Over the years, more and more projects started to use the tool in the organisation. This, and the strategic goal to put the user at the heart of services, led many directors of companies to state that the use of the customer journey tool should be one of the primary tools within the organisation. But how do we do that? How do we make sure more people use it? How do we benefit from this tool? Can it be more than just a tool?
More than a tool
A tool is just a tool. The underlying goal is to make the organisation more customer centric and the customer journey map is a great tool to:
- look at your services through the eyes of the user,
- see the bigger picture of the services your organisation provides,
- align stakeholders and departments,
- focus on tasks,
- create a common language,
- uncover new insights and opportunities,
- share insights,
A customer journey map can be so much more than just a tool. It can be a way to:
- enhance engagement and energy,
- to make your organization more agile,
- to focus and set priorities,
- and to introduce a new, customer-centric, way of thinking,
- change the organization.
Do your job better
To move from ownership of processes to ownership of journeys, the customer journey map can be a great tool, mental model and way of thinking. But to let the customer journey tool be more than a tool, you have to discover how using it can help you do your job better. Just drawing a customer journey map will not help you do your job better, you have to understand how it can help you do your job better. So one of the questions that we discussed is how to use the insights you get from mapping to take the next step. How to make the most of the organisational effects like engagement, alignment and user-centric mindset. Some of the uses of the tool came up:
- The customer journey map can help you see the most crucial areas of the service. This helps in prioritizing efforts.
- The map can help you uncover new elements of the service that you didn’t see before. This helps in improving the service.
- The map can help you to uncover elements of the service that do not provide any value to users. This helps in making your operation leaner.
- The map can be a good starting point for prototyping. If you use prototyping to dive deeper into elements of your service you can drill down to the specifics of the problems you need to solve and learn about how to best solve them.
- If you map front and back-end services and systems to the journey you can start seeing the relations between organisational processes, systems and the journey of the user. This creates new perspectives for decisions on systems, different discussions on more relevant topics.
“Should we make one customer journey for the entire organisation?”
If everybody is drawing similar customer journey maps, should there just be one map that everybody can use? On the other hand, the process of making the maps has ripple effects on the people in the projects that you miss if you just use the corporate map and don’t draw one yourself.
One way of thinking, seeing and communicating
Our conclusion is that there is no such thing as one customer journey map for an entire organisation. Each map is drawn from the perspective of a different user, is drawn to answer a specific question and is the result of the input of different stakeholders. There are bound to be some overlapping pieces but each project will need their own map. But it’s good to at least have one way of thinking, seeing and communicating. So maybe you don’t need one map, but one way of doing would be great. Especially to enhance communication between and across projects. If everybody makes maps, everybody is starting from the user perspective.
There are many ways to draw customer journey maps. If you look into it, you’ll find multiple ways to structure a map, but also multiple visual representations. So to help to share and to get off to a quick start, it would be a good idea to at least use one method to draw the maps. This way people from other projects can quickly read your map. And you can also learn from other projects more easily. You can see what others have done and start from that. You could build up a library of maps that other projects have drawn to learn, see connections, draw inspiration etc.
One part of the effort to use one method is to use one tool. There are many tools out there that can help you draw your maps. Starting with simple tools like a pen and paper to cloud computing tools that let you collaborate and offer templates. A nice tool is for example Mural. This tool offers templates and collaboration and has a specific graphic style that allows you to quickly read maps once you are used to it. It’s also a platform to save maps so you can back to them later and see other people’s maps.
At first the idea of one corporate journey was rejected. But talking about the one way of thinking, one method and one tool, the one journey idea came back up. Because if each map is drawn to investigate a specific question, there is also a specific question that could be investigated with a meta/über corporate map. On a strategic level there is also:
- a need for overview,
- a need for a way to prioritize and monitor investments,
- a need to get everybody in the right mindset, and
- a need for a way to have the right discussions.
If putting the user in the centre is a strategic goal, using a customer journey map on a strategic level would be a great idea. In the end, you want all the effort and investments to have an effect on the overall customer journey of the services your organisation delivers. A journey on a strategic level could be a great frame for discussions, monitoring and decisions. The meta map could be fed with insights from the project maps. Like all maps, it would be a living document that could also track the history of effort and results, create continuity between projects and strengthen relations. Tools change behaviours and the customer journey map can be a great tool to change communication, mindsets and definitions of success.
Journey of journeys
Even if you have a different question that drives the drawing of the map in your project, even if you have a different user, even if there are different stakeholders involved, the journeys in an organisation will touch each other. Projects can not only benefit from the bigger picture in a project, but also from the bigger picture of the relations from your project to that of others. Journey maps can help break people from their silos. But changing ownership from processes to journeys can create new silos. On different levels the touchpoints between journey maps can facilitate cross journey communication, strengthening the organisation. The meta-journey can be a place where the relations between journey can be mapped to create a journey of journeys.
The journey continues
Using customer journey maps shouldn’t be forced onto people and projects. It only works if people see the benefits. To achieve this you have to:
- educate people on the tool, the use and benefits,
- lead by example: use the tool on key projects and on a strategic level,
- provide tools,
- keep the discussion alive.
A mini-seminar like this is a good way to get the discussion started and to share insights. I’m curious to see where the journey of the journey maps takes us. It’s great to see so many people get excited about the benefits, the effects this tool can have on an organisation. The tool in itself is simple, but like any tool, the benefits don’t come from the tool but from the people using it, their goals, their questions, their skills. Tools like the journey map can be a catalyst for change. The discussions around the tool are equally, if not more, important than the tool itself. If you can change people’s mindset just a little if you can enhance communication just a little and if you can uncover little areas to improve your service, you’re already winning.
Sources: Service Design Notebook, UX Design.cc, trydesignlab.com, workshops The Argonauts