When ROUNDMAP’s creator, Edwin Korver, set out to rethink the customer development process, given the sudden rise of social media and digitalization from 2008 onwards, he had no idea where it would lead him or even what it was for. He only knew from experience that the linear funnel analogies, used by marketers and salespeople to describe the customer acquisition process, were dreadfully missing the point.
To better understand his creative journey, we suggest reading the Making of ROUNDMAP.
The Customer Roundtable Blueprint (PDF) is located at the ground level of the ROUNDMAP™ Framework. We call it the Ultimate Level of Truth™ because whatever a company aims to achieve, it can only thrive when it succeeds at the customer interaction level. It incorporates all frontline activities. All other business activities are, as confirmed by Michael Porter, secondary to and supportive of the frontline activities.
The Blueprint may be overwhelming. But once you are past the initial overwhelming sensation, most likely with the help of a ROUNDMAP™ Practitioner, you’ll be bound to appreciate the incredible richness of the blueprint.
What is it for?
There is no simple answer. Some may want to increase customer lifetime value (CLV), others may want to know why customer satisfaction is below average, while some want to understand why customers flinch from the moment of purchase. Or you may want to reveal hidden gaps and constraints in the process or uncover new growth opportunities. There are a million reasons to use the Blueprint.
But please be aware that while ROUNDMAP™ has brought down the entire customer development process from something that is complex into something complicated, the process is still packed with emotional triggers. You’ll still need people to understand buyer motivation, while data will help you to understand the implications of the underlying emotions and motivations.
Who is it for?
While the Blueprint incorporates all primary activities, as described in Michael Porter’s Value Chain theory, it is not exclusively designed for frontline employees. Success depends on careful orchestration of the entire value chain, from the front(line) to the back(office), and even beyond the boundaries of the organization, the so-called value network. So, roleplay should also incorporate (some of) those that are directly or indirectly involved in the customer development process.
The Blueprint can be deployed in any given situation, for-profit or not-for-profit, that requires ongoing communication as well as listening to engage internal and external stakeholders, such as customers, patients, fans, citizens, visitors, or partners.
What does it mean?
It is called a Customer Roundtable Blueprint because the primary purpose of business is to create and keep a customer ─ a business can’t achieve its secondary purpose, which is to create an equitable share of value for each of its stakeholders, without fulfilling its primary purpose.
It refers to a Roundtable because every executive and every member of staff, regardless of their position or function, has an equal obligation to serve the customer to the best of their ability.
And it is called a Blueprint because every meeting offers a new perspective on reality, a snapshot of an ever-evolving development process.
How to use it?
As shown on top of our homepage as well as below, the Customer Roundtable Blueprint is placed preferably on a round table, with people directly or indirectly involved in the customer process, standing or sitting around it. What you get out of it, depends on what you set out to achieve. But understand this: the answers to most of your questions are probably already known by one or more staff members; all you need to do is to create the right circumstances, think of psychological safety, and raise the right questions while giving staff members an equal voice.
The Blueprint is all about roleplay. You can ask people to sit at the table, for instance, once a month, and simply trust the process. Or you can prepare an agenda with a series of issues you want to address. The objective could be to improve cross-functional communication and collaboration, or by switching roles to raise a mutual understanding and practice empathy. Or it could be to solve a particular problem or issue. Or to attract better customers. Or prepare people for an upcoming marketing campaign or involve them in a change initiative.
It’s up to you. The Blueprint will act as a catalyst. In any case, you should encourage people to speak freely and openly, without repercussions, to get the best results. To create a safe environment for people to speak out, you may need to honor a set of simple but critical Roundtable rules.
If you would like to get started with the Customer Roundtable Blueprint, we suggest contacting us, so we can connect you to a nearby licensed Practitioner.