Have you ever heard this phrase MIND THE GAP? If you’ve ever taken a ride on the London Underground, you are sure to be recalling a booming version between your ears right now. It’s also a phrase that should be relevant when journey mapping your customer experience.

Let’s take a trip across the pond before talking about gaps in CX.

The London Underground began using the “mind the gap” message back in 1969. The first voice used was that of sound engineer Peter Lodge. Over the last half century, several other voices have since been used.

One was late theatre actor Oswald Laurence. His voice was used on the northbound Northern Line. But it was phased out until only the Embankment Station used it.

When Oswald passed away, his widow would travel on the tube via Embankment. Dr. Margaret McCollum loved hearing her husband’s voice,

“Since he died I would sit and wait for the next train until I heard his voice…On November 1st he wasn’t there. I was just stunned when Oswald wasn’t there anymore.”

Progress was the culprit. The Underground implemented a new digital system and Oswald’s voice was left on the cutting room floor.

Dr. McCollum approached the system with an unusual request. She asked if she could get a copy of the iconic ‘mind the gap’ announcement her husband made back in the 1970s.

The London Underground then demonstrated both warmth and competence.

Not only did they track down a recording and give Margaret a CD of it. They went above and beyond and reinstated Oswald’s “Mind the Gap” at the Embankment Station.

How about minding the gaps in customer experience?

A gap in your customer journey is a failure or a breakdown. These are points along the journey where your business processes get in the way of the customer’s goal. Or points that fail to serve customer needs. The result is often customer frustration or additional effort.

Think of gaps as potholes. These are the parts of the customer experience you want to address and fix to smooth out the customer experience. 

But here is the deal. Our goal should not be to fill every gap in the customer journey. Instead, our goal is to address the gaps that are most damaging to your customer experience.

Those gaps where we tend to:

•lose the most customers?
•see NPS or other measures drop?
•receive the most complaints? 


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Stan Phelps

Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at StanPhelps.com.