Anyone working with customer journeys will deeply resonate with a struggle to align everyone around a shared understanding of the customer experience. As Co-Founder and CEO of TheyDo, the customer journey management solution for enterprises, Jochem van der Veer is pushing the boundaries of modern CX management, enabling true cross-team collaboration in today’s increasingly virtual world.
Having worked in interaction and UX design for 10+ years, Jochem is well-versed in the power of truly walking in your customer’s shoes and passionate about helping companies transform towards a customer-centric way of working. His latest SaaS venture, TheyDo, is a platform that enables companies to visualize, standardize, and scale journey management so that their business goals align with customer needs.
- Could you tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today?
- Could you tell us maybe one or two things that are key performance indicators if a company is trying to let’s say, do a remap or maybe they’ve never done it before they’re trying to figure out what is the journey of their customer? What do they want the journey to be?
- Have you found that things have changed a lot, especially in terms of customers’ expectations since the pandemic? What are some of the things that your organization is doing that helps to help organizations kind of emerge out of this global event we all had to experience.
- Could you give me an example, you can use any random industry, but just give us an example of what are some of the things that you do as an organization that can help your clients to master their customer experience and increase customer loyalty?
- Could you share with us what is the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
- Could you share maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you, it could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you’ve read recently, but it has had a great impact on you.
- Could you also share what’s the one thing that’s going on in your life right now that you’re really excited about? It could be something you’re working on to develop yourself or your people?
- Where can listeners find you online?
- Do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenging you tend to revert to this quote, it kind of helps to get you back on track or get you back refocus if for any reason you got derailed.
When asked about his journey, Jochem shared that it ties into what we brought or speak about when we talk about customer experience. He has a background in interaction design, UX design and before they started TheyDo, they were consulting services, and basically helping big companies and Fortune 500 kind of like size to transform their way of work and really bring customer experience, which usually happens or was an add-on for customer service. But bring it to the front and allow everyone to see how their work impacts the customer experience and set up processes like design thinking or instill the way of working around journeys in a company so that everyone can participate in customer experience.
And what they noticed was there wasn’t a good solution out there to turn journey maps, or insights that you got from let’s say, customer service or your voice of customer programme into all your journeys and make sure that everyone could stay aligned other than journeys that are usually created as flat maps to understand part of the customer experience.
So, that’s when they started to build something on their own, for them, for their little consulting firm, which they use to do for helping their customers until some of those larger firms like today, they have Johnson and Johnson, NCR, those big firms that really want to deliver a great customer experience across the board, wanted to license their product. And today, they are an enterprise solution and they are just getting started on their growth trajectory.
Key Performance Indicators for a Company to Find Out What is the Journey for Their Customer
Me: Now, customer journey mapping is very important for any business. It’s definitely something we talk about all the time. Could you tell us maybe one or two things that are key performance indicators if a company is trying to let’s say, do a remap or maybe they’ve never done it before they’re trying to figure out what is the journey of their customer? What do they want the journey to be?
Jochem stated that in terms of performance indicators, he likes to think about like what is the maturity of an organization as a whole, how they can actually work, let’s say journey centric or customer centric, but customer centricity is really like a no brainer today, it’s really about how to set up a process that works for you as a company and they typically see that comes in stages, you start with like, there’s a bunch of teams doing some journeys, figuring out the customer experience through the lens of a customer journey, on a project level, but at some point, to start to bring these things together and start to align across different teams using journeys as the way to do that.
And that’s the early sign of, hey, the company is starting to get ready to get basically reorganized around the journeys, around the customer experience and that happens naturally, and that’s the moment that they start looking for tools like them or platform like them. But the performance indicator really is about we want to deliver a great customer experience, whatever that means, like Amazon has maybe speed and low prices is their differentiating customer experience where others might go really into the feeling, the part of the experience. So, that is the highest strategic goal of a company, then you need a process and a way of working around your journeys that unifies everyone to work as one.
