The mystery of the missing customer

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We’ve been noticing a disturbing trend with customer journey maps lately. The customers are disappearing from them.

Increasingly, we’re seeing customer journey maps, especially from the large consulting firms, which fail to reveal customers’ real needs. They don’t appear to map customers’ actual experience, or what they want that experience to be.  

What they do is a great job of is recommending a large digital transformation project. What is lacking is any deep research and understanding of what the customers themselves want. 

This deep customer understanding should be what is used to inform those digital transformation projects, not to be used as an incidental means to an end.

Why is this happening? Here’s our analysis

Firstly, Customer Journey Mapping is becoming more popular. This is a good thing. But as with most trends, the more popular something becomes, the more variations occur, often resulting in a product far removed from its original design or intention. The Customer Journey Maps we are seeing sprouting up all over the place are often mutant versions of what a Customer Journey Map started out as. They lack rigorous research, deep insights and they are most often lacking any real customer input.

Secondly, Customer Journey Maps are sometimes being created with a hidden agenda. Mapping the ideal experience of a customer should be about making the customer’s life better, with the confidence that when we do that, the business will drive stronger growth. It’s not about developing a shiny iPad app (how many apps do we all need?) or the implementation of a new digital stack. We know that digital solutions drive efficiency, reduce cost and sometimes these can be powerful solutions to delivering what customers want. But when a digital transformation is not an option that’s available to organisations, you can still achieve significant improvements in CX by leveraging changes to people, policy and processes and setting clearer customer expectations, at a fraction of the cost and time. The ideal Customer Journey Map is about designing ways to touch and deliver to customers what they want, where they want it, regardless of how it might be delivered.

Thirdly, the small but important factors that make a big difference to customers aren’t as sexy as large-scale digital transformations or new apps and websites, so they’re often left off the map. The small things are, in our experience, the most important to customers. Most organisations undervalue the importance of delivering the “brilliant basics” for their customers. If you missed our last article you can read more about that here.

Here are some real examples we’ve come across

The real value of a customer journey map is when they are created and dictated by deep and real customer understanding.

We have been to clients where they have had previous examples of work presented to them mapping the end-to-end ‘customer’ journey spanning an 18-month period that was created based on as little as eight customer interviews.

I don't know about you, but I reckon if you invested six figures in a CX project you might be expecting insight from more than just eight people.

Of course, you can learn a lot from eight customer conversations. However, to ensure a conclusive, useful result, you need a sample of customers that considers all variables; captures the emotions and behavioural drivers from all groups and personas, and connects, empathises and communicates what is and isn’t working for your customers. That’s what a useful Customer Journey Map should do.

When this so-called journey map was presented to the business, unsurprisingly, the staff and stakeholders responded with “that’s not our customer and it’s certainly not the journey they go on.”

The large consulting firm had created an “ideal” customer journey which incorporated large scale digital solutions and a change management plan which required a whole lot more consulting help to be executed.  The question you have to ask is, Who is this map really for? The consulting firm or the client and their customer? Too often it feels to us like they may be guided more by self interest rather than having the customer at the heart.

The danger of these "ideal" Customer Journey Maps is that they lead organisations down a path of investing heavily in problems that aren’t priorities for their customers. They also fail to inspire employees to get onboard the journey to increased customer focus because they don’t establish real customer empathy. What’s more, employees aren’t empowered to continue improving customer focus through capability transfer.

These “ideal” Customer Journey Map’s sometimes reveal little of what customers actually want, which is often just better human-to-human service, not yet another app. Customers often see more value in having help paying their bill, someone returning their phone call, or having a promise fulfilled. 

What a Customer Journey Map should really do and how to approach it

We believe the only way to truly understand your customers and give them what they value, is to undertake rigorous customer research. This research will deliver valuable, prioritised and actionable insights.

To do this you need to go beyond the metrics and understand human behaviour. You need to:

1. Focus on uncovering the underlying mindsets, emotions, motivations and desires your customers experience when interacting with your service.

2. Ensure your research methods are designed to elicit stories about experiences by responding to what participants say and allowing the conversation to go in unexpected directions. It becomes more like facilitated storytelling than surveying. 

3. Use these insights to build a detailed customer journey that gives your business an actionable plan to give your customers – and your business - more value.

