Customer Journey Mapping – Going off the beaten track

Customer Journey Mapping is a well-known and widely used methodology in customer experience management. Knowing what customers experience at the various moments in their customer journey will not only reveal specific pain or pressure points but will also point out specific improvement actions that can be initiated from a process perspective.

For businesses who have achieved a higher level of maturity in customer centric thinking, journey mapping can even be utilised to facilitate strategic changes to the environment in which the business operates.

One of the problems often experienced in mapping customer experience in the various moments at specific touch points is that the thinking is often limited to obvious information that has very little strategic value.

The Consulta layered approach to customer journey mapping assists in elevating journey mapping to a strategic instrument.

Let’s take a closer look at what is meant with the layered approach. The mapping process often involves a description of the moments, supported by some insights on what the customer may think and feel at each of these moments. Adding something like physical evidence at each moment may reveal moments of waiting that could otherwise not have been identified.

Think of the addition of a layer that focuses on the value experienced by the client. This could assist in the creation of Value Moments that could support the brand identity and facilitate the creation of more memorable moments which ultimately can contribute to brand advocacy.
From an outside-in perspective, the experience of value can be clustered into three categories:
- Operational excellence – things work and they work quite well - Product leadership – the experience that I am dealing with the very best and the very latest - Customer intimacy – the experience that the product has almost been designed for me personally.

At each moment in the customer journey the value focus of the client changes. Take the relatively simple example of a visit to the restaurant that you have been planning for quite some time. The mere fact that you arrive at the restaurant is something that would in most articles on journey mapping be described as a moment of truth. We found that it is not only about a moment of truth because the value-focus changes in each of the moments. The warm welcoming from the maître d' will shift the value attention to customer intimacy. As you are taken to your table your focus probably shifts to product leadership. The presentation of the menu will again focus attention on product leadership. From the moment you place your drinks order, the value-focus shifts to operational excellence. You can continue and will discover that each moment has a specific value-focus.

Simply by adding this layer and knowing what customers value at each moment, you can now start applying the several additional design principles that will ensure the creation of memorable experiences. One of the most well-known contributions in this regard came from the psychologist and Behavioural Economist Dr Daniel Kanheman. In his popular work on the two concepts of the self namely the experiencing self and the remembering self, Kanheman postulates that the remembering self is best served when an experience is characterised by peak moments happening at a significant point somewhere in the middle of the journey. He goes further and emphasises the importance of how a journey ends. The first impression may count, but last impressions last. This is what people will remember during a conversation about a specific brand.

How do I create lasting experiences then?

The answer lies in a deeper analysis of the concepts of a moment. The question can actually be asked: What makes a moment a moment? If you just think for a moment (no pun intended) how many moments go by unnoticed?

Not all moments are moments of truth. Some moments can be ones of realisation whilst others can ignite powerful emotional experiences. There are moments that can be significant because there is a degree of heightened information processing. These moments provide invaluable information about enhancing the memory of the experience with your brand and ultimately leads to brand advocacy.

Consulta recently had a wonderful experience where a micro finance institution in Cambodia, South East Asia wanted to go beyond just mapping moments. Their need was to utilise the insights obtained from their journey maps to amplify the brand as a whole. The Consulta team applied this layered approach and identified moments that can actually be measured and reflect on a scorecard. The scorecard would prompt specific actions from the call centre. Imagine receiving a call from your bank about a problem that you are experiencing at an ATM while you are still at the ATM. Wouldn’t that inevitably lead to a discussion with someone that would start with: “You won’t believe what I experienced today at the ATM…”. That is the ultimate form of customer intimacy!