Doing customer journey mapping can be intimidating but it need not be.
With a step by step guide, a downloadable process flow template, and a guided case study, here you will come away with a concrete sense of how to put together a customer journey map.
Meeting facilitation skills helpful. No design skills required!
This article covers the following:
- Prerequisites For Customer Journey Mapping Workshop
- Toolkit For Customer Journey Mapping
- Example of A Customer Journey Map
- Step by Step Guide To Running A Customer Journey Workshop
- Downloadable Template To Run A Customer Journey Workshop
The list of what you need before starting is is just a few words long. However don’t be deceived, significant effort goes into formulating / gathering each before you start.
- Customer Persona; only one please. Different personas have, by definition, different needs.
- Customer Journey; before the workshop choose a critical journey, and the end point to that journey (such as placing a purchase order). Most people choose a ‘current state’ journey to map firstly.
- Customer Market Research Data: typically this means customer voices to bring the journey to life and keep it real, and quantitative data to ensure accuracy.
- An Interdepartmental / Multidisciplinary Team; the specific customer persona development and the journey chosen will indicate who you need to include in the workshop.
- A3 white sheet (easy to transport if you don’t get finished in one session), or a whiteboard and camera.
- Photos to present your customer persona.
- 2 sets of sticky notes (such as blue 3Ms super sticky recycled Post-It notes). The 1st set is for key customer needs / buying phases 5″ x 8″ or larger. (Blue).
- The 2nd set is for touchpoints, smaller 76mm x 76 mm (or 3″ x 3″) or larger and in a different colour. (Grey)
- A work space / room for at least a day.
- Powerpoint or similar to write up a digital document later.
To provide a concrete example showing the process flow and outcome, as an example I’m using the ProductCamp Customer Journey Mapping Workshop.
Considering the prerequisites for customer journey mapping the context was:
- Sample Customer Persona: ProductCamp Dublin Participant
- Sample Customer Journey: the current state customer journey from awareness to registration for ProductCamp Dublin.
- Sample Customer Data: the workshop participants are the customer persona so their ‘voices’ were used as qualitative Voice of the Customer data.
- Sample Multidisciplinary Team: professionals in product management, UX, marketing communications, a representative from engineering, and related fields were present.
So we have our prerequisites sorted, we have our tool kit and a practical examples to work with. Now onto the step by step workshop process flow is available for download. Let’s look at each step in turn. For each step an overview as well as the actual slide used is shown.
The core idea / output of each step is highlighted with this arrow symbol: =>
=>DIRECTIONS GIVEN TO THE WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS.
Process Steps – How To Run A Customer Journey Mapping Workshop
Step 1 – Depict Your Chosen Customer Persona
The first step in building your customer journey map is to ensure everyone understand the customer persona. As noted in the prerequisites it’s a whole process in its own right to develop customer personas.
A CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP IS FOR A SINGLE CUSTOMER PERSONA
Example Case Study: in the case of ProductCamp the needs of session leaders, committee members, sponsors and (regular) participants differ greatly.
- Session leaders want to know: what presentation equipment is available and the length of the session.
- All participants need to know: the date, time and place of the event.
As the workshop progressed, one team found a difficulty. Individually they represented different customer persona. As a result they had difficulty with the subsequent steps: a great example of why customer journeys are mapped on a per persona basis.
=>ADD YOUR CUSTOMER PERSONA IN THE TOP RIGHT_HAND CORNER.
Step 2 – Articulate The Customer Journey To Map
CUSTOMERS JOURNEY TO
– SOLVE A PROBLEM
– FULFILL A NEED
– GET A JOB DONE
The second step in building your customer journey map is to ensure clarity around the journey being mapped, particularly the end point. You will have chosen the journey (carefully) before the work shop.
This is an opportunity to ensure you focus on the customers’ viewpoint (not on internal processes and hand-off between departments). These two steps should go quickly as you’ve prepared them in advance.
Example Case Study: Product Camp is a conference for product management; choosing to attend depends on what one expects to gain. So in the Product Camp workshop, participants were asked to come up with a customer journey by answering this question:
=> WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO GET FROM PRODUCTCAMP TODAY?
To articulate the journey the user story format was used. (This is often used in Agile software development environments):
“I <the customer persona> WANT TO <function….> SO THAT <…..benefit>..”
