Did you know that journey maps are more than a tool?
I’ve written previously about 11 myths and mistakes about journey mapping:
5 Myths of Journey Mapping
6 Bonus Myths of Journey Mapping
I should add one more myth, which is really the umbrella myth that likely encompasses all the others:
Nope, it’s not just a tool; it’s not just a workshop: it’s a process. Journey mapping is a creative and collaborative process that allows you to understand – and then to redesign – the customer experience. You must view it as the process that it is, otherwise there’s no point in mapping.
This diagram outlines the six-step journey mapping process I advocate.
|CX Journey Inc.’s 6-Step Journey Mapping Process|
- Plan: This first step includes all the pre-work and prep work that needs to be done in order to get ready for your journey mapping workshop, including identifying the personas for which you’ll map, outlining the scope and the objectives of the map, gathering data and insights to include in the maps, interviewing customers, determining the appropriate workshop participants, and educating the participants on what lies ahead.
- Empathize: This is the actual current state mapping workshop, where you’ll map what customers are doing, thinking, and feeling along the journey you selected in Step 1. You’ll also add data and metrics into the map to help identify moments of truth and bring the map to life with artifacts (e.g., pictures, videos, documents); preliminarily identify moments of truth; and assign owners to each of the customers’ steps.
- Identify: The map alone doesn’t identify moments of truth; for that, you need data – and it’s one of the main reasons you need to insert data into your maps. In this step, you’ll prioritize moments of truth, research issues behind those broken moments, conduct root cause analysis, develop action plans, and assign owners and deadlines to the plan.
- Introspect: Once you’re done with the journey map, it’s time to look inward and create a service blueprint, which outlines the people, tools, and systems that support and facilitate the customer experience, and a process map, which outlines the workflows that do the same, to correspond with the customer journey you’ve mapped. By linking the service blueprint to the customer’s journey, you’ve got that end-to-end picture of the journey plus the surface to core view, giving you the complete picture of what’s working and what’s not.
- Ideate: Next up, you’ll conduct future-state mapping workshops – for both the customer journey and the corresponding service blueprints – during which you’ll ideate solutions to customer and backstage pain points and then design the future state.
- Implement: And finally, it’s time to get to work, time to implement the changes. Prototype and test the new design with customers – and fail fast; fix, test, and fail fast; implement the new experience; share the maps and train employees on the updated processes and the new experience to deliver to customers; close the loop with customers and let them know what’s changed; and always update the maps to reflect the new current experience.
You might have thought that journey mapping was as simple as “map and done.” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. And that’s where a lot of companies stumble with their mapping efforts.
Maps are really just the beginning; as you can see, the current state map was only the second step, with four more steps to follow! And the maps must be done right in order to be the catalyst for change that they are meant to be.
The process is not as simple as it seems. There are rules, considerations, and guidelines to adhere to in order to get it right; after all, you want to ensure that the maps provide meaningful information that will allow you to design a better experience.
Nothing changes if nothing changes. If you don’t do anything with what you learn, then stop doing it. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. But that’s not why we’re here. Instead, you need to listen, learn, understand, and do something.
Remember, you can’t transform something you don’t understand.
Now, go do it! And if you need help, I’m here. Just reach out! And check out my new book, which fills in the blanks on this entire process!
Your customers don’t care about you. They don’t care about your product or service. They care about themselves, their dreams, their goals. Now, they will care much more if you help them reach their goals, and to do that, you must understand their goals, as well as their needs and deepest desires. -Steve Jobs
Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. She recently published her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business); it’s available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.
Thank you for your article, Annette. I'm learning about the customer journey and mapping and it is definitely an interesting process. Would be great to see an actual example or a case study of real life journey mapping and its application to CX. Any suggestions for such reads? Thank you!
Thanks, Natalya. There are a ton of examples of journey maps around the web; unfortunately, most don't share a full case study. My favorite right now is the story of Macy's: https://www.cio.com/article/3268004/macys-ceo-credits-customer-journey-mapping-as-the-foundation-of-their-turnaround.html
Great article, thanks!
I love how it is inline with the Design Thinking discipline-mindset.
Keep your amazing work!