Journey mapping is a tool used by businesses to understand and improve the customer experience. The process involves creating a visual representation of the customer's journey, from the initial point of contact with the company to the final goal or purchase. This map can include physical and online interactions with the company, as well as interactions with external entities such as competitors or co-users.
According to Adam Richardson's article in Harvard Business Review published in 2010, a journey map is a diagram that shows the steps a customer takes when engaging with a company, whether it be through a product, online experience, retail experience, or service. It can include any combination of these interactions. The purpose of a journey map is to provide a visual representation of the customer journey, allowing businesses to identify potential pain points and areas for improvement in the customer experience.
By creating a journey map, businesses can identify potential pain points or areas for improvement in the customer experience. This information can then be used to generate ideas for improving the customer journey and managing these ideas effectively. For example, a business may identify a need for better communication with customers at certain points in their journey, and implement a customer service chatbot to address this issue.
According to the Nielsen Norman Group, a journey map is a visualization of the process a person goes through to achieve a goal. The process of creating a journey map begins by compiling a timeline of a user's actions. This timeline is then expanded to include the user's thoughts and emotions, creating a narrative. This narrative is then condensed and polished, resulting in a visual representation of the customer journey.
Journey mapping can also provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, allowing businesses to tailor their products and services to better meet the needs of their customers. For example, a business may discover that a significant number of customers abandon their cart during the online checkout process. This information can be used to improve the checkout process and increase conversion rates.
Journey mapping is a useful tool for businesses looking to improve the customer experience and generate ideas for improving their products and services. By creating a visual representation of the customer journey, businesses can identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to address these issues.
Types of Journey Maps
Journey mapping is a tool that can be used to visualize and improve various types of customer and user journeys. In addition to customer journey maps, there are several other types of journey maps that businesses can use to gain insights and develop strategies.
One common type of journey map is the product user journey map, which tracks the experience of a user interacting with a product. This type of map can be used to identify potential issues with the product design or user experience, and to generate ideas for improving the product.
Another type of journey map is the non-customer journey map, which tracks the experience of a potential customer who does not ultimately make a purchase. This type of map can help businesses understand why non-customers choose not to engage with the company, and can provide valuable insights into ways to improve the customer experience and increase conversion rates.
Journey maps can also be used in the B2B context, tracking the experience of a business buyer as they make a purchase. This type of map can help businesses understand the specific needs and pain points of business buyers, and can be used to develop strategies for improving the B2B purchasing experience.
Finally, journey maps can also be used to track the experiences of stakeholders such as investors. This type of map can provide valuable insights into the needs and expectations of these stakeholders, and can help businesses develop strategies for addressing their concerns and meeting their needs.
Journey mapping is a versatile tool that can be used to visualize and improve a wide range of customer and user journeys. By understanding the different types of journey maps and their uses, businesses can gain valuable insights and develop effective strategies for improving the customer experience.
Jouney Maps: Existing and Imagined States
Journey maps can be used to represent two different states: the existing or past state, and the future imagined state. The purpose of capturing the existing or past state is to develop a better understanding of the current customer or user experience, and to identify areas for improvement. This type of journey map is often used as a tool for redesigning the customer experience, and requires a keen sense of observation and attention to detail.
Journey maps for the future, on the other hand, are an exercise in envisioning and ideation. This type of map is used to imagine potential future states of the customer or user experience, and can be a valuable tool for prototyping and testing new ideas. The focus, skills, and methods for creating a journey map for the future are considerably different from those used to create a map of the existing or past state. This type of map relies on the power of imagination and visualization, and requires a different set of skills and methods.
The purpose and focus of these two types of maps are different, and require different skills and methods for their creation. By understanding the uses and differences between these two types of journey maps, businesses can effectively use journey mapping as a tool for improving the customer experience.
The Horizontal Axis
One important aspect of journey mapping is the design of the horizontal axis, which represents the touchpoints or interactions between the customer or user and the business. The design of this axis can vary depending on the specific circumstances and goals of the journey mapping exercise.
For example, the touchpoints on the horizontal axis may represent the different stages a customer goes through when engaging with a business. In this case, the axis might include stages such as "discovery" or "research," "evaluation" or "comparison," and "purchase" or "use." This type of journey map can be useful for understanding the customer journey and identifying potential pain points or areas for improvement.
