The CXPA and Heart of the Customer want your feedback

tag-433302_640Have you created journey maps? The Customer Experience Professionals Association and Heart of the Customer want to learn more about your experience!

Whether you created the journey map for your own company or another, we’d love it if you would tell us about it in this survey: http://bit.ly/2beOkXa. All survey participants will receive the full results, so you can learn about the state of the art in journey mapping.

We look forward to your participation!

Journey Mapping Design – the 5 Design Principles that will enable your journey map to drive change

Kris LaFavor is the founder of DesignAhead.  In addition, Kris is Heart of the Customer’s go-to designer for all of our journey maps (she also designed our website, so we’re big fans!).  In this post, Kris lays out her guidelines to make sure our maps have that visual impact that is so critical to driving customer-focused change.

  1. Think like the customer.

Before you start designing your map, you have to approach the design process from the point of view of the customer whose journey you’re mapping. To do this, you have to understand the research your map will be based on. This research is your window into the customer’s thoughts and emotions, so dig deep and ask a lot of questions to understand the premise and goals of the research before you begin your design process. Read more

Interview with Jim Kalbach

jimkalbach

Jim Kalbach is the recent author of Mapping Experiences. We had a chance to interview him to go deeper on what he has learned about journey maps.  You can see more about his book here.

Heart of the Customer: Along with your other diagrams, journey and experience maps are often used to drive culture change.  What are your tips for using these to engage leadership and change culture?

Jim Kalbach: This first thing to keep in mind is that a diagram won’t provide any answers outright. It doesn’t magically bring change to your organization. Instead, diagrams are conversation pieces that engage others.

Sure, you want to create an artifact that is accurate, reliable and compelling. But to drive change, you’ll need to focus on including others throughout the mapping process. Think verb (mapping) rather than noun (map).

A centerpiece I invariably include in the process is a workshop. With this, you can use your diagram to explore a given experience with a diverse group of stakeholders.

Beyond that, also consider ways to have others in your team participate in the mapping process. For instance, bring them along to customer interviews during your investigation. Or, create a draft diagram together with sticky notes on a whiteboard. The more people involved, the more people will better understand the customer perspective.

In addition, it’s more important that the team has the same knowledge than each person have new knowledge. Otherwise, they will never make the collective decisions needed for change to happen. Maps of an experience are sense-making tools.

In the end, it’s the mapmakers job to also facilitate the conversation, not just create a diagram. Only then can the organization shift its perspective from inside-out to outside-in. Read more

Where I learned about the importance of customer journeys

DannyEighteen years ago, my son Danny taught me everything I needed to know about customer journeys.

At just three years old, Danny wasn’t a verbose child.  So when he talked, we paid special attention.  One night when we put him to bed, he put his hands over his crotch and simply said, “Hurts.”

If you’ve ever had a 3-year-old, you can understand how we felt. We called the nurse line, who instructed us to take him to the emergency room right away. Panicked, we grabbed the diaper bag and headed to the nearest hospital that took our insurance.

As we got there, they instructed us to fill out the paperwork, then rushed us back to another waiting room. But this one was dark and abandoned – just one light in the corner. The staff person asked us to wait there until they could find a doctor. So we sat down, and I held Danny in my arms, whimpering. And we proceeded to wait.

After a half-hour, I was frustrated beyond belief. Anxious, scared. So I went to find some help. Eventually, I was told to go back, as they were still looking for a doctor. So I went back, and we continued to wait. Read more

Read More: Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach

51p+yVB0O+L._SY402_BO1,204,203,200_I’m halfway through the book Mapping Experiences by James Kalbach. It’s a really good book to help you better understand alignment diagrams, such as service blueprints, journey maps, experience maps, mental model diagrams, and spatial maps, and when to use each. I helped edit the chapter on journey maps, but didn’t get a chance to read the rest until I received my copy just recently. And I’m really enjoying it – even the chapters that aren’t about journey mapping!

I especially like James’ discussion on benefits, including his statement that “Your ultimate goal is creating an inclusive dialog within the organization, not creating the diagram itself. Mapping experiences has many potential benefits. These include building empathy, providing a common ‘big picture,’ breaking silos, reducing complexity, and finding opportunities.”

The journey mapping section also includes a case study of our work with Meridian Health. Read the case study, then follow that up with my recent interview with Chrisie Scott, VP of Marketing, to learn about the long-term change brought about through journey mapping!

