Customer Journey Mapping for Business Analysts

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Synopsis

This article was inspired by an article in HBR October 2015 and some recent work completed on a client site where the ‘Customer Journey’ was the focal point of attention. As organisations change and restructure, orientating themselves toward the customer is a common scenario mandated by services which are consumed by the customers and wider stakeholders. Organisations realise that the organisation performance is dictated by the perceptions and experience of their customers as they interact through the various service touch points of the operating model. Looking from the customer’s perspective, rather than inside out has become a standard practice in many organisations to start an initiative, rather than being driven internally.

This article leverages a commonly available emotional model and explains the need to address emotions. It defines the elements of the journey itself, providing an example and guidelines.

Introduction

What is the customer journey?

The customer journey is a series of customer experiences over a period of time that results in a business outcome. The customer journey is underpinned by emotional state of the customer that characterize an experience; being primarily positive or negative.

These experiences should be completely independent of the organisations operating model or service offering, in that they are customer centric. For example, 'Sign-up for electricity’ is what a customer does, ‘Onboarding’ is rather what the organisation does internally to sign-up the customer for electricity.

Why is the customer journey important?

Human beings are emotional creatures and research has shown the emotion has a huge influence on our memory, motivation and behaviour. Emotion is a strong correlate to rooting an experience deep in ones physic and providing that association between customer and organisation. Put simply, a given experience will result in an emotional state being felt by the customer. Good experiences make for good emotions, and equally, if the customer is not feeling good, organisations can counter this and provide an experience to make the customer feel better.

Organisations use customer journey mapping to understand the emotional state of the customer during specific events, either created naturally by virtue of the day (e.g.Customers Birthday) or manufactured by the service offering(e.g. Receiving a personalised, relevant and timely email after signing up).

If organisations has visibility of emotion, they are placed to tailor messages to turn positive experiences into good will or increased revenue and manage risk associated with negative ones.

What is the purpose of customer journey?

Customer journey mapping has two customer orientated goals;

  1. Identify and understand customers emotional state from pre-existing life events and reactions to experiences delivered through the organisations operating model

  2. To influence and drive customers behaviour by providing emotive experiences that directly address the previously identified emotional states

Taxonomy of the Customer Experience

The customer journey is primarily made up of actors, events and emotions. These all need to be defined to understand exactly what the customer is experiencing and how to better address the situation.

These are often represented linearly in a series where a given scenario is shown that follows a series of events. As the customer moves between events the emotions of the customer change depending on what they are experiencing. (The following example shows the journey, or different stages, of buying a new car.)

Actors

The customers must assume different profiles that provide further insight into customer behaviour. Customers are all different people but can be generalised into categories as a good trade-off. The marketing segmentation can provide a good yard stick to defining what is sometimes called “Persona’s”. Often a series of “Persona’s” are required cover off the different people and starting points for the mapping.

Events

The events are specific times where an experience occurs as perceived by the customer. The events occur in a place, time, with the organisations service, involving people, process, technology and brand that gives rise to the subjective experience.

 This experience will be characterised by different emotions.

Emotions

There are many different human emotions. For the purpose of monetisation and improved sentiment, emotions the following emotional model can be drawn that defines positive and negative emotions. Emotions are further differentiated by being active or passive. This is important because passive emotions, either positive or negative disempower the customer to interact with the organisations.

For example, if I am only ‘Content’ with my service, would this drive me to seek better service and potentially spend more money? Probably not.

Equally, if I had a death in the family, would I really care about a bonus free month of free electricity?

See below;

 

 

 

 

 

Negative

Active

 

 

 

 

 

Positive

 

Tense

Nervous

Stressed

Upset

Alert

Excited

Elated

Happy

 

Passive

 

Sad

Depressed

Bored

Fatigued

Contented

Serene

Relaxed

Calm

 

 

Emotional Conversion

To drive positive customer behaviour the emotions associated with an experience need to be understood. After emotions have been characterised and weighted based on intensity, we can assume a number of emotional rules which will form that basis for developing a desired customer experience.

This rules are generic and can basically aim to migrate customers into the Active and Positive space, thus making consumers basically happy and empowered to continue engaging in activity to leads to increased sales, retention and good will.

