Ten Critical Components of a Great Customer Experience Journey Map

Jim Tincher is the Customer Experience practice lead at SMS Research Advisors. In his blog post, Customer Experience Journey Map – the Top 10 Requirements, he shares with us detailed criteria they use to design and build their journey maps:

  1. Represent your Customer’s perspective.  The customer experience map needs to represent the interactions as your customer experiences it.  It often includes interactions that happen outside of your control, such as a social media interaction or a web search.
  2. Use research.  Do not use internal staff to build these – that just makes a process flow. Depending on the scope, the journey map process can involve interviews or ethnographies, possibly combined with surveys.  Some companies bring customers in and build them interactively internal staff.  This can be a very powerful experience, although the small sample size can create bias.  Better to do the research first, then bring in your customers to build the final map.
  3. Represent Customer segments. You will be amazed at how different segments have different customer experiences.  For example, you may find that one segment typically spent two hours researching the category, while another consistently spent more than six weeks doing the same, using very different tools.
  4. Include Customer goals.  A great journey map shows what the customer is trying to accomplish at each stage of the process.  Goals can change as the process unfolds.
  5. Focus on emotions.  Emotions are critical to any experience, whether B2B or B2C, and a great customer journey map communicates these emotions.
  6. Represent touch points.  The customer journey map is often built to demonstrate the order and type of touch points – including those not in your control.
  7. Highlight moments of truth.  Some interactions have more impact than others. Great maps separate those critical moments of truth from the rest. For example, when visiting a hospital, a bad check-in taints the rest of the patient experience.
  8. Measure your brand promise. A critical outcome of a great customer experience map is the measurement of how the experience supports the brand promise.  If your brand promise is to have an experience that is either effortless, highly customized, or unique, then your journey map is an excellent way to document whether your customer feels you are meeting that goal.
  9. Include time.  Experience length provides important context.  Does the typical call last 30 seconds or 10 minutes? Did shoppers spend 20 minutes or 40 hours deciding on a product?
  10. Ditch the PowerPoint. Use a desktop publishing application to communicate the richness of the experience.

I recommend reading the entire post for Jim’s optional criteria to consider and a few of his favorite posts customer journey maps.