Journey mapping is a bread-and-butter activity for customer experience (CX) professionals — close to three-quarters of CX teams do it (according to our 2020 survey of CX pros), and it’s among the most frequent topics we get asked about from clients. Its popularity as a tool for understanding customers’ experiences and driving experience improvements is well deserved. Journey mapping provides a holistic view into how the complexities of how different teams, departments, and touchpoints collectively work together to influence customer perceptions.

But wrangling the myriad customer-facing problems and internal barriers that create the gap between the current state and the desired customer experience is often challenging. That’s why we created the Customer Journey Gap Analysis assessment — to not only understand the gaps in customer expectations, but also the internal cultural and organizational gaps that might prevent you from realizing your future-state vision.

The gap analysis examines deficits that need to be improved to actualize the future state across five dimensions:

  • Customer perceptions gap: where experiences meet customers’ expectations and where they don’t.
  • Decision-makers’ knowledge gap: where and how beliefs leaders have about customers’ experiences might prevent them from buying into the future state.
  • Employee knowledge gap: where employees lack the training or knowledge to deliver an experience that meets customers’ expectations.
  • Employee enablement gap: Where employees’ ability to deliver good CX is stymied by technology and process barriers.
  • Customer communications gap: whether promises made to customers through communications are not delivered in the experience.

Assessing each of these areas in detail ensures that you’ll be ready to address the barriers behind the so-called “line of visibility” in experiences — improving what customers see and what happens backstage that enables experience improvement to occur and sustain.

Forrester has developed a tool to help guide you through this process, detailed in my recent report, on conducting gap analyses. We hope using this guide will ensure your journey maps are not just interesting explorations into customers’ experiences, but also powerful tools that drive CX transformation.

Want to boost executive buy-in for customer experience transformation? Take the Forrester CX Reality Day challenge on July 13, 2021. Rally your executive team and key stakeholders and have them “go undercover” as customers to see your organization’s experiences from the outside in.