Other Sample Customer Journey Statements
- I want to understand what 3D scanning can do so that we can speed the product development process. (a B2B technology evaluation journey)
- I want to get my account set up so that I can start using the new SEO marketing tool. (a B2B service on-boarding journey)
- I want to see if this <component technology> fulfills our internal process needs, such as integration with existing components, and our end-customers’ needs, such as speed of performance. (a B2B technology evaluation journey)
- I want to see if there is a solution to simplify regulatory compliance and reporting. (a B2B product evaluation journey)
=> ADD THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY STATEMENT ALONG THE TOP ADJACENT TO THE CUSTOMER PERSONA
Step 3 – Establish The Phases For Your Customer Journey
CUSTOMERS JOURNEY THROUGH PHASES, A DECISION PROCESS
Marketers and business leaders will be familiar with various ‘funnels’ or buying phases that customer journey through as they seek to fulfill a need. As prospects move through the journey; questions are refined, new questions emerge and additional information (for example case studies) sought.
Pre-sales customer journeys often use phases that includes; awareness, evaluation, and conversion. Here questions may relate to domain knowledge, product features, pricing, integration requirements, and establishing trust in your brand.
The relevant information needs and phases depend on the specific journey. Whatever those may be, for your prospect to reach the journey’s end, their questions/needs must be answered. As noted typically much of this information comes from previous research.
Example Case Study: In the ProductCamp workshop, participants were asked to consider what they needed before choosing to register for ProductCamp:
=> WHAT QUESTIONS DID YOU ASK YOURSELF BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR PRODUCTCAMP?
=> CHOOSE CORE QUESTIONS TO ADD TO YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP
=> SEQUENCE THE QUESTIONS AS YOU EXPERIENCED THEM
(BLUE ARROW POST-IT NOTES – SET 1)
Working together participants considered the individual ideas, and formulated core questions/phases. These were added across the map with ‘awareness’ on the left through to ‘registration’.
Step 4 – Look For Journey Transition Points
Failure to answer prospects questions means they can’t complete the ‘mission’; they exit. These critical transition points, also called ‘moments of truth’, are like a stepping stone where failure means your customer has splashed into the river and lost their path. You’ve lost a potential customer.
For example, website analytics show on what page site visitors stop engaging with your website, and also list ‘exit pages’. Or perhaps you have folks who set up a trial account but then never use it.
CUSTOMERS JOURNEYS HAVE KEY TRANSITION POINTS
Transition points, or moments of truth, ’emerge’ as you work through and learn walk in your customers shoes; they typically only become apparent during the next step, touchpoints. Here they are depicted as red diamonds.
Step 5 – Identify Customer Journey Touchpoints
The core of customer journey mapping acknowledges that prospects ‘touch’ your organization multiple times.
Touchpoints are; what people do (actions) and think. Each touchpoint has a context, time, place (channel or device) and often an emotion.
CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS ARE MADE UP OF TOUCHPOINTS
What Actions Do Customers Take On This Journey?
CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS INCLUDE CUSTOMER ACTIONS
Customers ‘do’ things as they seeks to answer question. Customer touchpoints call on your to include activities that customers take. Some touch your organization directly, such as signing up for a free trial. Other such as, asking a colleague’s opinion, do not.
Example In the ProductCamp workshop participants were asked:
=> HOW DID YOU ANSWER THE QUESTIONS <as identified previously> BEFORE YOU SIGNED UP FOR PRODUCTCAMP?
=> BEFORE TODAY, WHAT ACTIONS LED YOU HERE?
Voices and character bring fiction to life. Inspirational customer journeys convey real customer voices.
INSPIRATIONAL CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS INCLUDE CUSTOMER VOICES
In our example the Product Camp participants were encouraged to think about the following:
=> HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME AWARE OF PRODUCTCAMP DUBLIN?
=> HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PRODUCTCAMP THIS YEAR?
Step 6 – Make Sense Of Customer Touchpoints
To make sense of touchpoints, we’ll consider each of these in turn: time, emotion and place. (We’ll come to context in shortly.)
Using symbols, stick drawings, initials or stickers helps to quickly touchpoints. It’s helpful before the workshop to choose simple symbols that are easily understood, immediately recognizable and unambiguous.
