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 James Kalbach on his blog,

Journey Mapping: Start With Your Hypothesis

20150429_163805-1I’m on the plane back from the CXPA Insights Exchange – our annual conference where we get to share best practices and help develop as CX professionals.

I had just led a discussion on journey mapping best practices, where representatives from organizations as diverse as telecommunications, healthcare, and even government swapped ideas and asked questions about the best way to use journey maps to drive change.

Journey Mapping and Hypothesis Mapping

One member shared how he tried to get his B2B customers to come to a journey mapping session, but none of them agreed to come. He had the time set aside, so he instead used his customer-facing staff to build their idea of a journey. At Heart we call this “Hypothesis Mapping,” and he shared how this really helped them set up the framework that they were then able to use once they were able to finally meet with clients.

Another member chimed in how she was really happy she had learned this language. She joined a new organization, where they proudly shared their “journey map.” She asked them how it was developed, and they discussed how they all went into a conference room as a team to develop it.

Rather than simply squash this inside-out process, she used their enthusiasm, responding, “I love that you’ve developed this hypothesis map. Let’s test this as we go out to customers and get their perspective.” Read more

Why You Should Care About Journey Map Design

62IPO7VGWF-1Who cares about journey map design? After all, it’s your data that should be taking center stage in your maps. Who cares if it’s glitzy, as long as it shows your findings?

I’ve actually seen posts that make this argument. As if facts and data are all the really matter. But you’ve probably seen what happens when you try to sway your company using facts and data. The end result? Not much.

Even worse, I read a post from somebody who purports to do journey mapping saying exactly this: don’t worry about a pretty journey map, focus on content. But while of course content is important—your journey maps need to accurately communicate the voice of your customer!—design is an essential element to success.

We know as CX professionals that emotions matter (in fact, I wrote a whole post about it). When we design customer experiences, we know to keep the customer in mind at all times. So why not do the same with our journey maps? After all, journey maps are an experience unto themselves – we need to apply these same CX principles to a map. Read more

Journey Mapping = Effective Customer Service Strategy

Maps_70172637_m-2015It’s no secret around here that journey maps are key to a successful customer service strategy for your business. We do a lot of customer journey mapping, using data straight from your customers. But there’s more than one kind of journey map, which can lead to questions about what kind of map to create—but also, how to integrate more than one type of map to better understand each facet of your company, employees and customers, to improve your customer loyalty and business outcomes as a whole.

While you’re probably familiar with customer journey maps, employee journey maps are ideal complements to get the entire picture.

You might ask yourself, how do I actually merge customer and employee journey maps in a way that actually gives me valuable information? It’s not always an easy journey, but if you keep a few basic guidelines in mind, it can be a streamlined process with a significant effect on how you understand your company. Read more

So You Want To Make A Journey Map, Part 2: Who Do You Map?

JourneyMaps_Promotion-Pat-1In my last blog post I talked about what journeys you should map when you set out to create journey maps of your customers. But I also mentioned another equally important decision to make when you’re creating your journey maps—not just what to map, but who to map. If you were wondering how to make that decision, look no further—I’ll guide you through the process here.

The first mistake most people make is assuming journey mapping is a “one size fits all” process. But one journey map can’t represent everybody, because different customers have different journeys. Customers are not one monolithic group—they vary by all sorts of factors, such as their goals, product usage, or experience with your category. You need to capture how these factors influence and alter their journeys in your maps.

As an example of how to break down your consumer base by these defining variables, let’s look at three different maps for a health care provider. In this case, the maps are broken down by the customers’ internal motivations, which is the most important factor in how these different consumers interacted differently with the provider. Read more

So You Want to Make a Journey Map

HP2P95KQGX - 1In just the last year we have seen a dramatic increase in journey mapping’s popularity, as more and more organizations realize what an effective tool it can be. But as more and more journey maps are getting made by more and more people, two critical questions arise—who and what to map. These are the first two questions we ask when we work with prospective clients.

First, which journeys to map? This may sound like an easy question, but it seldom is. Quite often organizations wish to map every journey. Which sounds like a great idea at first. Unfortunately, you can’t map every journey. Not only does this become prohibitively expensive, there is also the question of the organization’s ability to act against the results of multiple journey maps at once. We typically recommend starting with one journey, creating action, then moving to another.

You may ask yourself: Why focus on such a small subset of customer journeys? Won’t that limit the usefulness of your results? As it turns out—no. Bruce Temkin has created a great visual for helping determine what approach to use for each of their maps. Your most important journeys require research, to understand exactly what your customers need, and their true pain points and moments of truth. But the next tier down are best served with a workshop, and some do not even warrant a full-day workshop – journey thinking is the right approach for that.

Use this graphic to help you prioritize – those most critical items warrant research. Then, within this set, prioritize those which your organization most needs to focus on. How do you do this? Read more

Journey Mapping: Not Just a Research Project

6 v2As more and more people are learning about journey mapping, it’s becoming clear to them just how useful it can be. And that’s great! But sometimes journey mapping can be misunderstood—or rather, only used at a fraction of its potential. While many people conceive of journey mapping as a research activity, in truth it can be so much more than that, if you do it right.

The true usefulness of journey mapping lies in instigating organizational change. Doing it right obviously involves lots of time researching with your customers. In fact, a key reason that some see journey mapping as only a research tool is that it is a research tool—but only in part. Viewing customer journey maps as a research project leaves out the most important recipient of the journey mapping process, and the one that makes it a truly unique tool—those parts of the business that most need to understand your existing customer experience. Read more

Exemplary Customer Service: It’s All About the Journey

journey_11868817_m-2015-1“The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer” – Peter Drucker

Sometimes, it seems that companies focus exclusively on the first half of this equation. Sales to new customers are exciting, and resources are appropriately targeted to land new customers. Look at the continual offers coming from TV service and internet providers.

But the second half is just as critical.  In fact, for organic growth, it’s even more so.  In The Economics of E-Loyalty, Bain & Company reports that a 5% improvement in customer loyalty leads to a growth in profitability of 25-90%.

Clearly, customer loyalty is critical, and service is central to building it. However, Forrester Research, Inc. reports that only 48% of companies say they have any kind of customer service strategy (The State of Customer Experience, 2015). If over half of companies have no strategy for serving their customers, what does this mean for the customers themselves? Read more

Journey Mapping to Hypothesis Mapping: Creating Better CX

hypothesis mapJourney mapping is a great way to visualize and truly understand your customer’s journey as they interact with your organization. But when you start a journey mapping project, how do you know where to start? Where do you investigate?  It begins with a hypothesis.

A frequent practice is to end a journey mapping process with a workshop, and that’s definitely a good idea. It cements the learning, and adds depth to your maps. It also helps create ownership with your internal teams. These workshops pull together the data that’s been gathered to create an immersive and empathetic view of the customer experience. But there’s another way to apply the principles of journey mapping, this time to the beginning of the process – hypothesis mapping. Read more

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