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Don’t Bark Up the Wrong Tree: 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Journey Mapping

By December 7, 2021May 3rd, 2023All, Direction3 min read
Published on December 7, 2021 | Reading Time: 4 mins

Don’t Bark Up the Wrong Tree: 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Journey Mapping

Knowing how to journey map also means knowing about how not to journey map. Find out more about the common mistakes to avoid.

While most organisations know the importance of journey mapping, many fail at incorporating this tool into their customer experience initiatives – as though they’re planting a seed but not watering it. For an organisation to increase the value of its customer journey map, this tool must live up to its full potential. This includes understanding customers, detecting challenges and opportunities, and acquiring insights about the service, touchpoints, space, and channel. To grow your journey map and gain actionable insights, there are a few common mistakes you should avoid.

1. Solely focusing on one type of customer

Loyal customers will give you a different impression from non-loyal customers, because of their differing goals, emotions, and expectations. Creating a journey map that includes all customer segments will make it too broad and generalised. Meanwhile, focusing on one segment and ignoring the rest will cause you to miss valuable insights. Therefore, you should represent your different customers by design personas, where individual journey maps are created for each.

2. Concentrating on touchpoints rather than the journey

The difference between a journey map and a touchpoint map is that journey maps include steps that may not involve the organisation at all, because it frames the entire pathway rather than simply the interactions the customer has with the organisation. This way, organisations can look at points in the journey where they may have no physical presence, but could add value to the overall goal and objectives of their customer. When identifying critical touchpoints, you need to recognise them through customer research and identify where they belong in the customer journey.

3. Not involving customer input

Organisations cannot accurately represent their customers’ experience if they do not involve customers in the mapping process. Additionally, customers’ needs and goals are dynamic, therefore, they must be involved in the evaluation, optimisation, and redesign to gain actionable insights.

4. Focusing on the result rather than the process

The aim of a journey map is to drive action towards improving the customer experience by discovering and resolving problems. Since customer needs and goals are everchanging, so should the journey map. It must have the potential to evolve in a way where strategies and tactics can still be derived from it as it continuously gets updated.

5. Basing your map on assumptions rather than research

Relying on what you think the journey is, as opposed to what you know from research, leads to an unsuccessful journey map as you’re not embracing different perspectives, and you will likely have misconceptions. Don’t waste time debating with your team about who’s right and conduct a few simple interviews with various customer segments to avoid wasting time, resources, and energy.

6. Prioritising the company’s perspective, not customer activities

As mentioned earlier, journey maps include the entire pathway, not just a customer’s interaction with your organisation. Start the journey where the customer truly begins. The “inside-out” approach of prioritising internal processes will create an internal process diagram, not a customer journey map.

Now plant your seed and let it bloom. It is often easier to understand what not to do than focusing on what to do. Avoiding these mistakes will allow your journey map and organisation to reach their full potential. Keep your customers satisfied by meeting their needs and expectations, and don’t forget to continuously update your journey map – it’s not a one-off project!


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