Your success depends on your ability to provide user satisfaction at every touchpoint. However, it is crucial to identify those touchpoints. Customer journey Maps could be a great solution in this area.
Borrowing from service design
Service design can be described as an activity that is performed by the marketing and management department of businesses. The closest analogy to website production would be user experience design ( UX). Service design is about creating or providing positive feelings for customers when they use the service (product) designed. The focus is on interactions that occur in multiple channels, which includes both the online world and the offline world.
If a customer visits your brick-and mortar physical store and finds it unpleasant or her tech support calls are not satisfactory, a well-designed website does not suffice. Service design is an integrated business approach. We’ll be discussing service design concepts for website design and production in this article.
What are touchpoints?
It all comes down to creating positive emotions for customers by making sure that they have a great experience in all places they visit. Touchpoints are places where customers and businesses interact with one another.
If we look at the touchpoints for a computer technology company, one example might be:
- Call the center
These touchpoints could be found on a website as:
- Contact us via the web
- help desk/support
- Chat live
- Comment section for blog posts
Problem to solve
It is important to ask: How can we identify key touchpoints on our websites? The answer is to use customer journey maps, which are one of the most powerful tools in service design.
What is a customer journey plan?
A customer journey map shows the typical customer’s path through each of our touchpoints. We show how customers might feel about our company at each touchpoint.
An example of a customer journey map.
A customer journey map offers many benefits
- We can pinpoint the most important touchpoints that have a huge impact on customer happiness.
- This helps us to focus our website on the user (user-centered design).
- We can better identify the potential needs and wants of users.
- It can be used to present the entire process of the user to us (which can help with pitches and client presentations, similar storyboarding).
- It summarizes the data we have already about users and their behavior
- This helps us identify additional UX improvement areas, as well the areas that could lead to dissatisfaction.
Creating customer journey maps
These are the steps that you will need to follow to create customer journey maps.
Step 1: Collect and evaluate your knowledge about your users
This step is crucial because it allows you to use information that you have already gathered through user research and other studies. This will eliminate any subjective approach to the problem and prevent us from drawing conclusions based only on our intuitions. Many usability tools can help you collect the correct user data if it is missing or not available.
Deliverables and Results:
- An overview of the preliminary insights gleaned from user research and studies
- A list of touch points
- This is a list of actions that the user does during their journey (e.g. researching the product, purchasing the product from your online store, getting support/help with the product they purchased, etc.).
- Do not draw conclusions based on intuitions that haven’t been supported by solid, reliable data.
- Incorporate employees/staff members who are in regular contact with customers in the data collection (e.g. help desk staff, client relations manager, social media manager etc.). These people often have the best information about users’ needs and actual satisfaction.
- Involve decision-makers early in the process. A customer journey map and its results could have a significant impact on the overall product strategy and brand strategy.
Step 2: Fill in your knowledge gaps
Learn what you don’t know and identify the things you are unsure of. These things can be gathered, tested, and verified with additional user studies. Deliverables and results:
- Reports on additional studies that provide answers to our questions.
- Don’t focus excessively on demographic/statistical data. Instead, focus on ethnography and the users’ voice.
- Examine the collected data and make assumptions.
Step 3: Create user personas
You should now have enough data to create a user persona. This is a fictional character that represents your typical user’s goals and behavior.
Although creating user personas is not the focus of this article, here are some tutorials, guides and tools that can help you create them.
- Develop Personas (usability.gov)
- Personas: The Foundation for a Great User Experience (uxmag.com).
- An Experience With User Personas (boagworld.com).
- Making Personas More Powerful: Details to Drive Strategic and Tactical Design(boxesandarrows.com)
- Ad-Hoc Personas & Empathetic Focus (jnd.org)
- Useable Personas (sites.google.com/)
- Persona template is a MS Word template that helps you create user profiles in your projects (sites.google.com).
- The User is Always Right: A Practical Guide for Creating and Using Personas on the Web (amazon.com).
Deliverables and Results:
- Learn about the concerns and expectations of users
- Visualize the target group representatives as a collection of persons.
- Do not automatically reject data that isn’t statistically meaningful. This can often be used to create additional hypotheses, which should be further tested in user research studies.
Step 4: Create your customer journey map
Comparing this to impulse-purchase items such as shoes, junk food, or items marked on sale, you will see that the principles behind the process have drastically changed. Deliverables and results:
- The customer journey map illustrates the user experience, needs, and processes during contact with the product.
- Use your time wisely and focus on the important content. Don’t get distracted by the visuals of the map.
- If you have multiple user personas, you can use more than one map. Customer journeys can differ between different user personas.
- The graphic layout of your customer journey map is important. While the content is important, layout is equally important. It is important to print the map and place it in a prominent and easily accessible location so that employees can see it.
The creation of a customer journey map is not the goal. However, it is important to draw the right conclusions from it to improve the user experience. First, identify areas that require immediate improvement. This is because they lower the user satisfaction.
After you have filled the gaps, you can tighten the screws. Next, start looking for areas where satisfaction could be improved. Remember that the customer journey map can be used in an ongoing manner. This tool should be used to monitor the satisfaction level of your users and quickly identify opportunities for improvement.