Let me know if you want to check whether your current Customer Journey Maps are really telling your customers’ story. I’d be happy to meet, online or in person. You can reach me via phone: +61 0418 494 489 or email:

Posted on May 3, 2018 .

Earn the right to excite and delight

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Here’s the cold hard truth: Your customers don’t set out to become raving fans of your business.

They didn’t wake up this morning thinking they need a more personal and emotional connection with a brand. They just want to get on with their day, and ideally make it better than yesterday.

Businesses are told they should “excite and delight” their customers.

Too often, they interpret this to mean the equivalent of fireworks and a marching band, encased in fancy tech. Digital transformation! All-in-one apps! $20m ad campaign thanking customers!

They jump straight to the fun stuff without working on the boring basics first: the foundations of good solid operations, communication, collaboration, breaking down silos, culture change - the really valuable work.

Services that don’t serve anyone 

Largely, my job is explaining to business leaders that their processes, systems or services don’t work that well for customers and that this is where a lot of our improvements are focussed. It’s the boring bit for businesses, but actually the exciting part for customers when they receive a seamless omni-channel experience.

Repair before renovate

It’s similar to when you want to renovate your house to make it the best on the street. You have visions of the stunning entertaining deck; the gleaming kitchen, the swimming pool. When actually you need to first fix the dry rot, change the plumbing to get rid of the damp under the house, and spend much more of your budget than you hoped for on repairing your old roof first.

What you want vs what they want

Any successful business will tell you that their aim is to create and keep happy customers. But often the importance of the brilliant basics is overlooked.

Most businesses don’t want boring. They want to use their CX to stand out and create an extraordinary experience as part of their brand differentiation.

They want to feature as a success story in the annual conference or industry publication as having the most spectacular customer service, or the most cutting-edge technology. It’s cool, it’s visionary - it gets attention.

But that’s what the business wants, not necessarily what the customer wants.

So what does the customer want?

Well, we can’t answer that in one blog, because it’s hugely complex, and varies at each point in their customer journey and from one customer segment to another.

But, in general, customers want damn good service that makes their life easier. They want it to work. They want to get what they’ve bought in a timely and efficient way.

Their version of “delight” is a product or service that works, every time. It’s a warm smile from the rep who has all their details and can solve their problem on the spot. It’s being guided through setting up a new account in a way that’s easy and welcoming. It’s receiving a bill that is correct and easy to understand.

If they’re frustrated about your service levels, then no amount of advertising, experiential marketing or social media influencing will make them love you. This will only aggravate their pain – “Why are they telling me how important I am to them through aggressive marketing when they can’t get the basics right.”

You need to get back to basics. The brilliant basics. No fireworks: just damn good customer service. And then you’ve earned the right to excite. Get the must-haves right, then perform well, and then delight.

What do you think? Can a brand invest in excite and delight before they’ve embedded solid good service? Comment, email us on or call us on 02 8001 6119.

Posted on March 14, 2018 .

Are you drowning in customer data?

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If you’re already drowning in the overwhelming volume of qualitative and quantitative data on your customers, think about this: the volume of business data is doubling every three years. 

By 2021, you’ll have three times the amount of data to trawl through to find meaningful insights.

Add to this the rise of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) – everyday devices connected to the internet which generate data 24/7. Experts estimate that by 2030, IoT will add trillions of data exchanges to an already overcrowded data field.

How to turn numbers into action

When our clients come to us, most of them are swimming in quantitative data about their customers. They are struggling to draw valuable insights from all this data, and further, are struggling to take effective action.

Here’s an example. On a recent project our client shared with us some previously undertaken research which stated “65% of customers believed that value means ‘Great customer experience when I call / email’ and 53% of customers believe it means ‘Tailored service / advice’. 

What can you do with that? What should our client do to deliver a great experience during a call or an email? What does tailored service and advice even mean? 

And did they really need to pay someone to tell them that half of their customers value a great customer experience and a service that is tailored to their needs?

Here’s another example: 

Early last year, we were asked by a financial services client to help them understand the current customer journey, and then design a future state that will help them deliver a distinctive and valuable experience. As part of the Discovery process, we received over 200 files, containing PowerPoint reports and Excel spreadsheets. There were brand tracking reports, benchmarking reports, NPS breakdowns by 50 different persona groups and satisfaction reports. There was so much quantitative information it took up over 1 gigabyte of memory on our server. 

Despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent and countless hours spent preparing internal reports for management, there was next to no real insight on what customers truly valued from the organisation along their journey.

Of the 200 files we received, there was just one piece of qualitative research. It contained over 3,000 NPS responses from customers. And does the average business leader have time to work through over 3,000 customer responses and begin to synthesise the learning into meaningful themes and customer drivers? Not while driving business-as-usual. 

No wonder there is a sense of paralysis among business leaders tasked with redesigning and improving the service experience for their customers. 

When there is so much information to sift through and interpret, where do you start?

The “two basket” approach

The proven approach we use is to take all your research and create two baskets. Here’s the simple steps:

1. Put all your quantitative data and statistics based reporting in one basket. 

2. Accept that despite all the best intentions and dollars invested, in terms of really understanding and empathising how it feels to walk along the customer journey you are next to nowhere. 

3. Take the very empty qualitative basket and accept that to build a future state customer journey that delivers what customers really want from you, with prioritised, actionable insights, you need to talk with more of your customers.

4. Start asking the right questions, and really, really listening.

The 95 : 5 ratio

In leading more than 100 strategic service redesign and customer experience projects, we have found that quantitative-based reports provide roughly 5% of the deep customer insight needed to create a detailed and insightful customer journey that will create an actionable roadmap.

Quantitative data will tell you what customers are doing along the customer journey. 

Qualitative data will you why they are behaving that way. When interpreted correctly, these insights will also tell us exactly how to prioritise and successfully implement customer-focused initiatives. 

This is why so many other CX projects are stuck looking and never actually leaping.

If you’re facing significant challenges in turning your data into actionable insights, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your approach. Email us to find out how, or call us on 02 8001 6119

Posted on February 12, 2018 .


Six Critical Customer Experience Capabilities

A question we are often asked is "how do we improve our internal customer experience and capabilities?"

Building a customer-centric organisation seems like a simple task. You prioritise your customers, collect their feedback on your services, build them into your business from the ground up and reap the rewards of greater customer satisfaction and retention.

However, with more than 50 billion connected devices expected to be active globally by 2020, the amount of data can be overwhelming. Turning that immense amount of multi-channel data into actionable business insights requires a company to build a specific set of customer capabilities.

In this month's newsletter we look at the six critical customer capabilities, what common questions they answer and which companies have already benefited from implementing them.


Capability 1. Voc, Customer Insight and Understanding

One of the common questions asked about customer centricity is how do I collect customer data? and it’s also one of the most common mistakes. The key to generating customer insights is collecting the right data and having the capability to convert it into genuine customer insights.

Voc Essentials

- Design and implement voice of customer programs, including unsolicited experience feedback from customers. 

- Identify and map significant customer touch-points in the customer experience.

- Gather input from employees about customer experiences and opportunities for improvement.

- Analyse VOC feedback drawn from sources to identify customer pain points and opportunities to improve and differentiate.

LEGO is an excellent example of the benefits of correctly implemented VOC. Their Mission to Space campaign provided the customer with the ability to create user-generated content based on their interests.

By allowing the customer to be part of their content ecosystem, LEGO ensured that they were meeting customer expectations and were able to translate customer interests into actionable design ideas.


Capability 2. Experience Design and Improvement

Generating and analysing the right feedback is just the start of the process; a recent survey found that 75 percent of companies are only collecting or analysing data without deriving actionable results.

Vital to building a customer-centric organisation is integrating customer insights with an agile experience design process, able to adapt to the changing needs for your customer base.

Experience Design Essentials

- Establish and follow a well-defined design process each time an experience is created or changed.

- Use customer insights to define and prioritise experience requirements and opportunities for improvement, while using journey mapping to improve most relevant moments of truth.

- Assess, document, track, and report resolution of experience gaps across touch points.

- Use iterative ideation and prototyping to engage customers and employees in the co-creation of enhanced or innovative experiences.

Our own experience with Optus corroborates this. During the design of their ‘Future State Customer Strategy’ we produced:

- 25 customer pathways -  to provide detailed ideas and implementation

- 17 mindset shifts -  to help Optus think differently

- 12 customer expectations -  to ensure new products add value

- 8 personas  - to help staff empathise with their different customers

- 8 design principles - to guide product and service development

- An end to end lifecycle  - that showed the Ideal Journey

- A design manual  - to help with future decision making

- A portfolio - to help communicate the outcomes

Using our flexible design to plan future customer experiences allowed Optus to accelerate their ability to become Australia’s most loved and recommended service brand.

