How to Use Journey Mapping to Improve Your Customer Experience

Journey mapping is a disciplined approach to understanding how your customers experience your organization so that organizations can make necessary adjustments to improve the overall experience. No journey map is the same from organization to organization or even from service to service within a single organization. An organization may have a “master” customer experience map with many subset experience maps for an online purchasing experience, or the service journey or the post-service journey.

Capto specifically works with the telecom, media and entertainment (TME) and healthcare industries on mapping customer journeys. While the industries vary greatly, the same process can be used to guide our client organizations through a journey mapping process.

Telecom, Media and Entertainment Journey Mapping
The TME industry is currently amid massive disruption to how people are consuming their media services. Content is no longer the domain of network or cable television. Now everyone from YouTube to Amazon to Netflix is generating content with wild success. This turns the customer journey on its head in many cases and telecoms are using journey maps to understand how the shift is happening currently and anticipating where it heads in the future.

Healthcare Journey Mapping
It is increasingly important for both payers and providers to understand their customers’ journey before they ever have a health issue. Consumers are at the beginning stages of shopping for both health plans and subsequent healthcare services the way they comparison shop for books, mechanics, and travel. How best for health care providers and payers to proceed in this new environment?  The first step is to understand the customer at this very early stage of interaction – who are they, what do they care about, what friction points are they encountering, what do they want, and how do they want to receive care and information?

Overlay this analysis with your company’s current processes, procedures, and methods, or often lack of processes.  The most efficient and comprehensive way to determine this information and gap analysis is through customer journey mapping.

While every map will look different, the steps to assess and improve a customer experience are largely the same.

  1. Candidate Journey Selection
    Define the business goal the journey map will support. Journey maps can quickly get cumbersome and overly complex. Having a laser focus on the experience being defined as it supports the business goal is essential.

    Are you trying to generally understand your customer experience stages and identify all touchpoints?
    Are you optimizing the customer experience for a high-value customer specifically?
  2. Develop Hypothesis Map
    Using your internal teams, identify what you think the customer journey map looks like. Identify points of friction, get input from the cross-functional team. An effective tool in journey mapping is customer focus groups, be patient and hold off showing your hypothesis journey map to customers at this step. There’s still a bit more internal work to be done.
  3. Research
    With the hypothesis journey map in hand, start to validate and update the map using data and analytics tools and observation of customers going through the journey.
  4. Journey Map Development
    Building on the hypothesis map and subsequent data from research, build the initial journey map in the format using the design tools to layout each step.
  5. Journey Workshops
    Now it’s time to get the map in front of customers. Typically, steps four and five get iterated a couple of times. Feedback and new data or pain points are uncovered in focus groups are given consideration by the journey map cross-functional team to remap accordingly.
  6. Implementation Plan
    With the journey map identified and vetted it is time to operationalize the customer experience. It’s important that implementation steps are mapped and sequenced properly and appropriate change management communications are wrapped around the new journey map to facilitate its implementation.

The most important aspect of customer experience journey mapping is creating a map that is both informative to the internal implementation team—and actionable. This comes from creating a common understanding of the data that goes into creating the journey map and creating a common customer experience language and mindset within your organization.