Posts filed under Customer Journey Mapping

Customer Journey Map 101: Part 2 - THE ANATOMY OF A HIGH PERFORMING CJM


This is the second article in our series on Customer Journey Maps. In Part 1, we looked at why every business needs Customer Journey Maps and how they can be used to help businesses see through the eyes of their customers, develop empathy and take an outside-in approach.

Now we look at how to build a Customer Journey Map that's designed to inform the business on how to address customer needs.

Customer Journey Maps (CJM) are a powerful tool for understanding customers. They use design and graphics to tell the entire story of your customer's interactions with your organisation. They visualise the actions, thoughts and feelings of a customer through this journey. They invoke viewer empathy and help the organisation understand what it's like to walk in the customer's shoes.

The customer's story, told from their perspective, is a powerful tool for engaging business departments within an organisation who may be disengaged or disinterested in change programs. They can be used to create alignment and encourage collaboration across the whole organisation as it works towards a plan of attack for customer experience improvement.

The goals of a Customer Journey Map

When creating a Customer Journey Map, it's important to articulate the goals it needs to fulfil.

Many organisations have accumulated a great deal of research, particularly statistics based, (quantitative) research, which identifies customer problems. The task our clients struggle with is prioritising these problems. Which part of the journey should the organisation concentrate on solving first?

Seven ways Customer Journey Mapping helps address these questions:

•       Makes sense of quantitative data (statistics, math based research) –Quantitative data can only tell part of the story. It might tell you your customers are unhappy with their call centre experience. Digging deeper with qualitative research (surveys, interviews, mystery shoppers) will help you find out why.

•       Identifies main pain points and moments of truth ­– The addition of qualitative research will help understand the emotional drivers of customers unhappiness and pinpoint the key moments on the journey which cause the most pain.

•       Identifies areas of greatest opportunity for change and improvement The areas of most pain for customers and their moments of truth are clearly the areas in need of most improvement and where the greatest opportunities lie.

•       Gives clarity on why customers behave the way they do – Customer behaviour is not always rational. Sometimes it's motivated by deep emotional drivers that even the customers themselves aren't fully aware of. A Customer Journey Map can help identify these.

•       Is well designed for maximum impact and understanding – A Customer Journey Map is a map, and maps can be beautiful. Use this opportunity to illustrate with maximum impact exactly what your customers experience when they deal with you.

•       Prioritises opportunity areas – the Customer Journey Map matches key pain points/moments of truth along the customer journey with opportunities for improvement. Priorities are clarified and the plan for change becomes far more obvious. This prioritisation helps organisations focus on activities that will have the most positive impact on customers and result in the greatest return on investment.

•       Is flexible – a Customer Journey Map can focus on the entire customer journey, or do a deep dive into just one area. It can be designed to highlight a particular problem or to illustrate more general issues. It could describe an existing journey or a future, ideal journey. Your organisational needs will dictate its design.

A well-designed Customer Journey Map provides guidance for the creation of a roadmap for change. This roadmap is the key to helping organisations reap the financial benefits of providing customers with amazing customer experiences. This could be seen as increased customer satisfaction via positive Net Promotor Score (NPS) results, increases in sales, reduced churn, reduced costs of servicing customers and happier, more fulfilled staff. 

The Elements of a Customer Journey Map

Customer Journey Maps have three main elements: a perspective, an experience and findings and insights.

1.     The Perspective - The perspective of the journey map is the person for whom this journey is designed for (persona/actor) and the goal they're trying to achieve. For example, it could be a bank customer being on-boarded for their new credit card.

In our experience, we've found taking the journey of a typical customer and mapping this process allows coverage of 70-80% of issues across a number of personas.

Alternatively, a Customer Journey Map can be broken down by persona. This will help you understand the similarities and differences across different persona journeys. You can use these findings to prioritise high value personas.

2.    The Experience - The specific experience being mapped. This is the core of the journey and catalogues every customer action, thought and emotional experience. To make it feel real and increase customer empathy, it should contain verbatims (direct comments from customers), videos and images gathered from the research.

3.     The Findings and Insights - This is the part of the Customer Journey Map used to transform insight into profits. What key learnings and insights has your research uncovered? Based on these, what are the opportunities to move ahead with? What significant pain points were discovered? Which insights can now be put to practical use so internal teams can begin to meet customer needs?

