3 Key Takeaways:
- Service design can help organization discover how best to “fulfill the experience” by uncovering back-end improvement opportunities to front-end CX pitfalls.
- Marketers can add quantitative components to journey maps by measuring CX (through surveys, etc.) across key touchpoints in the customer journey, over time.
- Future-state journey mapping can envision proposed solutions to current-state CX pitfalls, but is best reserved for product owners or executives with influence on strategic decision-making.
In this final blog of our three-part series, we outline 3 forward-thinking ways to take your journey maps to the next level. When added to a journey mapping project, the following techniques help delineate clear action steps for clients to optimize and improve their customer experience:
Service Design: Fulfilling the Experience
What is it:
Service Design focuses on “fulfilling the experience” and what actually happens behind the scenes (that the customer never sees). Amazon is a great example of a company optimizing service design. Amazon spent its first years focused on the experience of purchasing products online. And they got very good at it. But if you’ve followed Amazon over the past few years, you’ll notice an increased focus on fulfillment – how to get the products in the hands of the customer. Whether via Amazon Prime, Dash Buttons, or now Prime Air (using drones, yes – drones!) – they’ve become more of a fulfillment agency. While it’s all happening behind the line of visibility, it’s greatly impacting customer satisfaction.
Why it Matters:
Often, journey maps focus on the customer’s perspective. That’s the front stage. You learn about the customer’s journey and opportunities to improve it. Service design can help examine and fix operational pain points that are impacting the experience (such as revenue cycle or call center functionality). Service Blueprints will connect these front and back stage processes. For example, in healthcare a journey map project may reveal CX pitfalls around online scheduling. In this case, service design would map out what actually happens when you hit the “submit” button on appointment requests – to the data, but also from a CX perspective. It’s not just about customers, but the business processes, technologies, and employees who serve them.
Service design is the future, but it requires organizations to bridge silos to solve a shared problem. Organizations are often characterized by departmental silos and decentralization, with limited shared priority circles. That’s the main challenge – it’s a culture shift. But, if healthcare can create seamless fulfillment (like Amazon), don’t you think patient retention and experience will improve? An effective plan for service design ensures the entire organization buys into your recommendations, extends the shelf-life of your design thinking, and ultimately, helps client meet or exceeds business goals.
Incorporating Action & Metrics Planning
What is it:
This strategy helps take qualitative journey maps into the quantitative research space. Often, CX is a swim lane on journey maps demonstrated as good (smiley), OK (straight face) or poor (frown). Cliché, but the goal is always to turn the frowns upside-down. How can we test this? You can go back in a year to redo the journey map research to see if the frowns change to smiles, but that’s qualitative (and expensive). Rather, incorporating action and metrics planning into the journey map means adding metrics to key touchpoints on a customer journey map and re-measuring that data over time. This can be done via customer surveys or other quantitative methods.
Why it Matters:
Even the best journey map can be rendered useless if the outcomes aren’t acted upon in a strategic and thoughtful way. By including baseline metrics in the journey maps themselves and action plans to systematically test and analyze them, organizations can get a regular pulse on their customer experience improvements and prioritize areas that need continued nurturing. It’s critical that organizations designate resources to manage these metrics over time, and improvement plans where necessary to reach target goals.
To be most effective, this technique should be focused on the most impactful customer experience pain points. If you try to apply this too broadly, it will likely fail as it requires a thorough measurement plan and the resources to support it. F-o-c-u-s. We’ve found that Google’s HEART framework is a helpful way to build out your customer experience metrics plan. The framework helps organizations measure the quality of user experience (UX) by setting up goals to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) within the 5 main CX categories that make up HEART including Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task success. See how we applied HEART to a healthcare project. We suggest that you start by choosing applied scenarios that match organizational priorities and can be measured and tested – either with existing patient surveys or those that are easily implemented.
Future State Journey Mapping
What is it:
Future state journey mapping is a way to envision what the experience “could” look like in the future. Rather than looking at a current customer journey, it examines potential future experiences or journeys with real customers. The process typically involves collaboration across departments, customers and industry experts and offers great value for a new product or service.
Why it Matters:
It helps to provide a foundation for future strategic decisions by testing proposed solutions. “Current state” journey maps are great for unveiling the existing customer experience, emotions, and pain points. As a result, opportunities for CX improvement arise. “Future state” maps take personas and move them through proposed journeys that address those pain points. This allows organizations to refine solutions and action steps that are derived from the current state study.
This is a wonderful technique, but like “experiential” journey mapping projects, it’s best reserved for those who have the resources to apply the findings as it is a forward-thinking and highly strategic process. We find these projects are most effective for the C-level executive or those who are responsible for influencing product, service, or organizational strategy.
Thinking about embarking on a journey mapping project. We’re here to help. Let’s chat.