Things that Your Company is Doing to Help Organizations to Emerge out the Global Event
Me: Have you found that things have changed a lot, especially in terms of customers’ expectations since the pandemic? What are some of the things that your organization is doing that helps to help organizations kind of emerge out of this global event we all had to experience.
Jochem shared that a funny story is that they incorporated, or they started TheyDo right before news started hitting, they are based in Europe. But before the news started hitting there, so they weren’t really aware of what this was going to be and they were building a journey management solution to align across the silos in the organization, and across the different teams and keeping everyone in sync with the customer journey.
So, in one way COVID was a great opportunity for them to understand if they were on to something, because if there’s one thing that happened in a lot of organizations that the silos that typically are because they have divisions, and each have their own KPIs and focus areas. And we all know that and don’t want to work like that, but they do.
But the pandemic showed that within those silos, there were islands, people were forced to work from home if they weren’t doing that already, and found it even harder to stay aligned and use more meetings, more PowerPoints, more dashboards, more whiteboard collaboration to stay in sync.
And they actually saw was that lucky for them, this problem became so apparent that it propelled them into a more rapid growth than they expected because people understood that to stay in sync, they needed better tools to align around the customer experience then their dashboards or their whiteboards could offer.
Helping Clients to Master Their Customer Experience and Increase Customer Loyalty
Me: Okay, so we were kind of talking about the KPIs as it relates to customer experience and the journey mapping process. So, I was about to get into asking you what would be some of your recommendations, if a company really wants to, you speak about in your bio that your organization TheyDo, focuses on that whole journey mapping strategy and standardizing. Could you give me an example, you can use any random industry, but just give us an example of what are some of the things that you do as an organization that can help your clients to master their customer experience and increase customer loyalty?
Jochem stated that let’s take banking as an example and they believe like the best and the modern companies of the future, they will work journey centric, and to work as one focusing on improving the customer experience. And what that basically means is that they’re providing a platform so you can not only map out all their journeys, design them, maintain them, manage them, basically. But also create a unified framework where all these journeys add up to the customer experience, and then start to work from insight to implementation. And he’ll get to that in a second. But let’s take banking for an example.
So, let’s say you’re a big bank and you have all these different products, you have mortgages, you have personal loans, you have bank accounts, of course, and you have all these different financial products.
So, looking at the customer experience, you can imagine for all the different products, there are so many different journeys that you can understand or try to understand how people, customers, non-customers are trying to solve their problems by products or in the case of a mortgage, for instance, get a mortgage. But as you would understand, you want to build a system that actually is scalable, and the customer experience should really be something that you can do together. So in any product the bank offers the user, the customer, the non-customer becoming a customer probably needs to identify herself. So, who are you and what are you doing?
So, let’s say they do that digitally so the journey of online identification, that’s a little journey, it has a few steps, do this, do that, customer experience this, they confirm, they upload a passport, and they feel happy that they’ve achieved something. It’s a very basic example but it’s a journey. But in the customer experience, from the bank perspective, whether a team is focused on mortgages as a product or on personal loans, they’re typically not talking to each other, not even connected. But as you can understand the journey of online identification impacts the customer experience in all these different departments.
So, if the bank can then set up a journey framework, unifying all these journeys through the lens of the customer experience, but also dissected through all the different products or domains, or maybe even the regions they are servicing, you can actually create that unified framework. And they’re basically providing you with the building blocks and the frameworks to set up a journey management system, and then basically, manage your journeys the way you manage products.
Me: Thank you so much for that example. I think it’s important for us to give practical examples so that our listeners can really navigate and marry what you’re saying into their own businesses so they can get a better understanding of how this works.
App, Website or Tool that Jochem Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business
When asked about an online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Jochem stated that that’s a very good one. He’ll be a little bit transparent here. So, what they’re doing is they are the core users of data; they have a journey management setup on their own. But they’re actually building a tool for the largest organizations across the globe, enterprise. But they are scaling, so, they’re a little bit smaller than the enterprise. Now they’re the core users of their own platform. So, they have their journeys mapped out, their journey hierarchy, they prioritize within them.
