A customer journey map is a visual representation of the experience customers have with your brand. A customer journey is not as simple as you offering something and your customers buying it. Customer journeys are complex and in today’s integrated and technology-focused world customers come into contact with your business in a multitude of ways and from many different starting points.

Becoming customer centric means ensuring all customer facing functions provide a consistent seamless experience – read more about how the Customer Journey Map can benefit your brand here. Journey mapping helps bring customers stories to life. It challenges preconceptions, and can help change perceptions, acting as a call to action and contributing to a culture change. The insights that it generates can help shape strategy and policy, leading to a better customer experience and more efficient government. It can transform businesses into customer centric businesses giving them competitive advantage and longevity. Remember a customer journey is centred on your customers, and should thus be drawn up involving your customers.

 

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There are certain customer journey must-have’s, such as:

 

  • Personas: the main characters that illustrate the needs, goals, thoughts, feelings, opinions, expectations, and pain points of the user.
  • Timeline: a finite amount of time (e.g. 1 week or 1 year) or variable phases (e.g. awareness, decision-making, purchase, renewal).
  • Emotion: peaks and valleys illustrating frustration, anxiety, happiness etc.
  • Touchpoints: highlights the customer actions and interactions with the organization. WHAT the customer are doing.
  • Channels: where interaction takes place and the context of use (e.g. website, native app, call center, in-store). This is the WHERE they are interacting.

 

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  • Moments of truth – An interaction that leaves a lasting impression (positive/ frustrating)

 

 

The following steps can help you draw up your customer journey map.

1. Define your objectives

Identify what it is that you want to accomplish – for instance, do you want to fix current problems or build a new experience?

2. Clarify ownership

“From the start, you need to know who will own what part of the outcome,”

3. Conduct Internal Research

Review all relevant user research, which includes both qualitative and quantitative findings to provide insights into the customer experience. This could include customer support/complaint logs, web analytics, social media listening, and competitive intelligence.

4. Conduct Customer Research

Speak to different target customer segments using methods such as customer interviews, ethnography & contextual inquiry, customer surveys and competitor reviews.

 

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5. Touchpoint and Channel brainstorms

As a team, generate a list of the customer touchpoints and the channels on which those touchpoints occur today. Then brainstorm additional touchpoints and/or channels that can be incorporated in the future journeys you will be mapping. For example, the touchpoint could be “pay a bill”, and the channels associated with that touchpoint could be “pay online”, “pay via mail” or “pay in person”.

 

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6.  Draw up empathy map

Empathy maps are a depiction of the various facets of a persona and his or her experiences in a given scenario. Empathy maps provide a deeper understanding of the customer’s experiences, drawing out surprising insights into what customers need. The goal is to understand the persona’s experience, specifically focusing on what they’re thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing, saying and doing.

7. Brainstorming and drawing up affinity diagram

The goal of brainstorming is to generate as many ideas as possible in a short period of time. This involves organising ideas and concepts. Affinity diagramming helps us shift from casting a wide net in exploring many possibilities, to gaining focus on the right solutions for this audience. All team members should put their ideas generate, have someone sort the ideas into categories and label them. As a group, begin to consider where you might combine, refine, and remove ideas to form a cohesive vision of the future customer experience.

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8. Sketch or draft the journey

It’s now time to put together all the pieces: timeline, touchpoints, channels, emotional highs and lows, and all the wonderful new ideas the team generated for how to improve the future customer journey.

9. Refine

You could bring in a graphic designer who can transform your journey map sketch into an impressive artefact that you could use to share with colleagues across the organisation.

10. Start executing

Remember to always keep it simple. A customer journey map is not meant to be remain a fancy document it is meant to be executed and should be understood and executed by everyone in the organisation.

The first thing to remember is that there is no standard blueprint when creating a customer journey map. This is unique to each company; however the above guidelines will help you get started. Customer journey mapping has a positive effect on customer satisfaction and service levels, increases loyalty and your competitiveness, and in turn your bottom line.

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Want to know more?
Contact a consultant at Prana on marketing@pranabusinessconsulting.com

 

 

Written by Bronwyn van Dyk, Bronwyn joins Prana as a Marketing and Branding Consultant, working on specialist projects.  Bronwyn has a B.Comm Business Management, a diploma in Marketing Management and a certificate in branding. Bronwyn started her career at FNB as a graduate for 5 years and is now an independent marketing consultant. She has worked her way to be a specialist in her field. Bronwyn has worked across a 360-degree marketing sphere in  digital marketing and as well above and below the line advertising..