McKinsey research claims that customer satisfaction has a 40% stronger correlation to a customer journey than to touchpoints. It’s a confusing statistic that seems intuitively correct, but what exactly does it mean?

Let me give a recent example to help explain.

Tyler from Enterprise Rent-a-Car picked me up right on time. Twenty-something, sharply dressed, firm hand-shake, clean car. In the ten minutes it took to drive from my house to the Enterprise location we became friends. It was almost magical. We knew about each other’s families, schooling, and future plans. Five minutes later I was in my rented car and on my way, and I genuinely liked Tyler. I was so taken by the interaction I told three separate people about it that day.

The “touchpoint” Tyler was responsible for between Enterprise and me — their customer — was off the charts. If Tyler were to talk to me later about my experience with Enterprise, he would rightfully expect me to give great feedback.

He would be wrong.

Why? Because the journey always matters more than the touchpoints, and the journey was bad.

Here’s a rough journey map of my car renting experience:

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