The requirements for a Customer Journey Map

1.     Qualitative research – adding deep qualitative research like surveys, interviews and observations to your existing research will fill in the gaps existing (quantitative) research won't cover. It may also validate areas where the results of quantitative research are not clear. Different types of research work together to increase the quality of insights

2.     Storytelling – the power of customer stories gathered in building the Customer Journey Map cut through organisational noise and clarify which actions are needed. When the voice of the customer is expressed loudly (and actively listened to), the path to change becomes far clearer.

3.    Collaboration ­– Collaborating with stakeholders within the organisation will help develop a direction for customer experience. It will also establish engagement across the business for the key task: improving the customer journey.

4.    The right design – Customer Journey Maps should be designed to communicate with their intended audience. They should be simple and functional, not overly complex or full of tricks.

5.     Prioritisation – Understanding the key moments of truth and areas of opportunity that appear along the journey makes it simpler to prioritise exactly what customers value. Attention and resources can be focused in the direction of priorities, maximising return on investment.

6.    Assessment of responsibility – Use the Customer Journey Map to assign ownership of customer experience to everyone within your organisation. Use it to illustrate, illuminate and educate your people so they can work towards creating an amazing experience for your customers.

Customer Journey Maps are a wonderful tool and an enlightening project for any business interested in making their customer experience less OK or good and more delightful and amazing.

To learn more about how this powerful tool and how it can help, click the button below! 

Next week we will cover the problems that Customer Journey Mapping help solve

In the mean time if you have any questions about Customer Journey Mapping or would like to find out how you can get one for your organisation, email to receive more detailed information and pricing.

Posted on October 31, 2017 and filed under Customer Journey Mapping.


In this three part series, we deep dive into Customer Journey Maps (CJM) - a super useful tool for understanding your customers' biggest problems and how to solve them.
In today's article, you will learn the basics of what a CJM is and how you can use it.

The key to creating business value is to develop a compelling customer value proposition that delivers real value. Truly understanding the needs and preferences of customers, as well as their behaviour along the customer journey, is essential to you achieving a successful business strategy.

The term ‘customer experience’ is commonly associated with how customers interact with a business and its services on a transactional level, at each interaction or touch point. In response, many organisations structure each department’s responsibilities towards specific interactions with customers, and accountability falls to them for any issues that arise. It seems a sensible approach, and a growing number of companies are working hard to keep customers happy in this way, with each department striving to provide a quality product alongside excellent sales and post sale customer service. 

The challenge with this method is that it’s disjointed. The customer’s experience, when divided up across departments and individual touch-points, misses the bigger, overall picture: the customer’s end-to-end journey and experience as a whole with your organisation.

By taking their customer’s viewpoint and walking with them through their journey, businesses can begin to understand and empathise with what their customers truly value and learn how to best unlock this value (and improve their service) in future. 

What is a Customer Journey Map?

Have you ever tried to list the range of services your organisation offers? Do you ever struggle to articulate exactly what it offers? Does your organisation talk a lot about ‘putting customers first’, or ‘keeping them at the heart of your service delivery’ but you’re not sure what this means? 

What do these ‘throw away’ phrases mean to a real customer interacting with your organisation across multiple touch-points?

Say hello to your new pal, Customer Journey Maps! Or CJM's for short…

Optus CJM.jpg

Simply put, a Customer Journey Map tells the story of your customer’s experience from their first interaction with the organisation through to the end. 

Kerry Bodine, author of 'Outside-In' says that “Journey maps are diagrams that visualise the actions, thoughts, and feelings of a person or group over time.”
The secret ingredient to creating outstanding experiences for your customers is to understand their perspective. Only then do you have the information to design an improved experience they will truly value.

A customer journey map helps identify areas of friction, creates empathy, and really does keep customers at the heart of every interaction during their journey with you. 

What makes a customer journey map highly valuable is its process. Creating one requires you to perform detailed customer research that leads to compelling customer-centric stories that can be visualised along the journey.

What is the value of a Customer Journey Map and why should I have one?

These days the voice of the customer should be the loudest one in any business. The impression you make on each and every customer is of enormous importance.

The true value of customer journey maps lies in their ability to invoke empathy. They bring real human experiences to light, those that organisations often overlook, whether the experiences of internal staff or external customers. They are also a great tool to provide a clear view of the organisation’s overarching customer strategy.   

Customer journeys can be long, stretching across multiple channels and touch-points, and span over days, weeks, even months. Interactions could include your customer on-boarding process, problem resolution in the contact centre, how customer enquiries are handled and how quickly calls are answered. 

In our nine years of experience, we have found the main pitfall for organisations is their failure to understand the full context of their customers’ experience. The flow-on effects of a disjointed end-to-end experience can be dramatic: the reality could be hundreds of calls to the contact centre, increased customer churn, loss of sales, falling staff morale and employee Net Promotor Score (NPS). 

