Journey Mapping is an important component of any CX practice. I joined Chris Ward from MyCustomer on “Connecting The Dots” podcast. We talked about customer journeys and how the process helps people understand their customers better.
CX topics include:
- What customer journey mapping is
- How to map ‘as is’ and ‘to be’ journeys
- Why data is central to successful journey mapping
- The type of data required & role of Voice of the Customer programs
- How to map journeys for products that haven’t yet been launched
MYC: So we’ve talked about customer journey maps to ascertain the journeys your customers currently experience, and we’ve looked at the concept of ‘to be’ journeys, or rather collating research and data to inform and improve journeys to be more ideal for your customers; but what about when you’re trying to create a new journey for a product that doesn’t yet exist?
Stacy Sherman: Journey mapping for new products – you’re defining personas and then what the experiences we want customers with that persona to have. You then map that out with different teams, and then you launch with all the different touchpoints, and then once you’ve launched you go back to establish whether the journey you devised is right based on the customer’s actual experience. It’s all about pre and post-launch phases.
MYC: How did you collect the right data for this exercise?
Stacy Sherman: You go to real customers, based on the personas you defined. Demographics, user testing, concept validation, prototype testing. Break it into pieces of the journey; it’s a combination of focus groups, online and offline, feedback; once you launch you go to actual customers and enquire what the journey was like, what they felt and what they thought, and then amend journeys to better fit.
MYC: How often did the actual journey match the perceived pre-launch journey?
Stacy Sherman: Holistically, I’d say it was often on target, but there are components of that journey that were different. For instance, we’d say ‘we expect this type of customer to try and contact us via email’ but then they’d predominantly go to live chat, say, and then we’d have to amend the journey to make live chat more accessible for that persona, that sort of thing. That’s why you have to talk to customers in addition to the voice of the employee, who is close to the customers; it involved both parties.
MYC: As Stacy mentioned to start with, she is now heading up CX in North America for Schindler Elevator Corp, and as a true industry strategist as well as a practitioner, helps share some of her wealth of experience at both Verizon and at Schindler with her mentorship program, doingcxright.com. I wanted to ask Stacy what she typically described as best practice to those she mentored on approaching the journey mapping process for the first time.
Stacy Sherman: Honestly….A lot of people are not familiar with what this all means and sometimes they’re intimidated because they’re not sure what’s right or wrong. I would say, just start with a template that helps you think about what the components are in each section of your journey. It starts with a manual pen to paper. Once you get more sophisticated, you invest in a tool or platform and automate the process. That’s for down the line – bigger budgets, bigger teams.
MYC: What single bit of advice would you give to others?
Stacy Sherman: You have to just do it – who are the customers, who is the audience, define what the experience is that you want and which your teams can support; then you have to measure it. Don’t fly blind!
MYC: Amy Scott agrees with Stacy, and states that once your research has become sophisticated enough, your journey maps can evolve into new forms.
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