Customer Journey Map

Customer Journey Map Solutions

A customer journey map is an incredibly useful tool that allows you to better understand the perspective of your customer throughout each stage of their experience with your business. They show a customer’s desires, frustration, concerns, and more. By creating and analyzing a customer journey map, you can better grasp what it’s like to be your customer and how that experience can be improved. This can lead to dramatic results that directly impact ROI including increased loyalty. See what happens when you put the customer at the core of your business. Learn more below.

It only takes 3 seconds to destroy your service experience

The beginning of a service experience matters. A lot. Start successfully, and you can make it a great experience. Start wrong, and you can dig a hole you can’t get out of.

I mentioned my car accident last week. Luckily, it wasn’t bad, but the agent didn’t know that. That’s why how she began our conversation. I told her that I was at the site of an accident. Instead of asking if I’m okay, she was right down to business, asking me about what I want to do. It was just another call in a long series of them for her.

Just like that, there was no chance to engage me. She would have been just as effective if she hung up.

Her approach might not matter in a rational world. But I don’t live in that world. And neither do you. But it seems that some people haven’t gotten that message, designing experiences based on the assumption that we’re all rational.

How else to explain health plans that allow you to choose your own pricing, then are surprised when everyone chooses the low-premium, low coverage option. I actually worked with a health savings account organization who believed (and still does) that consumers want to select between different pricing plans. Despite the fact that literally 98.5% of their consumers didn’t. They felt they just needed more education.

Bad design is everywhere in the world of websites. My “favorites” are websites that require convoluted logins I can’t remember, or password schemes that can’t end with a number or symbol. I know a rational person wouldn’t care about this limit. But a real person does.

That’s one of the reasons I love journey mapping so. Effective journey maps uncover the emotions in a customer experience, clearly visualizing those friction points that interfere with customer engagement. An effective journey map clearly shows your customer’s emotions, revealing the friction points that are costing you customers.

Apparently, the folks over at Software Advice, a consulting company for customer support software, share my passion for understanding the emotions in our experiences. They conducted a survey to understand customers’ preferred type of communication. The article ends with a clear call to action.  While a casual tone works well in neutral or positive experiences, a formal tone is absolutely necessary when denying requests.

So think about the tone in your service experiences. And give yourself a chance to get past your first three seconds.

Case Study: Using Journey Mapping Workshops to Drive Change in City Government Customer Experience

2275992Kelly Ohaver is the Client Experience Manager at the City of Centennial, as well as an active CXPA member. Her mission is to introduce customer experience principles to improve the city’s experience for its citizens and clients. She describes her job as “the most fascinating, challenging, and rewarding job ever” as she strives to bring an outside-in focus to the city. “It’s so rewarding when you see people get caught up and excited.”

I could (and probably will) write an entire article just about Kelly’s role. But one particular activity of hers caught my ear. Kelly recently ran a journey mapping workshop that serves as a great case study for how customer experience tools can be used for internal clients as well as external.

A quick refresher: Journey mapping is an exercise to understand your customer’s true steps, as well as the emotions that actually make up that journey. Some organizations use customer research, while others use workshops to help employees try on their customer’s shoes.  Kelly created the internal session after attending a workshop on the topic.

This was her first journey mapping session in her role. It surrounding a challenging IT transition with four newly-elected council members. Read more

Reimagining Journey Map Design

Journey maps are game-changing tools to illustrate your current customer experience, highlighting friction points that impact loyalty.

If you’ve researched the topic, you may have noticed that different creators apply the 10+4 criteria of an effective customer journey map very significantly. As a critical input to your customer journey design, journey maps need to grab your reader’s attention and quickly communicate the emotional impact of your experience, highlighting areas that most require focus.. Read more

Create Better Customer Outcomes through Journey Mapping Workshops

This post was originally shared through the ICMI (International Customer Management Institute) newsletter. You can view the original version here.

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Call center managers have seen it before. Customers form an expectation from your sales channel or marketing literature, receive a different experience through operations, and then call your contact center where they may receive a third perspective.

It’s the setup for a rough call, and an even rougher customer experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Great companies have found a way to create a consistent end-to-end experience. They align their silos, creating a consistent experience from start to finish. How do they do it?

Enter customer journey mapping.

Customer journey mapping is a series of techniques that map out your customer experience from start to finish. It follows your customer across silos as they go from initial awareness through the sales process into ongoing engagement.

A popular way to conduct journey mapping is through a workshop. Read more

There are no bathrooms in the USS Enterprise

starship-enterpriseAs I was leading a journey map session this week, one participant asked, “When you’re putting in the customer’s steps on the journey, how do you know which ones to include? It feels like it could get really long”

My response was that, from what I can tell, Captain Kirk never goes to the bathroom.

