UX Live 2017: How to create brilliant Customer Journey Maps

Discover the best way to innovate your business with this round-up of our Live 2017 workshop on how to tackle Customer Journey Maps.

By Zoe Lester

Thanks to everyone who attended our workshop at the UX Live conference. We had a great time. If you weren’t able to come along, here’s what you missed.
The workshop took attendees through the process of creating a Customer Journey Map and highlighted just how crucial this tool is in helping businesses build better experiences. Before we got down to the nitty gritty of developing the map, we went over some of the basics.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

A Customer Journey Map is a visual representation of the experiences customers have with a business, across all touchpoints. It is used as a starting point for innovation and change.

How does a Customer Journey Map work?

A Customer Journey Map draws out customer and business needs and plots them onto a structured chart. This lets you design alternatives based on the data gathered. The maps focus on physical and emotional elements, helping you see the bigger picture and pinpoint areas for improvement. They also look behind the scenes at the people whose roles and involvement may support the delivery of a new experience.

Customer Journey Maps give businesses:

  1. A clear, engaging overview of new and existing experiences
  2. Easy to understand top level information
  3. The ability to compare experiences
  4. The ability to visualise something that doesn’t exist in the world
  5. An agile approach as sketches can be easily modified and discarded, as needed

The workshop

We split our attendees into teams and guided them through the process of creating a Customer Journey Map based on our tried and proven approach. This involved splitting the mapping process into the following five sections:

The brief

We had two briefs:

  1. ‘Redesign’ a weekend away for two to four people
  2. ‘Redesign’ your work commute

One person in each team, who had recently experienced one of the briefs, was then selected to be interviewed about their end-to-end experience.

The workshop in progress

1. Organising insights into steps
After gathering lots of research, insights, painpoints and delighters, the teams organised their findings around touchpoints. This segmented the experience into steps for the Customer Journey Map.

2. Insights
If there was a bigger collection of post its around a certain STEP, it suggested more needs in this area. So teams were able to delve deeper into these problem areas and discover opportunities for innovation and and improvement.

3. The Narrative
By identifying problem areas, the teams were able to brainstorm ways to make the experience better. This helped form a top level narrative of the experience. For example, ways to make the commute more efficient or creating a multi-functional site that covered all aspects of your weekend away – tickets, activities, restaurants, accommodation etc.

The ideas were directly related to the insights found in the STEP stage. Because they came from real user needs, people were able to design something user-centred and relevant.

However, in a real business situation, these hypotheses would still need to be tested to guarantee effective design.

4. Sketching
Next, we asked the teams to sketch out the different scenes in their narrative’s journey. The sketches should demonstrate the top level information, so that someone new coming into the team could quickly understand what the narrative was about. This meant having to visualise something that doesn’t yet exist in the world.

To do this, we asked the teams to go through the following process:

  1. Choose relevant images and use these for inspiration or copy them directly

Often it’s difficult to recall the finer details of a particular scene. For example, if someone is searching the internet on a computer, what does their arm look like? How are they holding the mouse? These details are not important to the idea but will improve the quality of your sketch.

Mood board of photo inspiration used at the workshop

  1. Sketch the scenes quickly, then add detail

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to make sketches look perfect. But we find the best way to get an idea out of your head and onto paper, is to simply draw it, without worrying about what it looks like. We asked teams to sketch an overview of the scenes as quickly as possible. They could then add variety, different angles or different scenes to the sketch to make it more engaging, if necessary.

An overview of sketches

  1. Where are the interactions taking place?

We wanted the teams to add in small details which would give a sense of the location of where the scene was taking place. For example, is the person in the sketch checking e-mails at work or at home?

Sketch showing two different environments in the background

5. Back of house
Next, we asked teams to think about how they would implement their sketched out narrative within the organisation. How would it fit in with the back of house operations? What is happening in the periphery that could affect the narrative? What systems, technology and teams does the organisation already have in place?

Things to consider

A Customer Journey Map is a starting point, a way to explore what could be and make a plan to get there. It is not, and should never be, perceived as a deliverable.

It is important to remember that organisational change can take years and what’s relevant today may not be five years down the line. Adopting an agile approach that allows for testing and feedback is integral to taking something like this on.

You may need to go through many different experiences which will require lots of maps. Develop personas in order to get a sense of which customers/segments need the most support or which customers would benefit from these changes. This lets you prioritise the work and make sure it has real business benefit.

Remember to engage everyone. There may be people with a lot of influence who, if not in the room, may stifle the whole initiative. With this in mind no one is insignificant. Call centre operators and organisational managers could be in the same room working on this map.

But if you’re willing to take it on and commit to this process then it is a great tool to innovate and develop new services that truly serve your customers.

Looking to innovate your business? We can help you create experiences that make sense to you and your customers. Contact us at info@newtidea.com

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