Improving Customer Service and Retention – The DARMA™ Method

Improving Customer Service and Retention – The DARMA™ Method

Doing CX Right podcast show on Spotify with host Stacy Sherman
Doing Customer Experience (CX) Right Podcast - Hosted by Stacy Sherman
Doing CX Right podcast show on iHeart Radio with host Stacy Sherman

Ever feel like you’re losing customers as fast as you gain them?

Wondering how to stop this ‘leaky bucket’ scenario and increase customer retention?

Welcome to another episode of “Doing CX Right,” where we directly address the all-too-familiar problem of customer churn.

The Impact of the DARMA™ Method on Customer Retention

I’m thrilled to have Dave Seaton, a passionate advocate for customer experience and the brain behind the DARMA™ Method for customer journey mapping. This method is a game-changer for retaining the customers you’ve worked so hard to acquire. Dave will share how deeply understanding your customers’ needs, aspirations, and resonances can transform your approach to customer retention.

Unpacking the Journey Mapping Process

Dave’s distinctive approach to journey mapping goes beyond merely tracking customer interactions—it’s about reinforcing crucial customer loyalty. We’ll uncover how this method not only tracks but enhances customer relationships through strategic engagement and detailed understanding.

Addressing CX Misconceptions and Strategic Implementation

Our conversation will also tackle common CX misconceptions and explore strategic ways to ensure that your customer experience initiatives deliver tangible business outcomes. The focus is on shifting from merely reacting to customer issues to a proactive strategy that fosters loyalty and promotes sustained customer retention.

Five Key Lessons to Enhance Customer Retention Through Journey Mapping

1. Define the CX Problem: Understand the problem you’re trying to solve by identifying the target customer and the business case for the journey mapping initiative.
2. Engage in Thorough Research: Conduct extensive customer interviews to gather quality insights and understand their needs, goals, and values along their journey.
3. Map Out the Customer Journey: Analyze research data, create personas, and visually represent the customer’s story to highlight critical moments and improvement opportunities.
4.  Act on Insights: Use the insights gained through journey mapping to drive meaningful changes within the company. The map should act as a catalyst for improvement.
5. Implement Effective Change Management: Ensure stakeholder buy-in and maintain engagement throughout the journey mapping process, facilitating cross-functional collaboration for a cohesive customer service approach.


This episode is not just an exploration of the transformative power of journey mapping but a comprehensive toolkit for amplifying customer retention. Join us as we dive into these essential strategies to help you shore up that leaky bucket and transform customer journey mapping into a retention powerhouse.

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About Dave Seaton:  


Incredible experiences don’t happen by accident—they’re intentionally designed. When you understand the customer journey, you can prioritize the experiences that matter most. Dave’s proudest of a project where he flew 4,768 miles, got lost in rural Pennsylvania, and survived a high-speed Uber ride down Bourbon Street to interview customers for a B2B SaaS company. Using those insights, he transformed the customer experience and reduced churn by 66%. Connect on LinkedIn

    About Stacy Sherman: Founder of Doing CX Right®‬

    Customer experience and marketing global keynote speaker, journalist, co-author of two books, advisor, and host of the award-winning DoingCXRight podcast. Known for her Heart & Science™ framework that helps you gain profitable clients and brand loyalty–fueled by an empowered workforce. Stacy’s been walking the talk for 25 years as a strategist and practitioner at companies of all sizes and industries, i.e., Liveops, Verizon, Schindler Elevator Corp, Wilton Brands, and AT&T. She’s also a board advisor at multiple universities, featured in Forbes and other top-rated publications.

    Her Why: To cultivate loyal relationships and meaningful experiences that enrich people’s lives. Contact Stacy for DOING Customer Experience (CX) and Service Right, not just TALKING about it. Continue reading bio >here.

    Learn More About Increasing Customer Loyalty.

    Watch Stacy Sherman’s Linkedin Learning Course‬.

    Customer service expert Stacy Sherman shows you how to foster a strong frontline worker experience so your agents and other staff can deliver value and engender customer loyalty.

    Learn how to identify challenges that impact frontline worker effectiveness.

    Explore hiring strategies for contact center and other frontline roles, as well as how to build positive relationships with your frontline workers from day one.

    Find out how to elevate frontline worker performance through intentional training and development and prepare frontline workers for future leadership.

    This course equips you with a blueprint to connect frontline worker experience to customer experience, so that you’re focused on doing right by your teams and your customers.

    Topics Discussed: Doing CX Right podcast

    customer experience, Seton CX, customer journey maps, dharma method, musician, multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, software company, online game, mentor, customer service, accounting, advertising, customer experience, customer feedback, journey mapping, business outcomes, stakeholder engagement, customer churn, customer retention, customer lifetime value, loyalty, retention, B2B, B2C, B2B2C, employee journeys, patient journeys

    Improving The Customer Journey With Employees As Heroes

    Improving The Customer Journey With Employees As Heroes

    Doing CX Right podcast show on Spotify with host Stacy Sherman
    Doing Customer Experience (CX) Right Podcast - Hosted by Stacy Sherman
    Doing CX Right podcast show on iHeart Radio with host Stacy Sherman

    What defines the culture of an organization? What’s the value of mapping out your customer journey? How do you get CEOs and company leaders to care more about customer experiences and intentionally turn employees into loyal brand advocates? 