To download the comprehensive list of capabilities click here 


Capability 3. Customer Experience Strategy (CES)

Essential to the development of an effective Customer Experience Strategy is the concept of granularity. Each customer journey is made up of multiple customer interactions, and each of those interactions requires a specific strategy.

Another critical factor is the human contact aspect. Despite the huge numbers of digital contact channels available, customers still value the human touch. 

Integrating consistent human interaction into your Customer Strategy ensures customers feel as if they are being treated as an individual, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer Experience Strategy Essentials

- Define a customer experience strategy that describes the intended customer experience, its linkage to overall corporate objectives, and its alignment with the organisation's brand values and attributes.

- Develop experience principles and specific employee behaviours and interactions that reflect brand values and organisational mission.

- Articulate the operating plan, investments, and tactics for programmatic components of the CEX (Customer Experience Management) strategy.

- Communicate and engage employees at all levels of the organisation in the elements of the CEX strategy.

When designing Virgin Mobile's Customer Strategy, we were able to identify that, while each customer wanted to be treated as an individual, they also wanted consistency in their interactions. Our 30 actionable initiatives formed the basis of their new customer engagement model.


Capability 4. Customer-Centric Culture

Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those without a customer-focused culture. So it’s no surprise that it has become a buzzword.

What is surprising is the number of organisations that still make fundamental mistakes when trying to implement customer-centricity.

One of the most common is assuming that customer experience is only relevant to customer-facing roles. To build a genuinely customer-centric culture, there needs to be an emphasis on educating all employees on how they play a vital role in the customer experience.

Customer-Centric Essentials

- Drive employee engagement and involvement — from the front lines to the executive suite.

- Develop and deliver ongoing CEX interaction training to employees.

- Develop communication strategies and tactics to share the importance of CEX with
employees, customers, and the company.

- Collect and share stories of CEX excellence at your company.

By developing a deep understanding of the typical end-to-end journey of Gumtree users, we were able to create an extensive package of customer-centric tools and reference materials. These tools allowed Gumtree staff, at all levels, to help build and deliver the ideal customer journey. 

To download the comprehensive list of capabilities click here

Capability 5. Organisational Adoption and Accountability

Having taken steps to put in place the framework of a customer-centric culture, it is vital to fuel ongoing confidence at all levels of the business.

Having clear first steps in the customer experience process allows team members to integrate new customer-centric initiatives with their other responsibilities.

Customer experience champions can evangelise customer-centricity while sharing compelling opportunities to ensure ongoing commitment.

By intrinsically linking staff to specific customer experiences, organisations can encourage emotional investment in CEX, leading to quicker adoption.

Adoption and Accountability Essentials

- Align business goals with customer-focused culture

- Maintain a dedicated list of top customer experience improvements, including which senior executive is accountable for resolution

- Embed customer experience impact as a criterion for all business and investment decisions and Regularly review CEX metrics and feedback at all levels of the organisation.

- Introduce new processes and tools to improve customer experience

To effect a strategic overview of Sydney Water's residential customer experience, Proto Partners produced a roadmap of prioritised initiatives. This clarified the steps required to implement a more customer-centric culture, making adoption of the initiatives quicker and easier. 



Capability 6. Metrics, Measurements and ROI (Return On Investment) 

An essential step to maintaining momentum in customer-centric initiatives is the accurate capture and measurement of CEX data. 

Linking the effects of a customer-centric culture with business outcomes emphasises the benefits of CEX, leading to continued confidence in the initiatives.

Through the identification and analysis of CEX metrics, businesses can gain ongoing insights into customer needs and translate those into positive adjustments to the customer's journey. 

Metrics, Measurement and ROI Essentials

- Develop infrastructure and mechanisms to capture CEX data and identify key CEX metrics for tracking experience quality, satisfaction, and loyalty.

- Develop framework and linkage of improved experiences to business outcomes.

- Analyse and interpret results to derive customer insights and performance trends.

- Report results, insights, and recommended actions to improve.

