Mapping the Customer Journey – the Tool

A customer journey map is an interesting and carefully planned visualization of a service user’s experience. The map details the service interactions and related emotions in a very clear and easy-to-use way.

It is necessary to start off the mapping by identifying the touchpoints where users interact with the service. The customer journey mapping is usually preceded by an interview with a customer although the maps can also be created by customers themselves. The main purpose of the map is the identification of both problem zones and opportunities for innovation, while dividing and classifying the service experience into individual stages for further analysis.
The question a researcher puts forward is what were the circumstances, motivations and experiences that resulted in this process. I used the customer journey map in the service design context to design an improved and to some degree a self-guided experience of an occupational health service. The aim was to better engage the patients while they waited to be seen by an occupational health professional. The first step was to create a journey map based on contextual research so as to create a framework of customer touchpoints from which to design. I then talked to the patients in the waiting room to understand their personal interactions, which helped me in understanding emotional nuances of interactions with the health service.
The resulting customer journey map translated the field observations into a design tool that was used to visualize the entire customer experience on one page. This allowed finding ways to improve every point of contact, and the journey map made areas of improvement easy to pinpoint. For instance, the journey map revealed opportunities to connect with customers before they engaged with the occupational health service provider. Being able to see the complete customer journey helped to guide every decision in the design of an improved service. And it helped to see how varied design choices would interact with each other to create the perfect experience.

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