You can hear more from Jim on his blog, www.experiencinginformation.com.

“If you need a video to explain the process, fix the process!” – Lessons from a journey mapping workshop

I had the opportunity to conduct journey mapping with a state agency working to transform the employer’s unemployment experience. The group followed our first rule of journey mapping – always make sure the customer is included in the process – by conducting multiple levels of research, including in-depth interviews with employers who were new to the process and usability interviews.

Next they engaged us to map out the existing employer’s journeys. I knew they were the right type of people for this work when I overheard one say, “If you need a video to explain the process, fix the process!”

Unfortunately, that’s not always the approach.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve run across a broken process, and the response is, “We need to train our customers.”

The reality is, our customers are already trained.  They’re trained by Amazon to have a streamlined process.  They’re trained by Apple to expect simplicity. And, if we’re not careful, they can be trained by your competition to expect something better.

The irony is, this came from a state agency with no competition. But they understand that while loyalty may seem irrelevant, it really isn’t. Being loyal in this context doesn’t mean using their services more – nobody wants to use unemployment insurance any more than they need to. No, in this context, loyalty means being less costly to serve. It means less calls, and less irritation when those calls happen.

That’s what journey mapping is all about – making customer-focused change to improve the process for everybody. And, if the state gets that, then there’s hope for the rest of us, too!

A customer journey map is a story

Amanda-Purchasing-Insurance-Journey-Map-v2A question I get asked a lot is, “What exactly is a customer journey map?” Considering that my official title is Mapper-In-Chief, it seems like I would have a short, clean answer ready and waiting. Or at least a short overview, with the caveat, but there’s more to it than that. In reality, though, I only have the caveat, and not the actual answer—because there is, in fact, more to it than that.

A journey map can mean a lot of different things. Despite the word “map” in its name, a journey map doesn’t have a set design or layout—in fact, design plays a critical role in creating the map. Because what it’s mapping is the customer and their emotional journey—a highly individual process, and one that defies a set template. It is the customer’s needs that drive the action of the map, and therefore by nature each journey map is an individualized diagram of a customer’s interaction with your company.

Read more

Do you really want a journey map? Or is a customer experience map better?

B2C HoTC_Map_11x17_HiRezAt Heart of the Customer we focus almost exclusively on journey mapping. So when a new customer calls, it often surprises them when we ask them whether they really want a journey map. Because sometimes an experience map is a better fit.

It takes us a surprisingly long time to work through what we should map. Is it really a journey, or is it instead the end-to-end experience?

This is one of the most critical decisions of our projects. Get it wrong, and you may not solve your most critical problems. Let’s look at how an experience map is different from a journey map and the trade-offs of each to help decide which might make more sense for you.

When deciding on the two, it’s critical to understand the business problem. We shortcut that to: Do you know the sources of most of your customer friction? Read more

Customer Journey Maps – the Top 10 Requirements (Revisited)

B2C HoTC_Map_11x17_HiRezTwo years ago I posted Customer Journey Map – the Top 10 Requirements. Since then, it’s been viewed over 60,000 times at this site, as well as many times on other sites. After a little more than two years I decided to revisit it. While the core philosophy remains consistent, we’ve made a few small tweaks and brought in some new examples.

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Understanding your customer experience is the key to improving it, and the best way to find out what customers do, think, and feel while interacting with your company is by creating a customer journey map. This visual representation shows how a customer uses your product or service, or the decision-making process that turns a potential user into a customer.

But not all journey maps are created equal. There is no “standard map,” because there is no “standard” customer experience. The best maps are highly customized, documenting your customer’s journey, as it is today, through your customer’s eyes. This allows you to easily identify where to focus your resources in the future, and the most effective changes to implement.

You can build a map following high-quality design principles, or use smiley faces. You can make it an engaging work of art, or scribbles on a napkin. But, ultimately, what matters most is the content, and the integrity of the process used to compile it.

JourneyMaps_Promotion-PatIn this post, I’ll detail the criteria used to design and build customer journey maps that can accelerate your customer experience program, focusing on the ten critical components all great customer journey maps share. The examples on the right show Heart of the Customer journey maps that utilizes this criteria; links at the end of this post lead to other samples.

Here’s what you need for a true customer-focused journey map: Read more