Proto Partners led a recent NSW Government client through their first series of human-centred design workshops for their transformation program. The outcome of the prototyping has been exceptional:

Customer Impact (CX) 94% of all service requests are communicated within 5 days (previously 25%) 

Process Impact – time to decision 95% of Low Risk service requests are now communicated same day – 82% improvement (from 52% to 95%)

Policy impact (DMF) Applying the DMF enabled 81% of service requests to be classified as Low – this is an improvement from 56% 

DDC Customer Liaison Tracking to significant reductions in approval times (down from 62 days to 21 days for 38%)

Their Program Director goes on to say:

"The icing on the cake for me was that Proto Partners captured all of the insights from the customer workshops into an organisational asset that we now use as an integral part of our toolkit for training and briefing new team members."

This demonstrates the importance of building internal frameworks and an engaged workforce. A service we are seeing increased appetite for. As such we have developed a new product that helps internal teams build their CX skills and capabilities through a structured 6/12 month program that:

1. Conducts a CX capability audit
2. Delivers monthly in person training/capability workshops
3. Provides online access to over 70 different research /ideation/ prioritisation CX tools
4. Provides Visual Design resource to bring your internal CX programs to life. 

If you are interested in building a customer-centric organisation through this approach would like to benchmark your organisation against these six capabilities, drop us an email by clicking the button below or call us on 02 8001 6119 to find out how we can help your organisation deliver outstanding customer experience. 

In our next newsletter, we will share with you a case study of a CX Maturity Assessment we undertook for one of our clients and the benefits it deliver for organisations who invest in undertaking a CX Assessment.

Posted on November 13, 2017 .



In this three-part series, we deep dive into Customer Journey Maps - a super useful tool for understanding your customers' biggest problems and how to solve them. In today's article, you will learn the basics of what a Customer Journey Map is and how you can use it.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series on Customer Journey Mapping, we established the importance of Customer Journey Mapping to your business and the anatomy of high-performance Customer Journey Maps. Now, In Part 3, we will be highlighting the positive impact an integrated Customer Journey Mapping program can have on companies just like yours.

Never underestimate the power of good Customer Experience (CX) design. It's been transformational for many of our clients. These clients were precisely where you are now: looking up at the mountain of challenges and goals, and wondering how on earth they would overcome them.

With our help, they committed themselves to the outcome they wanted, and now they're reaping the benefits.

Here are some examples of Customer Experience problems we helped to solve by implementing the principles of Customer Journey Mapping.

Eliminating Frustrating Call Center Interactions

The Problem

  • Dealing with over 500,000 interactions per year, the call centres of a large telecommunications company were experiencing high customer churn and universally negative feedback.
  • The company itself wanted to move beyond a price-based strategy to attract and retain a growing share of customers. As part of this, they wanted to increase customer advocacy by eliminating the frustrating elements of their call centre experience.   

The Solution

  • By mapping the Customer Journey, we were able to identify the critical components of a great customer interaction and the characteristics and behaviours of an excellent customer service representative. 
  • Using customer research tools to focus on both staff and operational processes, we were able to identify that the 41 point phone call checklist was too restrictive and was removing the sense of warm human engagement from customer interactions. 
  • We developed a 6-month training program with their call centre in Manila, which included the teaching of ideal call flows, customer experience scorecards, grading standards and explanatory videos.

The Benefits

  • By simplifying and personalising the customer experience, we helped the customer achieve their customer churn reduction targets and exceed customer satisfaction targets to +25 NPS. Providing a dynamic and personalised experience throughout the customer journey is key to maintaining a positive customer experience. By implementing Customer Journey Mapping, we were able to remove the factors that were preventing that kind of experience, all while stripping out more than 20% of our service costs in under 12 months.

Improving Customer Engagement

The Problem

  • A sizeable Australian superannuation company wanted to improve their customer engagement. Companies that lack consistent customer engagement lose the opportunity to generate loyalty, sales and insights from customer feedback.

The Solution

  • Through the Customer Journey Mapping process, we were able to step into the shoes of the customer across a number of touchpoints and channels. This allowed us to empathise with how they experienced the company and what measures we could take to enhance that experience.
  • Once the interactions were mapped, we were able to identify key factors that prevented the delivery of a ‘Wow the Customer' experience. We highlighted insights, emotions and areas of opportunity which would allow the client to improve their customer's journey significantly.

