Customer Journey Mapping

What is it?

Customer Journey Mapping is a valuable tool which can be used by organisations to fully understand the customer end to end experience from the initial point of contact through to resolution.  Customer journey maps are excellent at showing the gaps between customer expectations and perceptions of the actual experience at key steps along the journey.

How does it work?

Customer Journey Mapping works by asking a customer to reflect on what it’s like to do business with your organisation.  Unlike Process Re-engineering, it is essential that a real customer is involved where there is a direct interaction between the organisation and a customer. These are known as ‘moments of truth’.  Moments of truth are the points in a journey that define the overall experience, both positive and negative, i.e.

  • the moments that present an opportunity to delight the customer;
  • the things the customer expects and does not necessarily notice unless they are not in place.

The process follows the steps listed below.

  • Using a complete business ‘transaction’, break the transaction into steps. A transaction can be a quick and simple one such as an enquiry or request or conversely it can be complex, involving several departments.
  • The customer then walks through each step, describing their experience. On occasions it may be helpful to offer the customer a prompt such as ‘At that stage, how did you feel?’.
  • Capturing the journey is usually done by portraying the experience in terms of a ‘Heartbeat Monitor’. Where a customer is happy or satisfied with the service, the heartbeat travels in an upwards direction and conversely, dissatisfaction is captured in a downwards direction.  From this, the completed journey will resemble a heartbeat monitor.  However, this is merely one mechanism to map the customer journey.
  • It is essential that where dissatisfaction or less than satisfactory service is experienced, the necessary actions are identified to rectify the problem.


Why use it?

Customer Journey Mapping offers organisations the opportunity to gain excellent insight from their customers. Customers will use their own words to describe their experience and not be constrained by having to select a ‘best fit’ questionnaire response.  In addition, it can identify issues which really matter to customers - organisations may not even be aware of them.  The best customer journey mapping exercises take place with customers who can offer an honest reflection of their experience, especially where service has been less than satisfactory and improvements can be made.