is Critical for Customer Engagement Optimization

In an era of “push a button, take me there,” where AAA state maps and TripTiks have been replaced by Garmin® and Google™, and probably half of the population wouldn’t even try to actually read a map (much less fold one), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that large percentages of the population have no idea where the hell they are at any given moment. And that’s a loss.

The Beauty of Maps

What maps do is enable you to visually orient yourself from where you are to where you want to go. But importantly, and where maps differ from the push-button navigation, are that they clearly identify steps, landmarks, and stages along the way. You see options, potential obstacles, and mentally have a picture of the journey along the way. You get a sense of how long it will take, mark accomplishments along the way-and know if you’ve been led astray and off course.

Tech Roadmaps vs Systems Integrators

When considering or developing technology for Customer Engagement Optimization it’s critical to realize the difference. Any number of systems integrators or consultants would be glad to offer you a “push-button navigation.” Of course, that will come at a price-a high one. They’ll promise you a trip from A to B. What they won’t talk about is the journey in-between. You won’t see the obstacles. And if they have their way, you won’t see the potentially better options for your business. The alternate routes that are not in their “plan” but are perfect for your enterprise. They’ll point out the opposite window like a dad passing a highway sign for ice cream cones on family vacation.

Chances are, they are not going to realistically evaluate the capabilities you have in-house. But they will be glad to sell you professional services after the fact. Of course, if money is no object, this might be the safe option for some companies. After all, to borrow a phrase, nobody gets fired for going with (pick your favorite tech behemoth). That doesn’t mean they are the best solution for everyone. In fact, they are probably not. But it won’t get you fired. In the CRM space alone, only 40% of platforms are properly fit and utilized to a company’s unique requirements. That’s a waste of $18 billion annually in just one space. And a space that’s supposed to be a foundation of how you will connect with customers-it’s Customer Relationship Management, if people haven’t forgotten.

A Better Way

For most companies, especially ones where money is an object, a roadmap that outlines a growth model for deployment is the better navigational choice. Realistically, you’re not going to deploy everything at once and shouldn’t. The shock to the enterprise would likely grind everything to a halt. Nobody can afford that. Instead, a smart roadmap will consider the organization’s goals in the discovery phase, outline appropriate technology, and present a plan in stages with specific orders to most efficiently move the organization from A to B. This is customer engagement optimization in action: putting your brand, and culture, in front of the tools you believe will help realize your growth goals. It’s the map navigation knowing the limitations of the vehicle, the weather and road conditions, and the intent of the destination for the driver.

Importantly these stages represent wins for the organizations and markers to initiate the next phase, as well as opportunities to reflect on the journey and adjust as necessary. This helps to minimize burnout and feeds the team bite-size portions to ensure adoption and usage. Importantly, the team arrives at the goal excited to use the system and move the organization forward. The other option is akin to jumping off a cliff and building the airplane on the way down. While startups might love that thrill, if you’re operating a fiscally solvent business, it’s an unnecessary risk. Don’t just push a button, create a roadmap instead.

Want the perspective of a co-driver? Talk to someone that’s been there before.

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