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Bloom Your Customer Journey Map: Points to Consider Beforehand

By December 5, 2021May 8th, 2023All, Direction5 min read

BLOOM YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP: POINTS TO CONSIDER BEFOREHAND

Published on December 5, 2021 | Reading Time: 3 mins

We’ve all heard of customer journey mapping, but do we often have a systematic think about this process before jumping in? Preparing for a journey mapping exercise is just as crucial as the initiative itself, with many points to consider.

A customer journey map can be a powerful technique for solving most customer experience issues. It gives organisations the opportunity to understand, evaluate and develop their current customer experience. However, designers should make sure they are in the right mindset when creating a journey map. Before jumping into the process, and creating a productive customer journey map, there are critical points designers should think about. Answering the following questions will set the overall direction for the team’s activities, and help the process advance without obstacles.

Point 1: What is the purpose of the journey map?

It is very important to understand why you are creating the customer journey map, and what you wish to achieve by the end of the process. Some broad goals can include:

  • Getting an effective view of the customer journey – providing a better vision of the customer’s point of view, drivers, motivations, behaviour and pain points.
  • Removing internal silos between various channels and departments and bringing teams together to resolve customer obstacles.
  • Increasing innovation – providing high quality products or services to fulfil customer needs.

Point 2: What is the scope of the journey map?

A journey map can be created for the entire organisation or it could cover a journey with a large number of channels, touch points and user personas. It can also just be used to map a simple journey within a single channel. The scope of the journey map depends on many factors, such as the nature of the organisation, the amount of touch points, as well as areas of improvement to be covered. It is recommended to start with a small and focused scope, as defining a broad journey scope can have a negative impact on reading the map, whilst also potentially failing to reveal important details.

Point 3: Are you mapping a current-state or future-state experience?

A current-state journey map visualises the experience that customers have when trying to accomplish a goal with your service, as it exists today. A current-state map emphasises customer pain points at present, identifies gaps in the journey, as well as the highs and lows in the user’s emotional journey. It is used to identify and document the existing problems that customer face, and then to determine the appropriate solutions. A current-state map can be used to persuade stakeholders or product owners, provide shared understanding of the gaps in the experience, and further user research. Contrastingly, future-state journey maps help envision the ideal journey for an existing service or for a service that still doesn’t exist. A future-state journey map helps to imagine different ways of supporting new customer segments and providing fresh contributions. It helps to visualise new experiences, which will differentiate your organisation. A future-state map can be used to create a shared vision and provide direction.

Point 4: Are you going with an assumption-first approach or a research-first approach?

The assumption-first approach begins with a workshop where a cross-functional team utilises already existing knowledge. The team then creates an assumption or hypothesis map, and afterwards validates or enhances their work with the help of additional user research. This approach provides those who are unfamiliar with the journey mapping process with an introduction and helps team members work closely. To choose this approach, first assess your current knowledge about users and user behaviour – the more you know positively, the lower the risk of proceeding with this approach. An assumption-first approach brings stakeholders together and provides a chance to educate team members about journey mapping. It also enables you to apply existing organisational knowledge, hence accelerating the process of prioritising pain points and providing solutions.

The research-first approach starts with primary user research, which is led by the design team, in the hopes of gathering new insights. Later, the research is combined into a map. This method assures the mapping of primary data, rather than stakeholder assumptions. However, it could be lengthy, as it involves various phases, and quite expensive. This approach can be rigorous as you thoroughly conduct user research, and can be useful for small-scale projects, where you have the authority to determine directions and take action, without needing the involvement of stakeholders.

This decision will determine when and how your data and resources will be collected to assemble the map. Ask yourself if it is more practical to begin mapping with existing knowledge and validate or invalidate that map afterwards, or if it is better to conduct primary research before starting.

Point 5: Who are you involving in the journey mapping project?

Journey mapping process cannot be done by a single party. Designers should therefore decide the departments and stakeholders that will form the journey mapping team. The selection process of the team is very critical, and many factors should be taken into consideration. This includes skills, background, knowledge, expertise, as well as how effectively members come together within the multidisciplinary team. Ideally, all members should have a general knowledge of the journey mapping process, alongside a unique area of expertise which they can effectively contribute to the team as a whole.

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