Mod 7- Seeing Through The Customers Eyes with Prof. Bjorn Akselsen
What is a Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map tells the story of a user’s experience. It is an empathetic artifact usually in the form of a visual chart or infographic created by UX professionals to communicate findings or insights to internal stakeholders. They are usually used during the analysis of service, but can also be used on products or software where a user’s interaction can be tracked in stages and over time and there are key “touchpoints”.
A touchpoint is any time a potential customer or customer comes in contact with your brand–before, during, or after they purchase something from you.
Its focus can be a customer’s initial contact, engagement with a specific company offering or a broader long-term view of the overall relationship. Like personas, they are intended to provide an overview and context and traditionally have been displayed or used in presentations as part of a larger proposal or research effort. The Customer Journey Map always identifies key interactions that the customer has with the organization. It talks about the user’s feelings, motivations and questions for each of these touchpoints.
It must be told from the customer’s point of view.
It may be helpful to think of journey maps like flow charts, with the exception that they represent the user’s state of mind from beginning to end.
Because customer journey maps often illuminate the outcomes of multiple departments, tread carefully, include many stakeholders and get feedback on your findings throughout the artifact’s development process. Nobody likes being told they don’t understand their own customers or users. This is not an exercise that culminates in prescribed actions or finding fault, this is an exercise that successfully ends with reaching a deeper more holistic understanding of the customer’s perspective. These may be positive or negative, justified or not, knowing the emotional drivers can reveal opportunities to successfully meet the customer’s needs.
Data Collection: Get to know your customers.
if your existing customer data doesn’t include recent research that captures customer’s experiences across touchpoints, their goals, needs and expectations, and their perceptions of their experiences across those touchpoints, then you run the risk that your hypothesis journey map is simply a model of internal ideas about the customer experience. This model could very likely have biases and misunderstandings embedded in it.
It often provides a sense of the customer’s greater motivation. What do they wish to achieve, and what are their expectations of the organization? A user journey map takes many forms but typically appears like some type of infographic. Whatever its form, the goal is the same: to provide organizations a better understanding of their customers.
There are two key questions as you begin the collection process:
- What do we already know?
- What do we need to find out?
By gathering existing research, you will see what the organization knows and how relevant that information is.
Potential sources of information:
- Search Data
- Social Media
- Support Staff
- Sales & Marketing
- Competitive intelligence – what are the user pain points or successes of competitors?
Make it clear. Don’t include all the details. User journey mapping should involve both statistical and anecdotal evidence. It should highlight users’ needs, questions and feelings throughout their interaction with the organization. Think poster.
These “must-haves” are not set in stone, you will most likely customize your journey map based on the project needs but here are some guidelines on what dimensions should be included in a standard journey map. In addition, these dimensions have been known to best communicate both empathetic data and context.
- Basic or simple persona: introduces the main characters that illustrate the needs, goals, thoughts, feelings, opinions, expectations, and pain points of the user; the journey map should clearly communicate which segments or persona’s journey are being modeled.
- Timeline: a finite amount of time (e.g. 1 week or 1 year) or variable phases (e.g. awareness, decision-making, purchase, renewal);
- Emotion: peaks and valleys illustrating frustration, anxiety, happiness, etc.;
- Touchpoints: customer actions and interactions with the organization. This is the WHAT the customer is doing; and
- Channels: where interaction takes place and the context of use (e.g. website, native app, call centers, in-store). This is WHERE they are interacting.
- Moments of truth or Key moments: A positive interaction that leaves a lasting impression, often planned for a touchpoint known to generate anxiety or frustration; and
- Supporting characters or influences: peripheral individuals (caregivers, friends, colleagues) who may contribute to the experience.
My process for creating a journey map
- WRITE. Everything begins with writing. Start writing down as much as you can about each touchpoint or event that the subject will have on their journey. As one of my favorite creative heroes, Mel Brooks said: ”Everything starts with writing.”
- ORGANIZE. Organize and divide the information. You can use a spreadsheet or post-it notes, as long as it follows either a path or timeline structure with a beginning, milestones and an end.
- DRAFT. Begin drafting your design. Sketch lo-fi on larger sheets of paper (remember, think poster) with lots of whitespaces where you can add notes or rearrange things quickly without losing too much time. This will contribute to a strategic roadmap, play with many different compositions and formats until you settle on one that presents the information clearly and effectively.
- FINISH. Once you are satisfied, begin your final rendering. In the resources below, there are links to mapping software, templates, and examples. Some UX teams even have their maps professionally designed, again, the refinement of the map depends on your specific project.
