September 26, 2017

How To Solve Your Biggest Problems With a Journey Map

At the heart of every business is its customers. When businesses align their entire organization around its customers, they’re able to create exceptional and delightful experiences. As new technologies become more prevalent in customers’ day-to-day lives, interactions now also occur in more channels and platforms. This increases not only the opportunities, but also the gaps wherein businesses should strengthen efforts around the customer experience. A helpful way to illustrate this is through journey maps. 

What is a Journey Map?

In the simplest terms, journey maps illustrate the process that customers go through to accomplish a goal. Journey Maps are a physical representation of the relationship that a customer has with a business over a fixed period of time. They tell the story of how a customer interacts with your company, its products and/or services and staff by describing how and when specific customers engage with you. What are they thinking, doing and feeling as they interact with your company?

Journey maps generate empathy by going through your customer’s journey and illustrating your customer needs and frustrations.

Why Should You Create a Journey Map?

  • Get everyone in your organization on the same page to better understand where your customers interact with you and your organization.
  • See where there are customer service gaps and/or overlap.
  • Step in your customer’s shoes and by focusing on your customers behaviors, thoughts and feelings as they interact with your organization.
  • Gain a clear understanding of what’s working and what’s not, which identifies opportunities.

Beware of Assumptions

While you have to start somewhere, assumptions don’t paint an accurate picture. Journey maps allow your teams to come together to empathize with customers and, as a group, pinpoint where more information is required. Creating journey maps can act as a framework to determine what additional research is required to validate your customer’s journey.

Personas First

Customer journeys focus on personas, a fictional representation of a real user’s tasks, gains and pain points, they also include psychographics and demographics. Using validated personas means that you have talked to real users (at least 5) to confirm the steps and actions they take while interacting with your organization.

Collaborate to Generate Empathy

Involve key members from your organization, try to get at least one representative from each team. There may be friction between individuals at times but the different perspectives of each team member often includes important feedback that should be considered when stepping into your customer’s shoes.

There isn’t one format that is correct, the design of a journey map will vary on what you are trying to accomplish.

What to include in your map:

  • Personas
  • Timeline
  • Activities
  • Phases of the lifecycle
  • Varying emotions
  • Pain points and opportunities

Want more information on creating a journey map? You should check out our Journey Map Workshop at UX Camp on Friday, October 20th. 

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