Customer Journey Maps
What are Customer Journey Maps?
Customer journey maps are used to map the relationship between a customer and an organization over time and across all channels on which they interact with the business. Design teams use customer journey maps to see how customer experiences meet customers’ expectations and find areas where they need to improve designs.
“Data often fails to communicate the frustrations and experiences of customers. A story can do that, and one of the best storytelling tools in business is the customer journey map.”
— Paul Boag, UX designer, service design consultant & digital transformation expert
Learn how to find hidden truths through customer journey maps.
Customer Journey Maps – Tell Customer Stories
Customer journey maps are research-based tools which design teams use to reveal typical customer experiences over time and visualize the many dimensions and factors involved. These enable brands to learn more about target users. Team members examine tasks and questions (e.g., what-ifs) regarding how a design meets or fails to meet customers’ needs over time when they encounter a product or service. Therefore, these maps should be detail-rich timelines that show the most important sub-tasks and events. Over this timeline framework, you add insights of what customers think and feel when proceeding along the timeline. The map should consist of:
- A timescale – a defined journey period (e.g., 1 week) including selected areas from awareness to conversion and beyond.
- Scenarios – the context and sequence of events in which a user/customer must achieve a goal (e.g., a user wants to buy a ticket on the phone), from first actions (recognition of a problem) to last actions (e.g., subscription renewal).
- Touchpoints – what customers do while interacting and how they do it.
- Channels – where they perform actions (e.g., Facebook).
- Thoughts and feelings -what the customer thinks and feels at each touchpoint.
The goal of a customer journey map is to gain an understanding of how the customer experience develops over time and show that in a deliverable which everyone in the organization can appreciate. It allows you to discover possible problems and improve the design so it’s more likely to exceed customers’ expectations at all touchpoints.
How to Make Customer Journey Maps for Exceptional Experiences
To create a customer journey map, you can follow these steps:
- Define your Map’s Business Goal – Clarify who will use your map and what user experience it will address.
- Conduct Research – Use customer research to determine customer experiences at all touchpoints. Get analytical/statistical data and anecdotal evidence through, e.g., customer interviews, surveys, social media listening and competitive intelligence.
- Review Touchpoints and Channels – List customer touchpoints (e.g., pay a bill) and channels (e.g., online). Look for additional touchpoints or channels to include.
- Make an empathy map – Pinpoint what the customer does, thinks, feels, says, hears, etc. in a given situation. Then, determine his/her needs and how he/she feels throughout the experience. Focus on barriers and sources of annoyance.
- Sketch the Journey – Piece together everything (touchpoints, timescale, empathy map output, new ideas, etc.) however you like (e.g., a map). You want to show a customer’s course of motion through touchpoints and channels across the timescale, including his/her feelings at every touchpoint.
- Iterate and Refine – Revise and transform your sketch into the best-looking version of the ideal customer journey.
- Share with Stakeholders – Ensure all stakeholders have your map, understand it and appreciate how its use will bring beneficial changes to customers and across the organization.
Once the map is ready, you should measure the enhanced journey’s results. For instance, check key performance indicators (KPIs). The more touchpoints there are, the more complex the map will be. In any case, your entire organization should soon notice its value as a revisable, “living” document because members from all sections will have a common reference point for a wider, sharper customer focus.
Our Customer Journey Map template features 3 zones (top – persona and scenario; middle – thoughts, actions and feelings; bottom – insights and progress barriers).
Learn More about Customer Journey Maps
Take our User Research Methods and Best Practices course: https://www.interaction-design.org/courses/user-research-methods-and-best-practices
Here are some compelling Customer Journey Maps: http://blog.uxeria.com/en/10-most-interesting-examples-of-customer-journey-maps/
This is an incisive blog showcasing examples: https://www.adgo.io/blog/how-to-create-a-customer-journey-map-from-awareness-to-conversion
This empathy-themed piece features an activity and field tips: https://www.ideou.com/blogs/inspiration/use-customer-journey-maps-to-uncover-innovation-opportunities
Find some additional insights here: https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-journey-map
Literature on Customer Journey Maps
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