People discover unseen opportunities when they have a personal and empathic connection with the world around them. For individuals, that means developing the ability to walk in other people’s shoes. For companies and other large institutions, that means finding a way to bring the rest of the world inside their walls. – Dev Patnaik, Wired to Care
Too often when we think of a customer, our view is filtered through the lens of our job, profession, department, or specialty. Think of how patients are treated in most hospitals. They are viewed as a disease, an illness, a collection of parts – each with its own specialist. The hospital system is designed for the convenience of the specialists, not for the needs of the patient. Specialists in a hospital are much like the silos in an organization, each viewing a customer from their own departmental lens.
Bringing the outside in using customer experience journey maps
Customer experience journey maps are a tool to help bring the outside world into an organization. They are a tool that can help bring customer stories to life. An entire story. Not just the piece one silo or function within an organization normally may encounter.
And as we map out the customer’s story, our organization’s own story becomes visible. And often what’s revealed is an incomplete fractured story.
Below are a few examples of different types of customer experience journey maps.
[updated September 28, 2011 & May 22 2012 with additional examples]
Social Gamer created by nForm
This map was created by nForm during a project to evolve one of Comcast’s gaming websites
- I like how the map provides a brief summary of the target persona for the journey, the use of visual icons to code the journey, and how actual quotes from gamers are used to illustrate key points.
- Notice the journey isn’t linear and the absence of the traditional marketing funnel. The gamer is in control here. Awareness is ongoing and crosses different media channels. Choosing is quite complex and is dependent on actually being able to play the game.
- Journey includes past experiences, awareness of new games, process of choosing, purchase experience, play experience, and sharing experience. Really hits home at how gamers invest their time – on forums, in stores, with friends – before buying a game. But misses out on the post-sharing experience… what happens when the gamer tires of a game (and what are the factors that contribute to tiring of a game)?
- Map could have benefited from including moments of truth (when the gamer forms an opinion, turns a corner, makes a decision). Was the game fun? What’s their definition of fun?
Customer experience journey mapping as part of transforming public services in the UK
In 2005, the UK government set out on a journey to transform public services. As part of this journey, they focused on customer insight techniques such as customer experience journey mapping. This presentation includes some interesting maps based on government services such as applying for school meals, applying for an entry visa, and jury duty. These examples reveal feelings, call out touchpoints, and capture moments of truth. One of the examples also steps down to reveal underlying processes that support the experience.
Lego’s WOW map for an executive’s experience visiting LEGO
Lego uses tool called a ‘customer experience wheel’ to map an existing experience. “We understand what is and what is not important to the customer in that experience and then we design a ‘wow’ experience to improve it.”
- This particular LEGO map is a service oriented map, visualizing a WOW experience for an executive visiting LEGO.
- Unlike the Gamer example, this map does highlight moments of truth (defined as make or break moments).
- This map also specifically highlights questions to think about and reveals requirements (in the form of information or data to help deliver the WOW experience).
customer experience journey map by desonance
- I love this map by desonance, it packs a lot of information into a very visual, easy to scan format. I was struggling in my own maps in how to capture both activities within a phase along with the highs & lows and also making readable, and desonance has done this well.
- Key points about the customer types (personas) includes circumstances, biggest pain, and expectations (could benefit from adding goals/motivations)
- Experience triggers capture how people enter the journey
- Each experience phase includes a visual flow of the activities and experience within that phase, marking pain points, opportunities, and touchpoints… I need to work on my sketching skills!
- Specific touchpoint and interactions are detailed in a chart below the visual journey
- Emotional journey of the highs and lows is very simple, marking failures and pleasure points (though not moments of truth)… a kind of executive summary of the journey
- Points of pain and opportunties are marked using an icon in the experience phase diagram and then summarized in alongside the map
customer journey template by thoughtworks
- Interesting, simple format, though I can’t quite figure out what the horizontal sections are for. Are they levels of emotion? Assume that the orange highlights for moments of truth.
- Uses empathy map instead of persona which would be useful if doing a workshop and personas aren’t yet available
- Motivations are clearly called out
Starbucks experience map by Little Springs Design
- Useful mapping of the positive and negative emotions and sensory cues, they don’t try for a curving line like many other maps as each touchpoint has multiple sensory cues, some triggering positive and others triggering negative emotions
- Interesting method of mapping the touchpoints against the phases, but not sure how well this would scale
- References the persona, but the map itself doesn’t try and incorporate details about either the persona or call out opportunities and pain points
- Map is focused around a specific purpose (work/drink coffee) vs what I would imagine are other like hang out with friends
customer journey canvas by This is Service Design Thinking
- From their book This is Service Design Thinking, this look like a useful template. I haven’t tried it yet, but ame across this student project on designing the museum experience which includes a completed template, the emotional journey, and a video outlining the envisioned service experience.
Mapping the customer experience
And here’s a presentation I delivered that includes a couple of templates you can use to help structure your thinking as you start visualizing your customer’s journey.
I don’t think there’s one right way to map the customer experience. And you don’t have to be an artist. I’ll use Excel to capture details and stories then create a simplified view using PowerPoint.
All you need is empathy and the ability to feel the journey from the customer’s perspective.