The Benefits

  • As a result of integrating our insights into their customer strategy, our client was able to provide, inspiration and guidance to their employees to improve their customer engagement. This ultimately led to them delivering on their customer's idea of a ‘Wow' experience. 

Upgrading The Onboarding Process

The Problem

  • One of Australia's four largest banks was looking to create an onboarding process which would encourage new customers to sign on for additional services.
  • With almost 1200 branches, many different service offerings, wide-ranging distribution channels and multiple communication and feedback channels, the customer journey had become overly complicated. This prevented the bank from offering a personalised and straightforward onboarding process that highlighted its range of additional services.

The Solution   

  • We conducted an in-depth customer survey of 1555 responses, listened to 300 customer phone calls and spoke to over 40 internal and external customers. This allowed us to thoroughly map the Customer Journey and identify significant insights that became the basis of a new customer engagement framework.

The Benefits

  • As a result of improving the Customer Journey Mapping process, three key focus areas were identified which would vastly improve the likelihood that a new customer would switch to a more expansive and valuable transactional banking relationship. This ultimately led to the creation of a new all-inclusive credit card to better meet both the client's and their customers' needs.

Empowering Staff Engagement

The Problem

  • A large Australian cinema operator wanted to create customer loyalty by empowering their staff to consistently deliver an outstanding customer experience that was meaningful and relevant. 
  • This plan required a clearer understanding of the current reality for their customers and team, increasing the customer experience capability of the frontline team and gaining alignment across the organisation.

The Solution

  • Through the Customer Journey Mapping process we discovered four significant themes which now form the basis of the client's new customer strategy. By studying their customer's needs, they were able to differentiate themselves from their competitors by providing an excellent customer experience.
  • The key driver in this strategy was to empower their 3,000 staff, which allowed them to deliver the ideal cinema experience to their customers in 75,000 seats across 600 locations.

The Benefits

  • By understanding what matters to their customers and communicating it to their staff, our client was able to move from a purely transactional model to an experiential one. Ensuring that an ‘outstanding customer experience' is an essential part of any business leads to increased customer loyalty.

If you can relate to these situations within your own business, get in touch to get started before you lose more time.

Do you distinguish your customers, their needs and how you can best deliver them? Do you value relevant insights? Are they part of your CX strategy? 

That all sounds pretty simple right? 

Now think about how many different types of customers you have and how many touch-points they use to connect with you. Perhaps it’s not so simple after all.

Companies who excel as customer-centric organisations show 6 distinct characteristics. These characteristics provide a clear framework for you to base your actions on, and their implementation has clear benefits which we will reveal in our next blog.

In the mean time if you have any questions about Customer Journey Mapping or would like to find out how you can get one for your organisation, email to receive more detailed information and pricing.

Posted on November 6, 2017 .

Customer Journey Map 101: Part 2 - THE ANATOMY OF A HIGH PERFORMING CJM


This is the second article in our series on Customer Journey Maps. In Part 1, we looked at why every business needs Customer Journey Maps and how they can be used to help businesses see through the eyes of their customers, develop empathy and take an outside-in approach.

Now we look at how to build a Customer Journey Map that's designed to inform the business on how to address customer needs.

Customer Journey Maps (CJM) are a powerful tool for understanding customers. They use design and graphics to tell the entire story of your customer's interactions with your organisation. They visualise the actions, thoughts and feelings of a customer through this journey. They invoke viewer empathy and help the organisation understand what it's like to walk in the customer's shoes.

The customer's story, told from their perspective, is a powerful tool for engaging business departments within an organisation who may be disengaged or disinterested in change programs. They can be used to create alignment and encourage collaboration across the whole organisation as it works towards a plan of attack for customer experience improvement.

The goals of a Customer Journey Map

When creating a Customer Journey Map, it's important to articulate the goals it needs to fulfil.

Many organisations have accumulated a great deal of research, particularly statistics based, (quantitative) research, which identifies customer problems. The task our clients struggle with is prioritising these problems. Which part of the journey should the organisation concentrate on solving first?

Seven ways Customer Journey Mapping helps address these questions:

•       Makes sense of quantitative data (statistics, math based research) –Quantitative data can only tell part of the story. It might tell you your customers are unhappy with their call centre experience. Digging deeper with qualitative research (surveys, interviews, mystery shoppers) will help you find out why.

