On Customer Journeys

MP900438811-customer-journeysOne of my favorite part of the Customer Experience discipline is the art of mapping customer journeys. They’re fun to create, insightful, and they help to pinpoint gaps in services, redundancies, and opportunities to innovate.

Like a road trip, customer journeys are made up of a series of interactions called touchpoints. You can think of touchpoints as the gas stations pit stops,  the cities where you stop to visit, and the quaint little diners you eat at. Customer journey touchpoints can be made up of email, snail-mail, phone calls, websites, systems, seminars, face-to-face meetings, and more.

Here are some questions I find helpful during the touchpoint investigation phase of journey mapping:

  • Who are the customers taking this journey?
  • What type of touchpoint is this? Email, phone call, website, in person, mobile app, online chat, brochure?
  • What are your customers expected to do while they’re at this point?
  • What motivates them to continue?
  • How do they “feel” about this point? What are their emotions? What have employees heard? Complains or praises? Are they happy, glad, indifferent, or frustrated?
  • Are there documents or information customers see or use at this point? Collect everything, such as sales collateral, forms, emails, videos, user manuals, web pages, etc.
  • What questions do customers ask at this point? Are they calling the support line, sales representatives, others? Are they experiencing barriers, issues?
  • Do they know what to do next?

Journey maps are strategic tools that gather all of the touchpoints into a comprehensive view. The more you investigate, the more detailed your map will become.  From this view, you’ll find a better understanding of what customers are experiencing, which will lead you to ideas for improvements. Moreover, it will put you in touch with your customer’s emotions so that you can understand their frustrations as well as their joys.

Happy R.A.V.I.N.G. Customers!

In my new book, Happy R.A.V.I.N.G. Customers!, “Chapter 3. R =  Reality Check” focuses on how you can identify the journeys your customers take with your company, in order to deliver experiences important to them. And the Journey Mapping templates provided in the included CX Toolkit gives you a huge jumpstart!

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Image provided with permission by Microsoft