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Customer journey mapping 101: part 2

3rd Dec 2018
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This is the second article in our series on Customer Journey Maps. In Part 1, we looked at why every business needs Customer Journey Maps and how they can be used to help businesses see through the eyes of their customers, develop empathy and take an outside-in approach.

Now we look at how to build a Customer Journey Map that's designed to inform the business on how to address customer needs.

Customer Journey Maps (CJM) are a powerful tool for understanding customers. They use design and graphics to tell the entire story of your customer's interactions with your organisation. They visualise the actions, thoughts and feelings of a customer through this journey. They invoke viewer empathy and help the organisation understand what it's like to walk in the customer's shoes.

The customer's story, told from their perspective, is a powerful tool for engaging business departments within an organisation who may be disengaged or disinterested in change programs. They can be used to create alignment and encourage collaboration across the whole organisation as it works towards a plan of attack for customer experience improvement.

The goals of a Customer Journey Map

When creating a Customer Journey Map, it's important to articulate the goals it needs to fulfil.

Many organisations have accumulated a great deal of research, particularly statistics based, (quantitative) research, which identifies customer problems. The task our clients struggle with is prioritising these problems. Which part of the journey should the organisation concentrate on solving first?

Seven ways Customer Journey Mapping helps address these questions:

  • Makes sense of quantitative data (statistics, math based research) – Quantitative data can only tell part of the story. It might tell you your customers are unhappy with their call centre experience. Digging deeper with qualitative research (surveys, interviews, mystery shoppers) will help you find out why.
  • Identifies main pain points and moments of truth ­– The addition of qualitative research will help understand the emotional drivers of customers unhappiness and pinpoint the key moments on the journey which cause the most pain.
  • Identifies areas of greatest opportunity for change and improvement – The areas of most pain for customers and their moments of truth are clearly the areas in need of most improvement and where the greatest opportunities lie.
  • Gives clarity on why customers behave the way they do – Customer behaviour is not always rational. Sometimes it's motivated by deep emotional drivers that even the customers themselves aren't fully aware of. A Customer Journey Map can help identify these.
  • Is well designed for maximum impact and understanding – A Customer Journey Map is a map, and maps can be beautiful. Use this opportunity to illustrate with maximum impact exactly what your customers experience when they deal with you.
  • Prioritises opportunity areas – the Customer Journey Map matches key pain points/moments of truth along the customer journey with opportunities for improvement. Priorities are clarified and the plan for change becomes far more obvious. This prioritisation helps organisations focus on activities that will have the most positive impact on customers and result in the greatest return on investment.
  • Is flexible – a Customer Journey Map can focus on the entire customer journey, or do a deep dive into just one area. It can be designed to highlight a particular problem or to illustrate more general issues. It could describe an existing journey or a future, ideal journey. Your organisational needs will dictate its design.

A well-designed Customer Journey Map provides guidance for the creation of a roadmap for change. This roadmap is the key to helping organisations reap the financial benefits of providing customers with amazing customer experiences. This could be seen as increased customer satisfaction via positive Net Promotor Score (NPS) results, increases in sales, reduced churn, reduced costs of servicing customers and happier, more fulfilled staff. 

The Elements of a Customer Journey Map

Customer Journey Maps have three main elements: a perspective, an experience and findings and insights.

1. The Perspective - The perspective of the journey map is the person for whom this journey is designed for (persona/actor) and the goal they're trying to achieve. For example, it could be a bank customer being on-boarded for their new credit card.

In our experience, we've found taking the journey of a typical customer and mapping this process allows coverage of 70-80% of issues across a number of personas.

Alternatively, a Customer Journey Map can be broken down by persona. This will help you understand the similarities and differences across different persona journeys. You can use these findings to prioritise high value personas.

2. The Experience - The specific experience being mapped. This is the core of the journey and catalogues every customer action, thought and emotional experience. To make it feel real and increase customer empathy, it should contain verbatims (direct comments from customers), videos and images gathered from the research.

3. The Findings and Insights - This is the part of the Customer Journey Map used to transform insight into profits. What key learnings and insights has your research uncovered? Based on these, what are the opportunities to move ahead with? What significant pain points were discovered? Which insights can now be put to practical use so internal teams can begin to meet customer needs?

The requirements for a Customer Journey Map

1. Qualitative research – adding deep qualitative research like surveys, interviews and observations to your existing research will fill in the gaps existing (quantitative) research won't cover. It may also validate areas where the results of quantitative research are not clear. Different types of research work together to increase the quality of insights

2. Storytelling – the power of customer stories gathered in building the Customer Journey Map cut through organisational noise and clarify which actions are needed. When the voice of the customer is expressed loudly (and actively listened to), the path to change becomes far clearer.

3. Collaboration ­– Collaborating with stakeholders within the organisation will help develop a direction for customer experience. It will also establish engagement across the business for the key task: improving the customer journey.

4. The right design – Customer Journey Maps should be designed to communicate with their intended audience. They should be simple and functional, not overly complex or full of tricks.

5. Prioritisation – Understanding the key moments of truth and areas of opportunity that appear along the journey makes it simpler to prioritise exactly what customers value. Attention and resources can be focused in the direction of priorities, maximising return on investment.

6. Assessment of responsibility – Use the Customer Journey Map to assign ownership of customer experience to everyone within your organisation. Use it to illustrate, illuminate and educate your people so they can work towards creating an amazing experience for your customers.

Customer Journey Maps are a wonderful tool and an enlightening project for any business interested in making their customer experience less OK or good and more delightful and amazing.

To learn more about how this powerful tool and how it can help, click this link! 

Next week we will cover the problems that Customer Journey Mapping help solve. (Read part three here). 

In the mean time if you have any questions about Customer Journey Mapping or would like to find out how you can get one for your organisation, email [email protected] to receive more detailed information and pricing.

To see the original article and more articles on service design, visit the Proto blog.

Replies (1)

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By Vaibhav Nahar
23rd Mar 2021 12:34

Empathy is at the centre of user experience. And UX professionals should vindicate on behalf of the users to enjoy the delightful and hassle-free product.
Thanks for sharing the article.
Empathy Mapping 101

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