Alternatively, the touchpoints on the horizontal axis may represent physical points of contact between the user and the product or service. This type of journey map can be useful for understanding the user experience and identifying potential issues with the product design or user interface.
Finally, the touchpoints on the horizontal axis may represent points of communication or interaction between the user and the service provider. This type of journey map can be useful for understanding the customer experience and identifying potential issues with the communication or support provided by the business.
Thus, the design of the horizontal axis in a journey map can vary depending on the specific circumstances and goals of the journey mapping exercise. The appropriate design of this axis will depend on the purpose of the exercise and the type of journey being mapped. By carefully considering the design of the horizontal axis, businesses can create effective journey maps that provide valuable insights and support effective decision-making.
Desiging the Vertical Axis
The vertical axis of a journey map represents the various factors and dimensions that influence the customer or user experience. The appropriate categories to include on the vertical axis will depend on the specific journey being mapped and the goals of the journey mapping exercise.
For the user/customer, categories may include their motivations, opportunities, abilities, needs, wants, inconveniences, threats, constraints, moods, addictions, mental models, habits, heuristics, biases, goals, information, surprises, fears, concerns, anxiety, embarrassment, thoughts, senses, relative comparisons, physical conditions, physical attributes, personality, previous experiences, memory, abilities/skills, and age.
For the product/service system, categories may include usability, failure, delay, information, and interface.
For the firm, categories may include the firm's objectives, skills, goals, and information.
Finally, for the external environment, categories may include the physical surrounding (such as servicecapes), weather, other users, social and political factors, current events, and physical constraints.
By considering a broad range of possibilities and including relevant categories on the vertical axis, businesses can create effective journey maps that provide valuable insights and support effective decision-making. It is important to carefully consider the categories to include on the vertical axis, as this will impact the usefulness and interpretability of the journey map.
Points of Consideration
When creating a journey map, it is important to consider several factors in order to ensure that the map is effective and provides valuable insights. Firstly, the granularity or level of detail of the stages on the journey map is critical. Too much detail can make the map burdensome to create and difficult to interpret, while too little detail can lead to the omission of important information. It is important to strike a balance and choose the appropriate level of granularity for the specific journey being mapped.
Another important factor to consider is the possibility of other touchpoints or interactions that may not have materialized in a specific instance of the journey. For example, a customer may be disappointed with the sequence of steps in a journey, even though each individual step was enjoyable. It is important to consider the full range of possible touchpoints and interactions, and to understand how they may influence the customer experience.
In addition, it is important to recognize that the sequence of steps in a customer journey is rarely linear, and that customers may retrace steps or make decisions that deviate from the expected path. This complexity should be reflected in the journey map, and it is important to consider the interactions between different touchpoints and the decision-making process of the customer.
Finally, it is important to consider the role of information in the customer journey. How much information is available to the customer at each stage, and how does this information influence their decisions and actions? By considering these factors, businesses can create effective journey maps that provide valuable insights and support effective decision-making.
Creating Effective Maps
In order to create effective journey maps, it is important to consider the factors discussed above and identify the appropriate dimensions or categories to include on the map. For example, it may be helpful to construct personas that represent different types of customers or users, such as modal personas, average personas, and extreme personas. This can help businesses understand the variability of the customer experience and identify potential issues or opportunities.
Another useful approach is to construct scenarios that represent different potential journeys, including extreme or rare scenarios. This can help businesses evaluate the robustness of the existing customer experience, and identify potential issues that may arise under unusual or challenging circumstances.
The role of prediction is also important in journey mapping. By considering how the touchpoints in a journey interact with each other, businesses can develop a better understanding of how much of the future can be gauged from a previous stage in the journey. This can help businesses identify potential issues or opportunities and develop strategies for addressing them.
It is also important to consider the transition between touchpoints in a journey. Is the transition real or imagined? Is it accidental or designed? How inconvenient is the transition, and how does it affect the customer experience? By analyzing these transitions, businesses can develop a better understanding of the customer journey and identify potential issues or opportunities for improvement.
Finally, the role of communication in the customer journey is critical. Depending on the specific circumstances, customers may value constant communication or may prefer to have as little communication as possible. It is important for businesses to understand the preferences of their customers and to develop effective communication strategies that support the customer journey. By considering these factors, businesses can create effective journey maps that provide valuable insights and support effective decision-making.
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