At the other end of the spectrum, we have found companies who have nailed the art of customer understanding and prioritising the things they value. These organisations reap the benefits of increased customer satisfaction via positive NPS, increasing sales, reductions in attrition and reduced service costs. They also have happier staff, who feel they are having an impact, changing customer’s lives for the better instead of just being a cog in the wheel. 

CJM's have the power to:

Shift company perspective - CJM’s help you understand your organisation’s internal happenings and its external impact. You’ll refocus from inside-out to outside-in. 

Break down silos - CJMs make collaboration and communication within internal business units inevitable. This leads to better alignment of customer goals and helps create a united plan of attack to work towards them. 

Assign ownership - A lack of accountability along touch-points creates inconsistencies in service, ultimately diminishing the customer’s experience. CJMs assign tasks to the right staff and keep everyone in the organisation working towards the same target (happier customers!). 

Target customers - A CJM is essentially a heat-map of where customers are receiving good quality attention. Once you understand how and why, you can use this information to discover newer ways to appeal to a wider audience or customer base.

Help understand the numbers - CJMs help to uncover the why (qualitative) behind the what (quantitative data) for specific metrics. For example: What has caused the drop in mobile app downloads? 

Next week we will cover the anatomy of a Customer Journey Map and it's importance.

In the mean time if you have any questions about Customer Journey Mapping or would like to find out how you can get one for your organisation, email to receive more detailed information and pricing.

Posted on October 31, 2017 and filed under Customer Journey Mapping.

Start with Why to get a better understanding of your customers.

Want to know why customers do what they do and why they act the way they do? This presentation makes the case for understanding what the the problem is and more importantly knowing "Why it is a problem". This is the key to designing and delivering improved service outcomes for customers.

I pulled out this presentation from a couple of years ago after a meeting with a few clients over the past week or so. The question arose after they shared with us all the research that their organisation has completed over the past two years. There was a lot of market research, a lot of quantitative data and analytics. All good stuff in itself - and use really useful for the projects we are working on.

What none of the research answered was why their customers were actually leaving them after only a few years. What we did know was that a large reason was "Service" and "Price". If I had a dollar for every one of of clients told us that was the problem. Its not wrong, its just 10% of the answer.

Knowing it is "Service" for example is a great place to start, but what component of the Service, too much, too little, in the wrong places, at the wrong time, not at all? 

The attached presentation lays out the case for getting to why and provides some research approaches to help you get there. Our experience over 10 years of asking "Why" is that it helps you hardwire into the real reason that your customers may be less than happy and why they may walk out the door before its too late.

The customer lifetime value of departing customers can run to thousands and thousands of dollars, but that is for another blogpost.

If you want to better understand the real reasons why customers do anything, just ask "why" a few times and you will get much closer to the truth and provide you a path to delivering an improved Product and Service outcome.

6 Reasons Why Customer Journey Maps Can Fail (and How to Fix Them)


Is your team using Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) correctly? 

A failed CJM exercise is a wasted opportunity, especially considering the substantial investment of time and money. With CJMs fast becoming the go-tool for companies looking to improve their customers' experience, it is essential that CX teams know how to drive the value expected and desired.

There are 6 keys areas where companies tend to fall down during the CJM process. These include:

  • having too narrow a scope;
  • basing your CJM on imagination and assumption (rather than customer validation);
  • failing to connect your CJM to segments or personas;
  • limiting the team working on the project to one department such as Marketing;
  • completing the CJM with an inside-out view;
  • and starting the initiative with the wrong goal in mind.

Read more about how Proto Partners can guide your company to successfully produce CJMs for your customers here. Or to find out more about the 6 reasons why CJMs fail, read the article here.

5 Ways To Achieve Business Transformation Through Customer Journey Mapping


Customer Journey Maps (CJMs) are quickly emerging as the go-to tool for leading businesses because of the instantly-usable benefits they provide.

Access to fresh customer insights enable you to prioritise meaningful investments that will drive growth. CJMs help you to deeply understand your customer’s experience from the their point of view whilst leveraging that data to increase business acumen. 

In this article from TandemSeven, Steve Offsey shares five situations in which Customer Journey Maps can serve as a powerful tool for transforming your organisation. 

"Journey maps are... an ideal tool for transforming your company into a truly customer-centric organisation."

Check out how Proto Partners can map your customers' journey here. Or if you want to find out more about the value of CJMs, read the article here.