How to Design Award Winning Experiences With Customer Journey Maps
Customers pay more for a better customer experience.
When all else is equal, customer experience becomes the key differentiator between businesses. As a result, more businesses are turning to customer journey mapping to give them the insight they need to make value-driven decisions.
Forward thinking businesses hire Experience Design experts like UXBERT Labs to help them provide a consistent customer experience across their online and offline touch-points. Probably the most important tool in delivering an award winning customer experience is customer journey maps.
But what does such a customer journey map look like, and how can it be applied tactically to help you bolster sales?
Why Use Customer Journey Maps?
A journey map is a powerful tool that helps you empathize with your customer.
It helps you understand your customer’s key interactions, their feelings and motivations, and what’s stopping them from moving along their journey towards conversion.
Using a customer journey map, you’ll be able to identify gaps in your business’s service offering and prioritize areas for improvement.
Successful customer-centric businesses use journey maps to:
- Deliver seamless, streamlined products and services tailored to meet the needs of both customers and the business
- Make it easy to share detailed information about the customer journey across different teams and at different executive levels.
- Increase ROI of sales & marketing efforts by getting a better understanding of the individual interactions and touchpoints customers have with your offering. This more targeted focus results in a more efficient allocation of resources.
- Reduce costs by identifying ineffective touchpoints. The combination of a micro and macro view provided by customer journey maps means you can eliminate entire touchpoints that don’t add value to the customer. This reduces organisational costs while also resulting in a more efficient and engaging experience for customers.
Emirates Airline is a shining example of how leading with and living the customer experience has enabled growth and innovation. By mapping their customer’s journey, Emirates is able to ensure all staff members understand what’s expected of them with each interaction, from reservations to in-flight service.
As a result of this, they’ve been able to maintain consistent, superior service, manage rapid growth and increase efficiency. In 2016, the company reported its 28th consecutive year of profit and steady expansion, investing over $20 million into improving the in-flight experience to include internet access, children’s toys, and activity packs.
Now you know how a customer journey map can help you, let’s break down how to tackle creating your first customer journey map.
Steps To Create A Customer Journey Map
1. Define the Goal of the Customer Journey Map
Get consensus on the purpose and scope of the exercise from a variety of relevant stakeholders. Consider whether the aim is to look at the end-to-end journey or a small piece.
Be sure to define:
- what the exercise is meant to accomplish;
- who will use it and how; and,
- how you’ll share what you find with the entire company.
2. Gather Research To Know Your Customer
A user persona will need to be created before working on a journey map. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the personas (i.e. target customers) that you’re designing the experience for.
Your user persona must be created from data collected from actual research with your customers. This could be data collected from interviews (ideally), web analytics, surveys or more.
The more user research you carry out, the more accurate your personas will be.
3. Capture How People Interact With Your Business
A touchpoint is any moment a potential or existing customer comes in contact with your business — before, during, and after they make a purchase.
You can get a good idea of touchpoints if you opt for interviewing your primary customers directly. If not, invite the right stakeholders to the table to brainstorm every touchpoint the customer might have and the channels they’re using to make contact.
A journey map is a collaborative exercise and it’s important to have mixed representation to consider different perspectives.
4. Create an Empathy Map
An empathy map examines how the customer feels during each interaction – you want to concentrate on how the customer feels and thinks as well as what they will say, do, hear, etc. in any given situation.
Again, this should be put together based on data collected from real customers, not just assumptions.
5. Sketch The Customer Journey.
This is where you pull together all of the information you’ve gathered so far: customer data and interviews, touchpoints and channels, goals, emotions and motivations. The best place to start is with a paper and pencil or a large whiteboard.
There’s no set template for how you want to represent your customer journey map as long as it clearly communicates your customer’s story. It doesn’t have to be complicated, rather it should easily remind your employees of your customer’s needs.
6. Iterate and Produce
Then take your sketches and make them into something useful, keep refining the content and then produce something that is visually appealing and useful to stakeholders, team members, etc. Don’t be afraid to rope in a graphic designer at this stage if you’re not good at making things look awesome.
7. Distribute and Utilize
The journey maps is no use sat on your hard drive or in your desk drawer – you need to get it out there to people and explain why it’s important. Then it needs to be put to use, you should be able to define KPIs around the ideal journey, for example, and then measure future success as you improve the journey.
What’s Next for Your Customer Journey Map?
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.
A map of your customer’s journey is only the beginning for you. It’s not an easy exercise, but it’s important to share your output with people from all aspects of your business. You should also commit to keeping it updated as your business and customer base evolve.
With your map in hand, you’re now better equipped to make more strategic recommendations and decisions.
At UXBERT Labs we specialise in using scientific UCD processes to design award winning experiences. Hosting Saudi Arabia’s first commercial and state-of-the-art Usability Lab, and a team of UX Researchers, Designers and Developers on-site in our Riyadh office, we deliver custom designed and built software that will help your businesses succeed, whatever the industry. If you have a project you’d like to work with us on, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org