Here are six key points that you should take into consideration when you start to design a customer journey map.
1. Be careful not to confuse processes with the customer journey
When mapping the customer journey, it is important to remember that you begin at the customer’s start-point and not the company’s. So, when you are designing the customer journey, focus on the customer’s incentives and preferred outcomes, not the company’s.
This means that your design should be based on guides that take into account your customers’ emotional effort, not a rigid set of automated procedures.
You cannot compare designing an experience with designing a process.
Morris Pentel, Chairman of the Customer Experience Foundation, adds that “you design the experience, you design the process and then you marry them together. So, the idea that you have certain things at certain stages in the journey is not the same as having them at different stages of the process.”
Podcast – Listen to the following podcast with customer experience expert Annette Franz, as we discuss some of the other challenges that many of us face when designing customer journeys and how to overcome them.
The Contact Centre Podcast – Episode 23:
What Makes A Great Customer Experience?
For more information on this podcast visit Podcast – What Makes a Great Customer Experience?
2. Create personas to bring your customer journeys to life
Creating segments for the customer journey is imperative as not everybody has the same customer journey, and personas can help bring these segments within the organisation to life.
For example, if you were to create two personas, one a wealthy married father of two and a second who is young and just left university, their customer journeys are likely to have significant differences. This may be because the student persona has a less stable credit score or perhaps would be more inclined to use an online communications platform than the father, who may prefer to use the telephone.
Ian Williams, Director at Jericho, highlights the importance of personas, as they are a great way of forming an idea of the emotional experience that your customers are going through.
This is important, as Ian has stated that it is “absolutely essential”, when designing customer journeys, to combine “not just the functional experience of customers, but the emotional experience” also.
So, create personas such as Mr. Smith, aged 42, who is married with two children and lives in suburban Cheshire.
3. Use sticky notes to prioritise customer expectations
When you begin to lay out your customer journey map, it is important to prioritise your customer expectations, because it is unrealistic for you to meet the expectations of every customer.
Ian recommends “grouping, filtering and doing some sort of conjoint analysis workshop, where you can go from 200 expectations down to the 25 expectations that are of the greatest relevance to the customer.”
Sticky note grouping, where you write down a number of customer expectations on sticky notes and group them into categories based on their similarities, is a great way to do this.
Grouping expectations in this way allows you to view the most common type of expectations by observing the category which has the most sticky notes. In doing so, you will have highlighted the most important factors that need to be recognised when designing a customer journey map.
4. Not every company uses customer journey mapping yet
During a recent Call Centre Helper webinar, we conducted a poll that asked: “where are you with customer journey mapping?”
From the response, we gathered that most organisations are still in the phase of either discussing the possibility of implementing the mapping process or have a project in progress.
Rachel Lane, Director & Practice Leader Customer Analytics EMEA at Verint, believes that this reflects the fact that “everybody’s relatively new to this, so nobody has a really mature programme yet.”
So, as there is no exact procedure to follow, you have the opportunity to gather your own information and develop a customer journey that is unique to your own company.
5. Assess emotional changes before you design the customer journey
When a customer engages in conversation with an advisor, whether it is good or bad, their emotional reaction to the experience is likely to be much stronger during the interaction than it will be a day or so after.
Morris makes reference to this point. “Passion doesn’t last. If a metric like NPS (Net Promoter Score) scores you at a point that you are at a peak, you get an inappropriate view.”
This notion highlights the need to assess the emotional changes that your customers go through during their interactions with advisors, before you design the customer journey.
Morris underlines this notion, revealing that “understanding the heightened state of emotion allows you to take all of that fantastic insight and actually understand its value.”
6. Speech analytics can uncover sticking points in the customer journey
During a customer–advisor interaction, often the customer will discuss at least one factor that has influenced their decisions or that is troubling their customer journey.
According to Rachel, adopting speech analytics will help to uncover sticking points in the customer journey and provide two other key benefits.
Rachel asserts that, “firstly, it helps you to really understand how to segment your personas, if you are working on a persona basis, and secondly it helps you to qualify what you are doing, all the way through your customer journey mapping.”
Whilst at first you will have to make assumptions about how your customers feel, speech analytics will provide you with the actual voice of the customer.
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After 18 years of doing customer journey mapping I’d add a few observations to this already strong list
7: Do first hand observations don’t delegate. That means everyone not just juniors or researcher bods.
8: Remember you are designing two experiences – the real time one that achieves what your customer set out to do and hopefully more. As well as the remembered experience where actually only a few moments of truth will have any baring on what value has been created.
9: iterate don’t pontificate. There is no such thing as a perfect journey and so perfect definition of either an ideal journey or process is futile. Better spend saved effort constantly evolving tweaks and innovations. Ideally by a team empowered by having seen the journey as is 1st hand