  • Active & Positive emotions should be;

    • Reinforced and extended where possible to maximise opportunity to sell

  • Passive & Positive emotions should be;

    • Migrated to Active & Positive to empower and motive customers to spend

  • Negative & Active emotions should be;

    • Migrated to the Positive dimension; to provide a basis for future sales

    • Eventually migrated to the Positive Active dimension ; to convince them to buy

    • Prioritised to counter since provides a platform for complaints

  • Negative & Passive emotions should be

    • Migrated into the Positive space to provide a basis for selling

    • Moved into the Positive Active space to empower consumer

    • Prioritised since these customers will not continue their subscription

 

Example of Customer Journey

See below for a simple example;

Actor

Event

Emotion

Name: Jo

Age: 38

Socio economic: TAFE, Blue collar

Marital Status: Married

Children: 3

Previous Car: Holden Rodeo

 

Driving old car

Bored / Upset

Search for new car

Excited / Stressed / Fatigued

Test driving cars at dealers

Excited / Tense

Comparing options

Alert / *Fatigued

Deciding to buy

Nervous / Alert

Driving out of the dealership with new car

Elated

Jo with Family

Going away on weekend

Happy

Coming back from weekend

Contented

 

Within each event, the customer is experiencing many different things and is potentially interacting with the car company/dealership over an extended period of time in many different circumstances. Based on the identified emotional states with these events, the organisation is free to design and tailor specific experiences to address these emotions.

*If comparing the available options makes the customer fatigued then the business could provide a solution that makes comparing models and options as easy and as pleasant as possible.

Process

Mapping the customer journey should begin with the customer, and end with a change to the organisations operating model to better serve the customer by providing better customer experiences.

Rather than being prescriptive with a process I would suggest some guidelines to understeering customer journey mapping;

  • Perform current state analysis;

    • Understand the customer

      • Understand market, segments and customer profiles

      • Map generic pre-existing live events based on customer profiles; e.g. Education, buying house, marriage, kids, death in family, etc.

      • Map specific events based on operating model; e.g. searching for life insurance, Getting quote for insurance, Selecting a policy, etc.

    • Elicit customer experience measures;

      • Start with expert judgment (i.e. Best Practice)

      • Conduct surveys

      • NPS

    • Map emotions based on results and expert judgement

       

  • Design future state;

    • Define the desired events/experiences that leverage good emotions and neutralise and counteract negative ones

    • Identify candidates for improvement; based on results prioritise identified events/experiences that are problematic

    • Identify events/experiences that could be improved

Visualising the Experience

Customer experiences need to be visualised graphically, unlike what is provided in this article. There are a range of ways to represent customer experiences, generally they start with a left to right process of events that start from a scenario with an end goal in mind.

Customer experiences are interpreted by a diverse range of stakeholders and should be free from technical jargon and be high level in nature, utilising graphics, colours, and be consistent with the brand guidelines a dictated by marketing. (It stands to reason that significant collaboration with marketing is required to perform elicitation activities to understand the customer, segmentation, campaigns, surveys, brand, etc.)

Conclusion

Customer journey mapping is a great way to understand your customer intimately to provide insights into providing targeted customer experience that empower the customer positively to drive better business outcomes.

Marketing has always tried to make existing customers buy more, and acquire new customers, and stop existing customers going somewhere else through outbound activities like campaigns, as well as inbound gauges like surveys and net promoter scores. Marketing surveys tend to be targeted and good at understanding individual scenarios and outcomes but not holistic in chaining these experiences together in an easily understandable journey that aligns to the operating model.

This technique places the customer first with a deep emotional understanding, then looks backwards toward the experiences provided by the operating model, thus enabling good aspects to be reinforced and negative ones to be managed. It provides a complete 360 end to end experience of the customer to be realized driving customer insights, allowing more blue sky approaches to offsetting emotional deficits. It also allows a much closer alignment between the customer and the architecture of the business, allowing more effective prioritization and targeting of resources to improve customer experience, and better business outcomes.

Author: Matt Fishbeck, Sr. Business Analyst

Matt Fishbeck, Sr. Business AnalystMatt is a senior business analyst with 5+ years experience in transport, telecommunications, utilities, technology and automotive industries working with stakeholders to meet the objectives of organisations. Matt is competent across the spectrum of competencies and possesses sound alignment to IIBA best practice. He has engaged stakeholders in large transformation projects to facilitate change by delivering value through best practice. He provides thought leadership through research and development, academia and knowledge of open standards. 

Matt has extensive technical knowledge and is passionate about technology, business, business analysis and business architecture. He takes a dynamic high energy approach to delivery and providing exceptional value to clients through consulting. Matt leverage’s the creative process to innovate and deliver solutions to business. He has worked internationally in organisations in Melbourne, Germany and the UK.





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