But they also use Notion and he thinks that is like the shared brain in their team where they document align on a more granular level, then he would say on the journey, really go into details of certain aspects of what they’re building, how they’re building it, their processes live there, way of working, part of their HR, their company handbook, all that stuff that’s living in Notion, and that’s the place to go for a sync communication for them when it gets more detailed than the opportunities in a customer journey.
Books that Have Had the Biggest Impact on Jochem
When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Jochem shared that there’s a few that comes to mind. So, what has very big impact on him or had a big impact on him, and it was when he was still a student, he was like, 19, or 20 years old, and he read Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Mordern Classics from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. And even though it might be a little bit outdated today, there are so much new theories about getting into that flow state and what it means and how to experience that or how to get into that flow state.
For the first time in his life, he realized like, hey, there’s this mind of mine that is like a muscle and you can train it to focus it on specific parts and really enjoy the process of doing and as a designer, and today, as a CEO of a company, he still believes that getting into that flow state and really enjoying the process of making, of manifesting, of creating is something he learned from that book and he holds very dear. So, that is one that comes to mind a little while back.
And more recently, he’s really into productivity as a leader of a company you have to manage so many different things, juggle a lot of balls at the same time, also have a family of two kids, maybe there will be a third at some point in time, so a lot of balls in the air. But all the getting things done or other productivity methods seem to fail, take into account that there’s always more to do and time feels as there’s more time available to do more things. So, he’s reading now Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Morals by Oliver Burkeman. And that basically takes a different status as you have basically 4000 weeks to live give and take……weeks to live in your life.
And it’s okay to let go certain things and really enjoy the moment and take a different stab at productivity. And he really likes to read that because it gives him peace of mind. So, that’s another one, it’s doing good for him today.
What Jochem is Really Excited About Now!
Jochem shared that the most exciting thing that’s going on right now is making the transition from being a designer, he loves to observe how people behave, especially in a large organization, how they collaborate and how we can improve that, especially from a customer experience standpoint that has been his focus for the last he would say more than a decade almost. But for the first time in their company, they now have a full fledged product team that also includes a designer, product designer, and his role is not in the product anymore, it’s really on the business itself, more than it was ever. And he’s transitioning in that role, learning, trying to become that support for the whole team, for not only the managers, but also for everyone in the company to say, “Hey, we’re going to do this together and I have your back.” And that role is entirely new to him. So, figuring it out as they go. But that’s the exciting part of creating this journey management business.
Where Can We Find Jochem Online
LinkedIn – Jochem van der Veer
Website – http://www.theydo.io
Website – http://www.theydo.io/podcast/
Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Jochem Uses
Jochem stated that he’s not always thinking about quotes, but one that comes to mind often is and he thinks it was Picasso, it’s attributed to him most is like, “The meaning of life is to find your gift, and the purpose of life is to give it away.”And he loves that phrasing.
Me: The meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give it away. It’s really profound. What is your interpretation of that quote?
Jochem stated that you can say it in the altruistic way but as everyone is today, also working in business, he takes it a little bit differently. He really enjoys being good at some stuff and he also knows his own limitations. But bringing out what you’re really good at to the world is such a nice way to enjoy your days, instead of being only goal oriented. We have to perform, we have to deliver, we have to drive revenue, we have to create customer experiences that people love and enjoy is actually the act of doing every day waking up, getting to do the work, whatever the work is you do and enjoying that, enjoying the process of doing that is amazing. And if you found your gifts, whether you’re working in CX or customer service, and you really love what you’re doing, then basically you are giving away your gift. And he thinks that’s an amazing way to go about your day.
Me: It’s like you’re living a life that is filled with passion. And you’re passing that passion on to others.
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Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Morals by Oliver Burkeman
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