    Stacy Sherman and featured guest Ian Golding answer these fundamental questions and reveal key principles to get people to want to buy and work for your company.

    Topics include:

    • What makes customers happy
    • The benefit of customer journey mapping
    • The real value of empathy in the workplace & creating employee heroes
    • Attributes that best-in-class companies and leaders consistently do to win
    • What we can learn from Pizza Hut’s story

    Take notes as this episode is filled with tons of practical advice to operationalize great customer experiences and achieve positive business outcomes.

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    Watch Stacy Sherman’s Interview on Youtube

    About Ian Golding: Improving The Customer Journey With Employees As Heroes

    A highly influential freelance CX consultant, Ian advises leading companies on CX strategy, measurement, improvement, and employee advocacy techniques and solutions. Ian has worked globally across multiple industries, including retail, financial services, logistics, manufacturing, telecoms and pharmaceuticals, deploying CX tools and methodologies. An internationally renowned speaker and blogger on the subject of CX, Ian was also the first to become a CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional) Authorised Resource & Training Provider.

    LinkedIn. Website


    About Stacy Sherman: Founder of Doing CX Right®‬

    An award-winning certified marketing and customer experience (CX) corporate executive, speaker, author, and podcaster, known for DoingCXRight®. She created a Heart & Science™ framework that accelerates customer loyalty, referrals, and revenue, fueled by engaged employees and customer service representatives. Stacy’s been in the trenches improving experiences as a brand differentiator for 20+ years, working at companies of all sizes and industries, like Liveops, Schindler elevator, Verizon, Martha Steward Craft, AT&T++.   Stacy is on a mission to help people DOING, not just TALKING about CX, so real human connections & happiness exist. Continue reading bio >here.

    How To Create A Customer Journey Map (Free Template)

    How To Create A Customer Journey Map (Free Template)

    Customer satisfaction and NPS are useful measurements of business success, just as much as revenue and profitability. The reasons are obvious as unhappy customers are unlikely to buy again and even worse, they’ll tell others too. So, how does a company increase the chances that customers will rate their interactions highly and remain brand loyal? The answer is creating customer experiences leveraging proven CX techniques. If you are not familiar with journey mapping basics, I encourage you to read my other article: WHAT Is A Journey Map and WHY Create One?

    As a refresher, the purpose of creating a customer journey map is to help design better products and services and overall great experiences. It is a valuable method to identify problems and areas of success as customers become aware, learn, buy, get, use, etc. While Journey Maps typically look visually different from one organization to another, they consistently enable you to empathize with how customers feel when interacting with a brand.


    3 Key Steps To Create a Journey Map:

    1. Define Customers / Personas.

    Who is your target audience(s)? What are their interests, needs, and wants? What obstacles keep them from achieving their goals? What are their demographics, such as age, income range, education? Where do they go to find information? Answering these questions and related ones often require research through informal and formal interviews and surveys. Leveraging internal data on current customers and insights from “voice of employees” (VOE) is valuable as well. (Learn more about persona development.)

    2. Identify How Target Customers Will Interact With Your Brand. 

    A journey map helps to define key touchpoints and channels, such as: where will customers learn about your products and services? i.e. retail store, webinar, industry events. How do they receive communications? i.e. email. social media, sales rep visits, etc. This information provides insights as to why customers may or may not be satisfied and where pain points reside.

    3. Dig into Customer Mindset Within Each Interaction.

    You want to put yourself in the “customer shoes” and identify the emotions they feel along the journey. To do this effectively, I recommend leveraging tools to guide you through the process. While there are many templates available on the internet, I like one that Carol Buehrens shares in her university classes. You can download a free copy of her journey map template below.



    Want help with journey mapping, persona development, measurements, creating a customer-centric culture, and more?

    Sign up for mentorship

    I can help you to design your journey map and related CX methodologies to differentiate your brand. No need to guess. Let me show you the way.

    Take an online CX course & get certified

    Read about my class experience and university recommendations. Also, access my discount code to save significantly on tuition costs.

    Use a journey map template to get started

    Access a useful document to jumpstart your CX practice. Use this with your teams to design best-in-class experiences.

    Customer Journey Map. What is it? Why Do It?

    Customer Journey Map. What is it? Why Do It?

    A journey map is an important part of creating better customer experiences. I’m glad you are here to learn about what journey mapping is and why it matters to achieve business success. To keep it simple, a journey map is merely a diagram that shows the steps customer(s) go through when interacting with a company. It is common to interact with companies in multiple ways such as shopping online and visiting a retail store. The need for a journey map becomes most important as the number of touchpoints increases and when the customer buying path gets complex. (more…)