James Matthews, Principal Consultant
7th February 2020
“It’s not about where you’re going, it’s about how you get there.”
“The true joy of life is the trip.”
“The journey is the destination.”
The internet has thousands of versions of this phrase, but at its core the sentiment always remains the same: satisfaction is found in experience, not accomplishment.
On the surface this seems like a useful foundation on which to build attitudes surrounding customer experience, except that often – in the case of CX – the ‘destination’ in question is the product or service being sold. Without this transaction, the journey ceases to have any final ‘accomplishment’ at all. With this in mind, the foundation for good CX instead becomes understanding this journey, and ensuring it becomes a process which is not only satisfactory, but as frictionless or as delightful as possible.
Understanding a customer journey and finding out what you can do to improve it typically involves the creation of a customer journey or service blueprint. These two complementary methods are part of the same process but differ in their output and purpose.
Customer journey maps Vs. service blueprints
Take a moment and think about the following questions:
Do I know who my customers are?
Do I understand the journey they take to get to my service or product?
Do I appreciate the challenges and pain points they may experience during this journey?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘No’ then journey mapping is a great place for you to start. If your answer to all of the above was ‘Yes’ then perhaps blueprinting is the logical next step for your organisation.
When to use a journey map
Journey mapping generally involves researching and meticulously noting down the step-by-step process your customers undertake to transact with your organisation. You might need to map several customer types, with different journeys and needs across your customer base, plus different ‘micro journeys’ within stages of the overall experience. The experience of a customer journey can be a nebulous thing to visualise; this process allows your company to ground that journey in narrative. It creates something tangible for everyone involved to focus on and helps them to understand, from a customer perspective, the role that they play to deliver the desired CX.
When to use a service blueprint
If journey mapping is an examination of your customer’s experience, then blueprinting is a deep-dive into the components that could make that experience the best it can be. Once you have an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of your customer’s journey, it’s time to look at how you can improve that journey, and what your company can do to exceed expectations. The addition of the (often) cross-functional activities that would need to take place for that to be repeatable and scalable gives you a start-point for understanding the task at hand. It’s a good idea to start with the simplest improvements to help your organisation gain momentum.
Benefits of blueprinting
Blueprinting is the opportunity to think about and understand the processes, decisions, mechanics and regulations that work constantly behind the scenes. Fine tuning these aspects can in turn deliver great returns in acquisition, advocacy and loyalty. Getting this right also delivers operational efficiencies and employee satisfaction – when everything is coordinated and pulling in the same direction, everyone feels good about it.
How we can help
We are in the middle of a customer-driven revolution where business as usual is often not enough to survive. Many organisations are seeing unprecedented competition from previously unknown rivals. Understanding the skills you need to exceed customer expectations will help you to thrive in this exciting, but sometimes daunting, world.
Ethology considers the whole of your business and reveals new customer insights to help you to understand the needs, motivations and behaviours of your customers. This means you can deliver experiences that will help you to take on the competition confidently and make the most of your expertise. We also stay true to our ethos – keep it Simple, Human and Useful.
You focus on the destination; we’ll take care of the journey.
We help brands across the globe improve their customer experience. Get in touch to speak to one of our consultants.