Rajiv is the operations manager at an organization that manufactures automobiles. He heads a team that decides on customizing vehicles and accessories according to the needs of customers. However, once the customer base grows and the car manufacturer’s range of products increases, Rajiv and his team start getting overburdened, failing to keep up. Traditional forms of customer feedback no longer seem to work when it comes to anticipating which cars and accessories will be attractive for which section of customers.
Rajiv’s cousin Anjali, who heads the operations team at an IT organization, introduces him to the concept of journey mapping. Rajiv initially dismisses it as fancy jargon without substance. But he again comes across the topic of journey mapping while speaking with a friend. He discovers it helped him immensely to grow his chain of restaurants.
Rajiv decides to do his own research on journey mapping and shares his insights with his team. A journey mapping expert is brought on board and within a quarter, the organization can see the benefits: both in terms of which car models to design and how to tweak features of existing models to adapt to changing customer needs.
With the help of journey mapping, Rajiv and his team are able to stay one step ahead of other organizations in the industry. They can predict what works for customers based on detailed data and not just their own business instinct or market trends.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
A customer journey map or a user journey map is a visual representation of the relationship between a customer and a product, service or brand across time. While such journey maps come in different shapes and sizes, they’re conventionally depicted with the help of a timeline that notes the interaction points between a customer and a product, service or brand.
The process of customer journey mapping starts with compiling the different interactions a customer undergoes and by integrating those actions into the timeline. After that, the timeline is made more complex by building narratives, which try to predict the thoughts and emotions that lead customers to take certain actions.
With the help of customer journey mapping, it’s possible to create a more user-centric or customer-centric approach to building products and services. This eventually provides a better customer or user experience.
Why Use Journey Mapping
What are the reasons that organizations invest significant resources in creating customer or user journey maps? What benefits do these journey maps provide organizations in terms of short-and-long-term strategy? Read on to find out.
- Journey maps help provide a shared vision to organizations, both in terms of the standards they’re supposed to aspire to, as well as the needs that customers expect to be fulfilled
- Effective customer journey mapping reduces fragmentation, which refers to different departments of an organization responding to customer feedback differently. With a journey map, it’s easier for everyone to be on the same page, both from a creative and logistical standpoint
- Through journey mapping, it’s possible to create a mental model of how users or customers think. This is extremely helpful to an organization for designing new products, refashioning old products or customizing products and services for a niche target group
- As a process, journey mapping is engaging and interactive. It doesn’t have the monotony of one-way feedback received from customers or users. It has usually been found to generate more interest among employees in an organization
- Customer journey mapping provides a holistic overview of the customer experience. This includes details about both the complaints as well as the satisfaction that a customer may have communicated concerning a product or service
- Customer journey mapping can prove extremely useful when it comes to building brand identity and consolidating a user or customer base. By aligning the brand values with its customers or users, organizations can come up with more appealing products and services
- With the help of journey mapping, organizations can anticipate what their customers will want in the future. The data obtained from journey mapping can lay the foundation for a sustainable model of long-term growth for organizations
It’s important to note that journey mapping has different components and each component serves a different purpose. In this context, organizations must remember which component can deliver what sort of insights as far as meeting customer needs and wishes are concerned. For instance, coming up with new products or services based on customer expectations from current products or services may not be a good idea. This could indicate a mismatch between component and insight. A more sensible option would be to focus on customer thoughts and emotions to predict which kind of products or services they’re likely to purchase in the future.
The Eight Steps Of Journey Mapping
A customer or user journey map is expected to have a basic framework, which can then be customized based on specific needs of an organization. To be able to effectively use this framework, it’s vital to understand the eight steps of journey mapping that make up the framework:
1. Choice Of Scope
The first and most important step to create a meaningful user journey map is to choose its scope. This scope can be anything ranging from a high-level map meant to display end-to-end user experience or more detailed maps that zoom in on particular types of customer interactions.
2. Identify The User/Customer
This step is all about locating the user or customer who is to be part of the journey mapping as precisely as possible. To do this, organizations may use surveys, interviews or discussion forums. It’s crucial that the user or customer being analyzed as part of journey mapping is representative of the target group of customers or users. Otherwise, no amount of data from journey mapping can give an organization genuine feedback on its products and services.
3. Decide The Scenario
The scenario for customer journey mapping refers to the exact context in which customer needs arise. Choice of the scenario shapes the expectations of the user, and by extension, the objectives of the organization. A sample scenario for a mobile phone organization can be a situation where a customer has grown tired or bored with using the same brand for a certain period of time and is incentivized to switch to a newer brand.
4. Locate The Touchpoints
Touchpoints are the instances and the channels through which a customer or user interacts with a product or service. In the above-mentioned example, touchpoints can include figuring out how long a customer wants to wait before moving on to a new mobile brand. This can also be to identify whether they prefer to buy a new phone online or in a brick-and-mortar shop.
5. Consider User Motivations
Why does a customer want to switch brands? What are the factors customers prioritize when buying a product? How do emotions shape an individual’s purchases? These are some of the questions to be taken into consideration at the fifth step, the one that determines how the journey mapping will proceed.
6. Begin Mapping
The sixth step of user journey mapping involves taking the data obtained from the previous five stages and arranging them into separate levels. Based on an organization’s preferred structure for journey mapping, each stage can be customized to accommodate specific demands or needs of customers.
7. Tracking Customer Behavior At Each Step
Once the journey map is ready, it’s time to keep track of how a particular user or customer behaves as they navigate the map. This is arguably the most important step in the entire process and any mistakes here concerning misinterpretation of user behavior can prove costly for an organization.
8. Verify And Refine
Even if detailed and accurate data are obtained from journey mapping, they shouldn’t be taken at face value. It’s necessary to compare the information obtained through journey mapping with data from usability testing sessions, app analysis, customer surveys and any other feedback mechanisms. This is done to ensure that the journey mapping doesn’t end up misleading an organization on any front and whatever insights emerge from the process can be adequately verified and refined before being used.
Learn To Plot The Perfect Journey Map
Creating a customer or user journey map involves combining creative thinking with industry expertise along with an instinct to identify what works for users. All these are qualities that can be picked up and optimized through Harappa’s Impactful Sales Program. With the help of established frameworks like Design Thinking, the Golden Circle and the Harappa Idea Funnel, your employees will be equipped with all the necessary skills for journey mapping.
Our program will help your employees acquire a better grasp of client needs, take ownership for furthering brand credibility and apply human-centered techniques to co-create and customize solutions that work for your organization. They’ll also get an opportunity to familiarize themselves with must-have Thrive Skills such as anticipating questions and concerns, finessing value propositions and making persuasive presentations, without which no journey map can be adequately composed. Sign up your employees for the Impactful Sales Program and watch them plot the perfect customer journey map.
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as Meaning Of Customer Acquisition, What Is Customer Service, Customer Relationship Management and Customer-Centric Approach that will help organizations tap into employee potential.
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