She paused, clearly trying to decide whether I was saying something insightful or just stupid. I don’t know if she ever decided which it was. Read more

4 ways to bring the customer into your journey mapping workshop

A journey mapping workshop is a powerful way to build customer intelligence and to create customer-based capabilities.

Journey mapping workshops bring together members from different parts of your company to walk through a particular customer’s journey, documenting your customer’s steps and emotions throughout. Where these workshops really show their value is by documenting how your silos impact your customer. Are there missed handoffs? Perhaps you have redundant emails coming from different departments, or conflicting incentives that lead to contradictory programs. They also show the systems and groups that impact that customer, and are a superior way to create alignment on your needs. See here for more details on how to conduct a journey mapping workshop.

Done right, what differentiates a great journey mapping workshop from a process flow discussion is this focus on your customer. And this focus can be really hard to create.

We spend 30-50 hours a week interacting with our internal processes and procedures, and only a small fraction of that time actually talking to customers. It’s hard to leave that behind to really put yourself in your customer’s shoes. But you need to find a way to do that to make your journey mapping workshop successful.

For example, when I was leading a workshop, we started by identifying the customer steps. Our first volunteer began by, “Well, of course the first step our customer takes is to call us.”

That’s when we had to call a pause. From his perspective, what he said was true. This is his first step in the process, so it’s a natural place to begin. But by accepting this, we cut off our best opportunities to make improvements. Read more

Customer Journey Mapping Made Easy

I’m getting ready to speak at a conference next month on customer journey mapping.

Journey mapping is a topic I find myself spending a lot of time talking about. The biggest challenge with the topic is how it’s pretty much a wild west. While most customer experience folks know what I mean when I say “customer journey mapping,” it turns out that their internal definition is one of two very different things:

  1. A research-based map of how customers experience your journey, including the touch points and moments of truth. This is how Forrester uses the phrase. I wrote a popular post on the topic here, which was also published as a white paper and a slideshare. I do a lot of research-based customer journey maps for my clients.
  2. An internal workshop to document your customer journey, also called a customer ecosystem map. This is how Oracle uses the term. While some involve customers in these workshops, in practice they’re often limited to employees. A number of my clients who do customer journey mapping use this method.

This was also the result when I hosted the CXPA journey mapping round table in December – while many companies do customer journey mapping, they typically do one or the other.

So, which one is correct? Of course, they both are. And I’ve found that combining the two, along with an initial hypothesis mapping workshop, is the key to really putting yourself in your customer’s shoes.

That’s what I’ll be discussing at the conference next month. I’ve put a slightly modified version of my journey mapping presentation out on slideshare – use this to help you integrate both types of customer journey mapping into your company.

Customer Journey Map Round Table Review

I had the opportunity this week to host a CXPA round table on Best Practices on Customer Journey Mapping for B2B and B2C. We had great participation from a number of companies, including Fidelity, Thomson Reuters, and ServiceNow.

We discussed two very different meanings for the term, “Customer Journey Map:”

  • A research activity where you work with customers to understand the steps they take as they experience your journey, and the emotional impact of each step along the way. I wrote a white paper on the topic here.
  • A workshop where you bring members together to lay out the customer journey, often involving the people and systems that impact that customer journey. These workshops are also called Customer Ecosystem Map workshops, and I put together a SlideShare on the topic here.

Read more

Creating a Customer Ecosystem Map

Customer Ecosystem MapCustomer Ecosystem Maps are the inside-out complements to Customer Journey Maps.  These maps are created by internal teams, and document the actions, people and systems that enable the customer experience.  They are a great way to bring teams together to create a shared view on friction points, and to create alignment on what needs to be solved.  I recently trained a company’s customer experience teams on this process.  This becomes a great way to get departments to work together, and I am excited to see their results.

Rather than trying to communicate it through text, I have created a Slideshare to walk through the steps. It is best viewed in full-screen, as the maps get somewhat complex. Enjoy, and let me know your experience with this process!

Jim

Measure Your Customer’s Entire Journeys, not just the Touch Points

Have you had a great customer experience? One you really enjoyed – a flawless purchase of a car, a fantastic trip, or a great B2B partnership? Now think of the opposite – a cell phone provider who frustrated you, a business partnership gone sour.

What made the difference was not an individual touch point, such as a call center or website. Instead, it was the overall journey – the process of purchasing the car went well, or the upgrade to a new phone caused far more trouble than it was worth. Individual touch points contribute to the experience, but it is the accumulation that matters.

Your customer experience is a journey. But too often, we manage it like a series of touch points, without looking at how these touch points fit together.

And herein lies our customer experience challenge. It is easy to measure website satisfaction or the customer service skills of a call center rep. We do this regularly. But what if your customer looks at your website for information, can’t find it, then calls your rep? How do you measure this entire interaction? The rep may do a fabulous job of handling the complaint, but the journey was a failure.

Read more