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How target customer journey mapping can revolutionise the customer experience

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This is the third in a series of 5 Blogs, where we explore 5 key tools in the Service Designers Toolkit – Customer Personas, Customer Journey Mapping, Visioning, Concepting and Service Blueprinting.

Everyone has a story (or two) of terrible customer experience. Poorly designed processes that might look good on paper but do not work well in practice. Confused signposting (real or virtual), undesired outcomes and unnecessary requirements: we have all suffered bad customer journeys at one time or another.

The key is making sure  your customers have a great story to tell: leave the bad ones to your competitors.

"A customer journey map allows all stakeholders in a process, to visualise how things will be different for customers in the future, and align on what that future customer journey will look like before significant budget and resources are invested"

Lisa Skinner, Director - Engine Service Design

What is a TARGET customer journey map?

A target customer journey map is an end-to-end representation of a future service as it has been designed. It allows a company to see how all the elements of a service will work together as customers will experience them. It can be used to design new services or improve existing ones.

With a visual, practical document like a map it is far easier to understand and alter elements to improve the customer journey. It makes it simpler to envisage a journey as a holistic process rather than standalone segments that may or may not fit together. The chances are these segments will not fit together well unless they have been designed to do so.

A customer journey map will enable customer facing teams to comprehend better what is required and therefore plan more effectively. This generates goodwill and support for the process and any future development from the outset. They are often used with a service blueprint to ensure that the customer and delivery sides of the processes interact properly in the right places and ways. Most importantly, a customer journey map allows all stakeholders in a process, to visualise how things will be different for customers in the future, and align on what that future customer journey will look like before significant budget and resources are invested.

Target customer journey maps are as useful for new services as they are for improving existing ones. It allows a new customer experience to be designed from the customer’s point of view from the outset.

This makes it significantly more likely the customer experience will be optimum from launch. Creating the journey map for a service that is not working as well as it could makes it more obvious where the problems lie.

By redesigning, tweaking, or overhauling processes and then reassessing the customer journey a better outcome can be achieved.

The key information required to create a customer journey map

  • Operational processes – how they work and how they fit together.
  • Current customer experience – where it works well and where it could be improved.
  • Customer needs – how and where these will apply throughout the journey.
  • What the scope of the journey will be (partial and as part of the whole) – what this service encompasses and how it fits into a larger frame.
  • A concept of the experience that is to be achieved – what the desired outcome is for the customer.

Things to consider

There are various elements that should be considered when mapping out a target customer journey:

- Who is the target customer?

Most companies will have one or more customer personas. It is important to work out who is being targeted from the outset. The journey needs to apply to the target customer: there is no point designing the ideal journey for what turns out to be the wrong type of customer.

Pin down and describe the needs and behaviours of the persona or personas before you start. This will allow you to see how well the journey applies to the target customer when you walk your target persona(s) through it.

- What is the target experience?

If it is an emotive-led journey map, it should focus on how a customer is feeling at each stage. A feature-led journey map would concentrate on the concepts and functional benefits.

- What are all the necessary and ideal elements?

It is easy to be too brief or too detailed so before you start make sure you know what needs to be included and what would ideally be included. It is not necessary to incorporate so much detail that it becomes unwieldy. If there is more than one target persona, journey maps can be created for the different personas.

Using the target customer journey map

Once you have your target customer journey map you can walk your customer persona or personas through it. This will give you a real feeling for how it works and where any potential issues may arise. It shows how all the processes and concepts work together. The map offers the opportunity to understand the customer journey in a far more tangible way.

Target customer journey maps are useful for designers, developers, marketers, and clients for whom you are designing services. Their usefulness should not be underestimated.

Make sure your customers experience the best journey you can deliver: as we all know from personal experience, it makes all the difference.

The Engine Service Design team is here and ready to help you reimagine the future and unlock new value. Please Get in Touch if you need a trusted partner with whom to discuss your challenges: one of our service design experts will be delighted to help.

Now you’ve understood Customer Journey Mapping, click here to read the next blog in this 5 part series, where we explain Concepting as a key step in the service design process.

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