AT&T Journey Map Project
Earlier in the course, we created personas for AT&T customers. After performing a needs and feelings analysis of the company’s website, specifically its account management functions. I decided to revisit AT&T and generate an additional UX artifact for one of my personas; Claire.
After developing the content, I initially wanted to use a horizontal layout. Just because I think using a line, sine or arc to show emotional highs and lows is cool. I would have if I had fewer touchpoints, but after experimenting with a few different approaches, I felt creating a vertical infographic was the best way to guide the user across the touchpoints. Because I wanted to emphasize her POV, I gave her comments and thoughts more prominence at each step. Rich in copy, I then struggled to incorporate the emotional data, creating a color gradient system, borrowed from “heat maps” that allows the viewer to see how Claire’s mood changes throughout the process. I feel color works best when expressing this type of information and gradients offer more control and complexity than simple icons.
The color scheme was pulled directly from the AT&T branding guidelines and because we are using color to tell the story, a muted (black) background was chosen to frame the overall composition. I really wanted this to compliment the original persona, and serve as a banner that would be hung in an office and would be interesting enough from a distance to have employees stop and read about the journey. Remember to check out the resources below and “tag-along” with your customers as they make their journeys.
Resources & References
Customer Journey Map | User Journey Map | Sailthru. (2019, June 11). Retrieved from https://www.sailthru.com/marketing-blog/written-customer-journey-mapping-need-to-know
How to Create a Customer Journey Map – UX Mastery. (2019, October 07). Retrieved from https://uxmastery.com/how-to-create-a-customer-journey-map
Identifying Your Customer Touchpoints | SurveyMonkey. (2019, October 11). Retrieved from https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/identify-customer-touchpoints
5 Essential Components of Effective Customer Journey Maps. (2015, June 17). Retrieved from https://www.tandemseven.com/journey-mapping/5-essentials-for-customer-journey-maps
Using Experience Maps to plot your Customer Journeys – Russell Webb Design. (2018, February 06). Retrieved from http://russellwebbdesign.co.uk/using-experience-maps-plot-customer-journeys
User Journey Vs User Flow – Differences & Similarities. (2019, October 09). Retrieved from https://www.mockplus.com/blog/post/user-journey-vs-user-flow
Atlassian. (2019, October 09). Customer Journey Mapping | A Step by Step Guide | Atlassian Team Playbook. Retrieved from https://www.atlassian.com/team-playbook/plays/customer-journey-mapping
Design Thinking 101: Customer Journey Mapping. (2019, October 09). Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/106236408
Customer Journey Mapping in 3 Simple Steps | Peer Insight. (2014, October 29). Retrieved from https://peerinsight.com/blog/3-simple-steps-for-customer-journey-mapping
A Customer Journey Map is not a ****ing deliverable / Marc Stickdorn / Episode #1. (2019, October 09). Youtube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6Mn-d9QMxY
Eaton, T. (2018). Journey Mapping is Key to Gaining Empathy. Medium. Retrieved from https://uxplanet.org/journey-mapping-is-key-to-gaining-empathy-1da5b54655e1
Customer Journey Maps: Why Your Company Needs Them (Plus Downloadable Templates) | WillowTree. (2019, October 10). Retrieved from https://willowtreeapps.com/ideas/customer-journey-maps-why-your-company-needs-them-plus-downloadable
AT&T Response References
AT&T Phone For Business User Guide
AT&T Device Protection. (2019, August 27). Retrieved from https://protectioncenter.att.com/business
ATTMobileProtectionPack.1985810980-User-Guide-Page-1.png (1221×1504). (2019, October 10). Retrieved from https://usermanual.wiki/PDF/ATTMobileProtectionPack.1985810980-User-Guide-Page-1.png
Admin Portal – Dashboard. (2016, September 24). Retrieved from https://www.asurion.com/att/smbportal/smbclient/#/login
Asurion. AT&T Phone Insurance – File a Claim. (2019, September 10). Retrieved from https://www.phoneclaim.com/att
AT&T Replacement Deductable Rates.
Frequently Asked Questions
AT&T Device Protection. (2019, August 27). Retrieved from https://protectioncenter.att.com/faq
File a Mobile Device Insurance Claim – Wireless Support. (2019, October 07). Retrieved from https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1000580?gsi=9ealdh
Replace Broken Mobile Device – Wireless Support. (2019, October 07). Retrieved from https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1008838?gsi=9bj7hh
wikiHow. (2019). Get a Replacement Phone from ATT. wikiHow. Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Replacement-Phone-from-ATT
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