Choose the right granularity for your Customer Journey Map

The ultimate guide to Customer Journey Mapping – Part 3 of 5:

Customer Journey Maps are essential for any business that’s serious about developing rewarding customer experiences. But they require careful planning or you risk wasting time and money. Our series of five step-by-step articles will guide you through the opportunities and obstacles.

By Amanda Salter

The level of detail in your Customer Journey Map depends on your business requirements. The aim is provide enough information to meet your objectives (e.g. secure buy-in or implement changes) without compromising on value. Here’s what you need to establish:

1. Who’s your target audience?

A Customer Journey Map can be constructed for several audiences and each requires a different level of granularity.

Senior stakeholders
At board level, the aim is usually to create buy-in so Customer Journey Maps need to clearly articulate the benefits of what you’re trying to achieve. Provide enough information to enable informed-decisions without drilling down into the nitty gritty, which can muddy the waters at this stage. High-level mapping that visualises and identifies critical opportunity areas are often your best bet. Don’t get bogged down in detail unless it’s requested.

Mid-level stakeholders
These are the people that will manage your new customer experience so they require a deeper level of granularity than the senior stakeholders. Provide service deliverables, practical actionable points and key performance indicators.

General taskforce
These are the ‘doers’ – the people who will be actually executing the strategy. They require the most detailed Customer Journey Maps. Focus on providing a framework of guiding principles, which help employees communicate the vision.

2. What’s your base unit of granularity?

You should agree a base unit of granularity for your Customer Journey Map from the outset. The base unit needs to be comprehensive enough so you don’t just skim the surface, but not too complex that it can’t be easily digested or understood. At Newt we use ‘a customer need’ as a useful unit of granularity. We define ‘a customer need’ as a channel and device agnostic requirement that is stated from the customer’s perspective and doesn’t specify a solution. For example, ‘I expect to be kept up-to-date with the progress of my order’.

3. How can you align business units and departments?

The beauty of defining customer needs as your base unit of granularity is that you can use this measure to drive engagement across your business silos. Customer needs should be universally understood at every level of the business and be specific to a particular phase in the customer journey. This enables easy and productive sharing across departments.

Once shared, you can use your customer needs as:

  • High-level departmental goals that drive programmes of transformation and measure customer satisfaction
  • Over-arching requirements to feed into design pilots or to proposition design
  • Building blocks to innovate new ideas

Crucially, your customer needs will work to unify your business and keep it on the multichannel straight and narrow.

Other articles in the series:

Part 1 – Set foundations for a productive customer journey map
Part 2 – Define the scope of your customer journey map
Part 4 – Shape your customer journey map for today and tomorrow
Part 5 – What to do after your customer journey map

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