Complete Guide to Creating a Customer Journey Map
Conducting a customer journey mapping workshop does a few key things. It facilitates a common understanding between team members, uncovers insights from the user’s journey and explores potential opportunities for growth and improvement.
In order to make your customers happy and build products that solve real problems, you need to understand what users are experiencing when they come into contact with your product or service.
Current State vs. Future State Customer Journey Maps
There are two types of customer journey maps: a current-state customer journey map and a future-state customer journey map. The current-state journey map visualizes the user’s current experience with your product or service, while the future-state journey map visualizes the user’s future experience.
Before beginning, you should define the scope of the customer journey map. You will most likely want to start out at a very high level and review the whole customer experience.
For example, a high-level customer journey map outlines the process of taking a flight from discovering the user needs to go on the trip, to booking the trip, to boarding the plane and finally the billing process.
A fully detailed customer journey map can give a deeper level of user insights by outlining the entire experience on the plane. You will map out when the user first boarded the plan, how they found their seat, the in-flight announcements, snack service and finally the baggage claim process.
In this post, we are going to focus on a high-level, end-to-end customer journey map.
Preparing for the Customer Journey Mapping Workshop
Prior to starting the workshop, you want to make sure you have a few things prepared to make it successful.
Identify the primary persona
It is important that the group has a primary persona in mind. When working in user experience design it is important to focus on one primary user. Other disciplines like marketing will have many personas, each having different demographics and characteristics that they can target.
Gather as much research as you can and make sure everyone in the room is briefed on the latest research. You can pull information from previous customer satisfaction surveys, support logs, analytics, competitive intelligence and any other previous customer research that you have conducted. Everyone involved should have a good base understanding of the customer you are creating the journey for. If you are starting without any research, we would recommend you do some research first to guide the conversation. You can conduct moderated interviews, unmoderated interviews, contextual inquiries, surveys, diary studies etc.
Assemble your team
You want people representing all functional areas of the business including development, design, marketing, and operations to join the session. This will be different for each product or service but think about the key areas of business. Ideally, you want a comprehensive team but you don’t want more than 8 people since it can derail productivity.
Prep the materials
It is often helpful to have a template to guide the workshop. There are multiple different templates that you can use but most of them have relatively the same components and will get the job done. It will also be helpful to have a big whiteboard or a print out of the template to stick on a wall. Also, during the workshop, give everyone in the room a pad of sticky notes and a sharpie.
Customer Journey Map Template
The customer journey map template is a large grid. Here is a link to download a blank template so you can fill it out during your session. The top of the grid, outlines the different stages the customer goes through while engaging with your product or service.
Across the Top of the Template
This is when the customer is trying to learn about the potential solutions to their problems and recognize they have a need.
This is when the customer is researching potential solutions. This varies widely by product. With some products, customers make instant purchasing decisions while with other products customers spend hours researching the options since there may be high switching costs.
This is when the customer makes the conscious decision to use the product.
Once the user has selected the product, this describes how they receive it.
5. Follow Up
What follow up does the company do after the customer has consumed the product or service? In this box, make sure to focus on your company’s retention strategy. The goal is to push users into being an advocate of your product.
Down left side of the Template
This is what the customer is doing during each of the above stages. What are the customers actual behaviors and actions?
Try to understand what the customer is thinking. What are their thoughts, feelings, motivations and needs at each stage?
3. Touch points
These are the points of interaction between the user and the product or company. Is there specific communication or messaging to reference? Is that communication through a mobile app or website?
4. Customer Pains
What things do we know are pains for the user at each stage of the process. Our goal is to address those pains and to fix them in future designs.
5. Customer Gains
These are things that are currently delighting the customer. They are things that make them happy. Ideally, we want to keep doing these things as you continue to improve the product.
This is a summary of the problems and questions customers have. Identify potential opportunities where you can deliver better service. These are your action steps coming out of the customer journey mapping session. They will drive your product roadmap.
Role of the Facilitator
As the facilitator, you should start by having the group brainstorm, using the boxes as guidelines, starting with the awareness box. The group can write out each activity on a sticky note and paste it in the corresponding box on the customer journey map template.
You should keep moving box by box until you finish the journey map. As the facilitator, you want everyone to work together and feed off one another.
Following the workshop, you should capture everything written on the sticky notes into a shareable document.
Remember, the customer journey map is a living document and it should evolve and change as the product or service matures. Make sure to display the output in a prominent place to be referenced often.
Download a free customer journey template here
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