=> THERE WILL BE MULTIPLE TOUCHPOINT SYMBOLS ON EACH POST-IT
JOURNEY MAPS TAKE PLACE OVERTIME
Your preparatory research will be very helpful here. For examples queries to a customer relationship management system may uncover typical timelines or web analytics may provide data on the lead time between initial website visit and sign up. You might decide to use a countdown work backwards from an end date. For example T-10 days or T-6 weeks.
Sample questions might be:
- What is the typical (or range) lead time between downloading a white paper and speaking to a sales person?
- For how long do people use a trial version before signing up with a credit card?
If you are working just with team experience, expect this aspect to be challenging or even guess work. That’s okay – you will have identified a knowledge gap to research later.
=> FOR EACH TOUCHPOINT, ASSIGN AN APPROX DATE
Example: Assigning the date proved difficult for ProductCamp workshop participants who had only a broad sense of when the actions/thoughts took place.
INSPIRING CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS INCLUDE CUSTOMER EMOTIONS
A simple way to add emotion is using emoticons. Those who have done voice of the customer research bring their sense of the customers’ emotions. Often team has strong opinions about where they see customers experiencing pain-points.
Departmental Net Promoter Score or SLAs can be used for a more quantitative approach.
In our example Product Camp participant were asked to choose a emoticon that represented their personal experience
=> FOR EACH TOUCHPOINT/POST-IT NOTE ADD AN EMOTION 🙂 😐 🙁
CUSTOMERS JOURNEYS ARE CROSS-CHANNEL
Typically there are multiple interfaces between your organization and the customer. Some touchpoints may occur without you such as hearing abour your organization from peers (WOM; word of mouth) or when prospects read articles by analysts or journalists.
Some of these will be a light tickle: reading a tweet. Others will be more weighty; calling technical support with a specific problem.
Sometime are two communication; such as talking to a sales person or account manager. Others are more user driven and on-demand; download a white paper from a paid search ad.
While choosing symbols for time and emoticons (for emotion) is straight forward, you may need a little work after the workshop to tidy up ‘place’ symbols.
=> FOR EACH TOUCHPOINTS: ASSIGN A CHANNEL / MEDIA
Step 7 – Map Customer TouchPoints To The Journey
This is where the rubber meets the road. And determines the ultimate ‘shape’ of your customer journey. Is it a linear journey; straight steps through a series of questions/information needs? Are there diversions and loop backs? Where are the journey transition points?
Using sticky notes means it is easy to move the touchpoints around until they make sense.
=> TEAM WORK: REMOVE ANY DUPLICATE ‘VOICES’
=> STARTING WITH AWARENESS ADD THE TOUCHPOINTS TO YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP
=> POSITIVE EXPERIENCES ON TOP / NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES ON THE BOTTOM
Step 8 – Telling The Correct Customer Journey
Telling a true story representative, not of outliers, but of a composite view of customers’ experiences.
Qualitative data helps you tell the story right; the one your organization learns from. Using team knowledge brings out what you know: and that is likely a lot! Doing ‘voice of the customer’ ensures you keep a customer-centric viewpoint.
Quantitative data helps tell the story right; accurately portraying experiences of a large number of customers.
CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPS INCLUDES QUANTITATIVE DATA.
Step 9 – Design Your Customer Journey Map
A core reasons to undertake customer journey mapping is for organizational alignment. Make sure the output is easily understood and readily shareable. The final map should be immediately recognizable for your workshop participants.
- Choose a handwritten font to convey actual customer voices.
- Choose a simple colour code or reorganizes the map based on what is meaningful for your customer journey; different departments/team, marketing channels, internal versus external, partner / influencer versus internal.
- Include a date and the sources of data to enable easy future revisions.
- Choose font 8 point or larger; 7 point is unreadable on letter/A4 paper.
- Set the default printing to “2×2 Poster” printing to print a single slide on 4 sheets of paper (Uncheck ‘scale to fit paper’).
Further Customer Journey Mapping Resources
- Touchpoint Workshop – A Fast Start To Customer Journey Mapping
- Inspirational Customer Journey Maps
- B2B Customer Persona Template
- Key Elements Of Customer Journey Maps
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