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Lots of companies now use journey maps to understand and improve the customer experience. Problem is, they don’t use them very well. Analysts have documented this problem for years. For example, Forrester Research CX expert Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha says one common mistake is not doing the surveys, interviews and other research necessary to understand all of the customer touchpoints, behaviors, influences and needs. “Without upfront insights, companies struggle to articulate how journey maps connect to outcomes that benefit the business and risk drowning in a myriad of initiatives that don’t target CX drivers,” she writes in “Getting Help With Customer Journey Maps.”

All journey maps are not created equal. To set your journey mapping efforts up for success, the first step is identifying the type of journey map and level of detail needed to accomplish your goals. Here are three of the most common journey mapping methods:

1. Customer Lifecycle – This is a high-level, end-to-end view of your customer’s experience, including pain points, touchpoints and channels, for each lifecycle phase. It’s an easy, cost-effective way to document the holistic current state experience and understand critical interactions that motivate customers to leave, stay, and recommend companies.

2. Moment of Truth Map – Some customer interactions are more important than others. This process takes a deeper look into these customer interactions, often using in depth ethnographic research, and identifies unique customer needs during this moment and new opportunities to improve the experience.

3. Experience Capability Map – Journey maps are becoming multi-dimensional by overlaying the customer journey with all of the back-office processes and systems that deliver the experience. This process is an eye-opener for back-office owners, who often don’t consider the influence they have over CX – and all of the opportunities they have to improve it.

When they’re done right, journey maps can become a key component of a larger strategy. For example, combining journey maps and customer research often provide companies the deep, actionable insights. One of our recent blog posts describes the research options, including why we recommend in depth qualitative research over quantitative surveys.

Want to learn more about customer journey maps? Request a consultation to speak with one of our experts.

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