One of the most useful tools for designing services is the customer journey map. However, the use of this technique is practically confined to service design firms, being largely unknown for most businesses.
In its relationship with the customer, companies face a triple bias:
- Not understanding the point of view of customers.
- The perception of each employee and department is limited to their own fields.
- There is awareness of the existence of the customer only when a direct interaction takes place.
These are the reasons why, in many cases, we have the impression that the customer of the company is the company itself. The utility of the Customer Journey Map lies in the fact that it allows the company to counterbalance these three biases.
1. Understanding the customer perspective
First of all, designing the customers journey requires being in their shoes, experiencing our services from their point of view and not that of the company.
This can be hard, since it requires having the ability to forget everything we know and see through the eyes of a stranger. It may also be useful to observe our customers, be attentive to their behavior and their comments, although it may appear insignificant.
2. Unifying the perspective of company
In many companies, employees have a superficial knowledge of what the other employees and departments do. Their relationship with the customer is therefore uncoordinated, redundant and contradictory. It is as if the customer didn’t interact with a company, but with multiple ones.
Perhaps this is the most difficult stage, since it involves pooling the expertise of each department and every employee to get an overall picture of the service.
3. Being aware of the service as a whole
If the first two stages have been carried out successfully, the company will be able to understand that the relationship with the customer isn’t limited to specific moments but in fact it’s a prolonged interaction that begins well before the first contact takes place.
Unknowingly, the customer travels a route that goes through different phases. Beyond that punctual direct interactions or touch points between the company and the customer, a service life cycle outlines a more complex path (although it may not be always obvious).
Falling to understand this, companies drive customers through complicated paths, often unmarked. Many of them will abandon the journey. The mission of a company isn’t to produce services and products but to accompany the customer.