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Customer journey mapping is not a tool exactly. It doesn’t provide a quick fix to a specific problem. It’s more a framework that allows you to get a grip on many different aspects of customer experience design.

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It is always about the customer’s experience, but it is up to you how you map that experience and what you map exactly:

  • You can use a very wide group of customers or a very specific type of customer. You could even choose to map the journey of a different stakeholder, like for example a supplier.
  • You can analyze a highly specific situation, or you can choose to explore a more general journey.
  • Then, for every stage of the journey, you can examine customer needs, your objectives, the customer’s objectives, the touch points that play a role, how these touch points are experienced, the emotions that are experienced, how your brand values are expressed, what you wish to communicate and of course whether there are opportunities for innovation.

Below are some tips on how to scope and design a Customer Journey Map which can help you and your innovation team visualise the optimum experience you want to deliver to your customers.

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1)      Start with words. Map out the customer journey using single words/statements first. These might be as simple as ‘find & learn’ or ‘get help’. The typical journey at a high level won’t be that long and will likely cover not more than 8 steps.

2)      Create a storyboard. Write the journey as a story or scenario from the customer perspective. Here I advise you to conduct consumer research (through insight communities) with  different customers in order to get a thorough and deep understanding of what the journey is all about.

3)      Define channels and touchpoints. Map out and label the times where the customer interacts with your business. Include the types of channels used - for instance phone, social media, retail or online

4)      Explore your Customer’s Drivers. Define experience drivers that really make a difference for the customer throughout their journey. Think about what makes the experience memorable for them. You should end up with a wobbly line across your journey which shows the areas you intend to provide ‘bells and whistles’ and those areas where you intend to deliver a basic but effective experience

5)      Explore your Customer’s Pain Points. Look at your existing customer feedback and examine why customers aren’t happy with the experience at times. If you place these on the map against each touchpoint the map becomes a way of identifying potential problems and area’s for improvement and innovation.

6)      Emotional journey. Think about the expectations and emotions you want the customer to experience. After a pain point make sure you can make the customer smile again. IKEA has a nice end to it’s journey as you can get a free icecream after the long queues at the (painful) check-out.

7)      Use Customer language. Make sure the journey map is written from the customer perspective in the language they would use themselves.

8)      Add flexibility jumps. The journey for most of your customers is unlikely to be linear no matter how hard you try. Think about defining a journey where a customer might have to go back a step or two. You need to have the flexibility to jump back and forth, how are you going to manage that experience?

9)      Develop Persona journeys. Build a set of ‘persona journeys’ which cover the main customer segments you have. Have a mixture of easy and complex journeys.

10)       Finally how do you do Customer Journey Mapping? By trying it!

How to evaluate your customer journey in an optimal way?

In Healthcare the mission of many care givers is to become more “patient centric” and therefore it’s key for them to understand their patients’ journey.

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Hospitals are intested to learn more about the in-patient (hospital stay) experience, in order to understand where they can improve customer experience in the future. An in-patient experience consists of around 15 touchpoints with scheduling, emergency room, food, treatment/procedure and nurses among them. Typically a hospital measures the in-patient experience by conducting traditional surveys of patients who recently experienced a given touchpoint. The problem with this approach is that the various experiences are not independant of each other.

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A better approach is to explore patient journeys in closed “patient experience & insight communities” where patients can share their stories and experiences with touchpoint experiences interacting with each other. This way you get richer insights into the patient journey and start the design of an eco-system of lasting value.

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Elena Ozeritskaya

Elena Ozeritskaya

Elena Ozeritskaya is an expert on Customer Insight with a passion for creativity & innovation. During her time at Unilever and Syngenta, she was responsible for driving innovation projects with Customer Insight. Using cutting edge methodologies and tools she conducted insight work for the ground breaking “Dirt is Good” Persil campaign for Unilever and won the Innovation Award 2012 with Syngenta developing it’s “Sweet & Seedless snack pepper” from inception to launch with Customer Insight.

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