•       Identifies main pain points and moments of truth ­– The addition of qualitative research will help understand the emotional drivers of customers unhappiness and pinpoint the key moments on the journey which cause the most pain.

•       Identifies areas of greatest opportunity for change and improvement The areas of most pain for customers and their moments of truth are clearly the areas in need of most improvement and where the greatest opportunities lie.

•       Gives clarity on why customers behave the way they do – Customer behaviour is not always rational. Sometimes it's motivated by deep emotional drivers that even the customers themselves aren't fully aware of. A Customer Journey Map can help identify these.

•       Is well designed for maximum impact and understanding – A Customer Journey Map is a map, and maps can be beautiful. Use this opportunity to illustrate with maximum impact exactly what your customers experience when they deal with you.

•       Prioritises opportunity areas – the Customer Journey Map matches key pain points/moments of truth along the customer journey with opportunities for improvement. Priorities are clarified and the plan for change becomes far more obvious. This prioritisation helps organisations focus on activities that will have the most positive impact on customers and result in the greatest return on investment.

•       Is flexible – a Customer Journey Map can focus on the entire customer journey, or do a deep dive into just one area. It can be designed to highlight a particular problem or to illustrate more general issues. It could describe an existing journey or a future, ideal journey. Your organisational needs will dictate its design.

A well-designed Customer Journey Map provides guidance for the creation of a roadmap for change. This roadmap is the key to helping organisations reap the financial benefits of providing customers with amazing customer experiences. This could be seen as increased customer satisfaction via positive Net Promotor Score (NPS) results, increases in sales, reduced churn, reduced costs of servicing customers and happier, more fulfilled staff. 

The Elements of a Customer Journey Map

Customer Journey Maps have three main elements: a perspective, an experience and findings and insights.

1.     The Perspective - The perspective of the journey map is the person for whom this journey is designed for (persona/actor) and the goal they're trying to achieve. For example, it could be a bank customer being on-boarded for their new credit card.

In our experience, we've found taking the journey of a typical customer and mapping this process allows coverage of 70-80% of issues across a number of personas.

Alternatively, a Customer Journey Map can be broken down by persona. This will help you understand the similarities and differences across different persona journeys. You can use these findings to prioritise high value personas.

2.    The Experience - The specific experience being mapped. This is the core of the journey and catalogues every customer action, thought and emotional experience. To make it feel real and increase customer empathy, it should contain verbatims (direct comments from customers), videos and images gathered from the research.

3.     The Findings and Insights - This is the part of the Customer Journey Map used to transform insight into profits. What key learnings and insights has your research uncovered? Based on these, what are the opportunities to move ahead with? What significant pain points were discovered? Which insights can now be put to practical use so internal teams can begin to meet customer needs?

The requirements for a Customer Journey Map

1.     Qualitative research – adding deep qualitative research like surveys, interviews and observations to your existing research will fill in the gaps existing (quantitative) research won't cover. It may also validate areas where the results of quantitative research are not clear. Different types of research work together to increase the quality of insights

2.     Storytelling – the power of customer stories gathered in building the Customer Journey Map cut through organisational noise and clarify which actions are needed. When the voice of the customer is expressed loudly (and actively listened to), the path to change becomes far clearer.

3.    Collaboration ­– Collaborating with stakeholders within the organisation will help develop a direction for customer experience. It will also establish engagement across the business for the key task: improving the customer journey.

4.    The right design – Customer Journey Maps should be designed to communicate with their intended audience. They should be simple and functional, not overly complex or full of tricks.

5.     Prioritisation – Understanding the key moments of truth and areas of opportunity that appear along the journey makes it simpler to prioritise exactly what customers value. Attention and resources can be focused in the direction of priorities, maximising return on investment.

6.    Assessment of responsibility – Use the Customer Journey Map to assign ownership of customer experience to everyone within your organisation. Use it to illustrate, illuminate and educate your people so they can work towards creating an amazing experience for your customers.

Customer Journey Maps are a wonderful tool and an enlightening project for any business interested in making their customer experience less OK or good and more delightful and amazing.

To learn more about how this powerful tool and how it can help, click the button below! 

Next week we will cover the problems that Customer Journey Mapping help solve

In the mean time if you have any questions about Customer Journey Mapping or would like to find out how you can get one for your organisation, email to receive more detailed information and pricing.

Posted on October 31, 2017 and filed under Customer Journey Mapping.