Design series: How to map a customer journey
Also in 2016 we will continue writing about design-related and strategic topics, merged into our series of design blogs. In the latest article I wrote about the value of customer journey mapping. This blog focusses on how to map the customer journey. Some businesses think they truly understand their customer, while customers often feel misunderstood.From the business perspective, please do not forget it isn’t’ your journey. It’s theirs. It’s the customers’ individual journey and brand experience. To increase customer value we need to tap into their needs and we like to do so by mapping the customer journey.
But how should you actually do this? Is there a method? Well, I don’t believe there is only one method. Every brand or company should design their perfect journey in it’s own way. But I do believe that there are a few ingredients that are highly relevant and should not be forgotten. I’m going to elaborate on the ecosystem, personas, (branded) touch points, channels, and emotions.
Understanding the ecosystem
It all starts with understanding the ecosystem you’re designing. The ecosystem is the term given to a set of products, services, and people that function together in a symbiotic way. Rather than unilaterally connecting all possible digital channels, we first want to determine which ecosystems can act together to service your business goals.
In this ecosystem we can define many different channels, offline and online. The list below shows examples of the marketing channels involved in different touch points during a customer journey.
- Visiting a website
- Connect with WiFi
- Open the mobile app
- Service center call
- Facebook-page like
- Reading a white paper
- Visiting a physical store
- Respond to a text message
- Watch a video etc.
Let’s start mapping
Interviews with your customers, observations, questionnaires and analysis of existing profile data is needed to truly understand all about the customer. This is when you define your persona. With a realistic scenario you map the customer journey on a wall or whiteboard. This is how you bring the journey to live.
In every different touch point, you define the state of the customers’ emotion. For example, you could add emotions like frustration, mistrust or feeling valued. Or less detailed from happy, neutral to unhappy.
The optimal customer journey
Once we have defined the current customer journey we analyse and evaluate all possibilities and we map opportunities for the optimized customer journey.
It will become a useful visual that represents all the steps and stages that customers and prospects experience. The story can be easily shared within the company which can be very useful for internal support and engagement.
Branded touch points or moments of truth
Once you see the overview of the journey and you’ve evaluated all touch points, you can also analyse where you want the touch points to be branded. in these “moments of truth” as a brand, you want to be memorable, durable and personal. This is the moment in which your brand should be most visible to let customers truly experience your brand. It will experience the authenticity.
Last but not least, I will give you some tips to think of when you start mapping the customer journey.
- Do not forget about post-sale journeys.
Even after conversion your customer started a certain relationship with your brand and expects after-sales services. Most important for your business, it’s still possible to increase revenue when you manage to create an optimal customer experience. What are your cross- and upsell moments.
- Make it physical.
If you have a room inside your building, I would recommend showing off with the customers’ journey. Gather colleagues who bring in their own field of expertise, organize a workshop, and cover the walls with all your ideas and journeys to create internal engagement and support.
- Get out of the building!
Remember it’s not your journey, it’s your customers’. Go outside and ask for their needs, experiences and research their behaviour. Your customers expect you to be relevant to them in a personal way.
Originally published at afrogleap.com on January 8, 2016.