Perhaps the biggest buzzword in customer relationship management is “engagement”. Engagement is a funny thing, in that it is not measured in likes, clicks, or even purchases. It’s a measure of how much customers feel they are in a relationship with a product, business or brand. It focuses on harmony and how your business, product or brand becomes part of a customer’s life. As such, it is pivotal in UX design. One of the best tools for examining engagement is the customer journey map.
As the old saying in the Cherokee tribe goes, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes” (although the saying was actually promoted by Harper Lee of To Kill a Mockingbird fame). The customer journey map lets you walk that mile.
“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
– Damon Richards, Marketing & Strategy expert
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Customer journey maps don’t need to be literal journeys, but they can be. Creativity in determining how you represent a journey is fine.
A customer journey map is a research-based tool. It examines the story of how a customer relates to the business, brand or product over time. As you might expect – no two customer journeys are identical. However, they can be generalized to give an insight into the “typical journey” for a customer as well as providing insight into current interactions and the potential for future interactions with customers.
Customer journey maps can be useful beyond the UX design and marketing teams. They can help facilitate a common business understanding of how every customer should be treated across all sales, logistics, distribution, care, etc. channels. This in turn can help break down “organizational silos” and start a process of wider customer-focused communication in a business.
They may also be employed to educate stakeholders as to what customers perceive when they interact with the business. They help them explore what customers think, feel, see, hear and do and also raise some interesting “what ifs” and the possible answers to them.
Adam Richardson of Frog Design, writing in Harvard Business Review says: “A customer journey map is a very simple idea: a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company, whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination. The more touchpoints you have, the more complicated — but necessary — such a map becomes. Sometimes customer journey maps are “cradle to grave,” looking at the entire arc of engagement.”
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Here, we see a customer journey laid out based on social impact and brand interaction with that impact.
What Do You Need to Do to Create a Customer Journey Map?
Firstly, you will need to do some preparation prior to beginning your journey maps; ideally you should have:
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User personas are incredibly useful tools when it comes to putting together any kind of user research. If you haven’t developed them already, they should be a priority for you, given that they will play such a pivotal role in the work that you, and any UX teams you join in the future, will produce.
Once you’ve done your preparation, you can follow a simple 8-point process to develop your customer journey maps:
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A complete customer journey map by adaptive path for the experience of interacting with railway networks.
A customer journey map can take any form or shape you like, but let’s take a look at how you can use the Interaction Design Foundation’s template (link below).
Copyright holder: The Interaction Design Foundation. Copyright terms and license: CC BY-SA
A basic customer journey map template.
The map here is split into several sections: In the top zone, we show which persona this journey refers to and the scenario which is described by the map.
The middle zone has to capture the thoughts, actions and emotional experiences for the user, at each step during the journey. These are based on our qualitative user research data and can include quotes, images or videos of our users during that step. Some of these steps are “touchpoints” – i.e., situations where the customer interacts with our company or product. It’s important to describe the “channels” in each touchpoint – i.e., how that interaction takes place (e.g., in person, via email, by using our website, etc.).
In the bottom zone, we can identify the insights and barriers to progressing to the next step, the opportunities which arise from these, and possibly an assignment for internal team members to handle.
Creating customer journeys (including those exploring current and future states) doesn’t have to be a massively time-consuming process – most journeys can be mapped in less than a day. The effort put in is worthwhile because it enables a shared understanding of the customer experience and offers each stakeholder and team member the chance to contribute to improving that experience. Taking this “day in the life of a customer” approach will yield powerful insights into and intimate knowledge of what “it’s like” from the user’s angle. Seeing the details in sharp relief will give you the chance to translate your empathy into a design that better accommodates your users’ needs and removes (or alleviates) as many pain points as possible.
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Boag, P. (2015). Customer Journey Mapping: Everything You Need to Know. https://www.sailthru.com/marketing-blog/written-customer-journey-mapping-need-to-know/
Designing CX.The customer experience journey mapping toolkit. http://designingcx.com/cx-journey-mapping-toolkit/
Kaplan, K. (2016). When and How to Create Customer Journey Maps. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/customer-journey-mapping/
Richardson, A. (2010). Using Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience. Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2010/11/using-customer-journey-maps-to/
You can see Nielsen Norman Group’s guidelines for designing customer journey maps here:
Source : https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/customer-journey-maps-walking-a-mile-in-your-customer-s-shoes?r=dianne_rees