As storm Doris hit the UK shores yesterday I was feeling a tad smug that I had chosen Gatwick to fly to from Glasgow, rather than other airports as my flight seemed to be going as others were severely delayed or cancelled. 

My smugness was short lived however as I arrived in Gatwick to rail chaos; the next part of my journey wasn't so smooth.

Of course any journey starts with the booking; for me it's always a few clicks on my app, now my trusted friend fully loaded with my details, no need for any intervention, or even memory! 
However, my app was playing up and so trying to change my flights became a hassle, resulting in a complicated tango rather than the few clicks I have become used to. Like many of us my expectations are now set by new advances, and there's no going back.
So in response to the killer question, 'How was it for you?' - a mixed bag. Interestingly I had almost forgotten the booking process when I had a great flight, but as storm Doris took over, rail chaos and my subsequent delayed flight home last night dampened my positivity. And that's the challenge faced by organisations in all sectors when experiences are a series of events from sales to service perhaps complaints, upsell, retention and perhaps a change in provider. Understanding and excelling at what you are actually responsible for is paramount, communicating what is related to your service but not your responsibility is helpful. 
Customer journey mapping is becoming an essential activity, and is bringing the subject of customer service into sharp focus in today's boardrooms. Organisations large and small, public and private are striving to keep abreast of their customers’ next move, and so the need to understand not only what we want now, but importantly next, is paramount to survival.

That certainly explains why CCA, in association with Oracle, journey mapping masterclasses in Glasgow are sold out with a lengthening waiting list.
Given the complexity of service offerings where more than one organisation is involved in keeping customers satisfied, it's up to each organisation to relentlessly pare down processes and learn from what is causing pain to make them 'easy to do business with'. What's becoming clear is the need to communicate, communicate and communicate again about all aspects of their offering, as it matches or changes against expectations; good or bad, together with any helpful details about the next step. 
Customer journey mapping, done correctly, helps companies to sense and respond appropriately to demands. We have never had so much customer data and analysis at our finger tips, with which to help rather than hinder.
I am excited by the enthusiasm shown by so many in the CCA network, to keep going on this never ending discovery of improved customer service; it's not a department, thing or one off initiative but a mind-set. Storms like Doris strike daily in many forms in all of our organisations, creating disruption in different parts of our businesses. Learning how to develop resilience and master the steps for the next time will reap rewards. 
Managing disruption will be a key skill for organisations to survive in the future. You can learn more about how to do this through leading expert, Mark Shayler at CCA Summer Convention, London on 15 June. As Mark says, disruption may be our last hope and he encourages businesses to, ‘Do Disrupt: Change the status quo or become it’. For more information, view here.