Customer journey mapping (CJM) is a technique for helping to inform and bring about change or improvement within an organisation. A customer journey map is a visual representation of a customer’s (or customer segment’s) interactions with the organisation, from initial contact to final resolution.
CJM identifies the key interactions that the customer has with the organisation. It maps the customer’s feelings, motivations and questions at each touchpoint. You can then use this current ‘as is’ customer experience to create an improved customer experience, a prospective ‘to be’ customer journey map.
CJM takes a holistic, customer-centric approach to thinking about change. It looks at the entire customer journey, irrespective of which service or organisation the customer is interacting with at each journey step. By taking such a holistic approach, it can break down silos and allows the user to consider solutions that may be more beneficial for the customer and the business.
When using CJM techniques, you should endeavour to involve the customer as much as you can. You may experience financial or time constraints which will limit your ability to gain first-hand information from lots of customers, and so you can use data systems, complaints information and experience from frontline staff as well. When obtaining information from customers, you can use a variety of different techniques, including interviews, questionnaires, focus groups etc.
Firstly, you should consider the customer segments that you will map out. Segmenting your customers is important as different customer groups have different needs - sometimes these may even conflict with each other. The way you segment your customers will differ depending on the customer journey you are mapping. Consider the specific demographics, location or behaviours of your customers. Do they make a difference to the journey being mapped? If so, they are relevant customer segments. You cannot map out customer journeys for every customer segment, this would be too costly, so you should use data to prioritise customer segments (for example, based on the largest or the most dissatisfied customer group) and map out customer journeys for the ones with top priority.
Secondly, you should think about the start and end points in the customer journey you are mapping. What triggers the journey? What is the end outcome for the customer?
You can then use data (from systems, front-line staff or information collected directly from customers) to populate customer journey map(s) for your chosen customer segment(s). Increasingly, through our use of technology, the process of gathering data and information on customers has become much more accessible and cheaper, Google Analytics for example.
Based on your findings, you should include the key journey steps and note the touchpoints and any customer thoughts, feelings or reactions along the way. Remember, to map out the entire series of customer interactions, not just those that you or your department have with the customer. This will allow you to take a holistic approach and really see where any underlying issues are.
What you should end up with is a comprehensive map of the customer journey, with information on the customer’s ‘pain points’. Depending on the detail you go into, you can also add information on the importance the customer places on each of the journey steps, which can help you prioritise improvements later on. They key thing to remember about CJM is that you should always map out the customer’s actual experience, not the experience you think that they have or that you would like them to have.
Once you have mapped out your customer journey, for each journey step you should try to identify:
Together with each identified owner of each journey step, you can then start thinking about potential improvements you can make to the customer journey. As the customer journey is likely to impact on multiple services, or even multiple organisations, involving the right people is key. You may want to hold workshops with front-line staff or create multiple prototypes to test before settling on a final ‘to be’ CJM.
You might decide to create various ‘to be’ customer journey maps. Perhaps you will create a ‘Gold Standard’ CJM which you will work towards, and an interim CJM which can be implemented in the short term. You may also require different ‘to be’ CJMs for each customer segment based on the differing needs of each customer segment.
We have a customer journey map template on our Change Framework which you can download and use.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and how you choose to make changes based on your findings is largely down to your customer and organisation’s requirements.
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