Do you know how your customers experience their interactions with you? Are you delivering according to the expectations? Do they experience any pain points? These are key questions that many of the product teams in Visma are confronted with and require more insight into. In order to help them get a better understanding of the customer experience we have created a customer journey toolkit. The aim is to help teams get a holistic view of the service and at the same time get the details, finds patterns, insight and opportunities.
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey is the way customers interact with your brand or business through different channels called “touchpoints.” These touchpoints can be anything from arriving on your website, reading a blog, making a purchase, or using your products and services.
A customer journey map illustrates the touchpoints where customers come in contact with Visma online or offline, and is always seen from their point of view. The way they interact with the brand or business is essential for the growth and future success, but even more so, understanding how they interact is imperative.
The customer journey phases
Why map a customer journey?
Mapping a customer journey is a way of visualising and analysing how customers interact with Visma across multiple channels and touchpoints.
The customer journey helps you to:
- See things truly from the customer’s point of view
- Address the total customer experience and how they move from one phase to the next
- Gain empathy and understanding of people using the service
- Identify touchpoints that are working well, and where improvements should be made
- Understand the customer’s cross-channel behavior
- Do a gap analysis comparing the actual experience up against the ideal customer journey
A product team mapping a customer journey
About the customer journey toolkit
The idea behind the toolkit is to give the different product/service teams a step by step guide to how they can map their customer journey. The toolkit will hopefully help them with identifying gaps and issues faster, making it easier for different teams to communicate, effectively navigate the huge volume of questions and issues that surround a product/service and providing a structure for the conversations that needs to happen.
The toolkit steps
We have divided the toolkit into 5 steps.
This step is all about preparing and mobilising the team to start mapping the customer journey. It’s about finding out what journey you are to map and why, what your goals are and who needs to be involved. You also need to decide on a customer segment and user groups to focus on. Setting KPIs is done in this step, and could be NPS, churn, or onboarding as a few examples.
You have now set up the team and agreed on the customer journey you are to map. We recommend that you start by mapping the journey as you expect it to be. This is not necessary, however it makes it easier to have some ideas of what the journey might look like and areas that you are uncertain about. Once you meet with the customers you are in a better position to know what needs to be validated in order to understand how they actually experience the journey. This is the most important step, investigating the journey with actual customers and understanding their perspective.
3. Map actual customer journey
Once you have spoken to customers you can now map the actual journey based on the customer experience. You need to document every touchpoint of the customer experience, as well as how the experience was.
4. Identify delights and pain points
A customer journey is most likely never flawless. Somewhere in the customer journey customers will experience pain points, as well as delights. The most important thing is to know what these delights and pain points are, and where in the journey they are found. The goal is to improve and become better.
This step is about identifying the areas in need of improvement based on the pain points, and how to best document what is required to make those improvements.
Customer journey community
We have also created a community where we hope that our colleagues will give us feedback on the toolkit and ideas as to what else should be added. We are also hoping that teams who have been mapping their journeys can add examples, reflections and learnings that may be useful for others and get a discussion going amongst the teams.
Further work on the toolkit
We see this as the first version. The focus has been on how the customers experience the customer journey. The next step is to introduce “service blueprints” and looking at the frontstage and backstage. The frontstage is where the action happens and what the customers can see. The backstage is the organization, support processes and the systems, basically everything we at Visma do to make the frontstage happen. Mapping the customer journey against the frontstage and backstage is where we really can start to see where improvements need to be made.
Reflections so far
The toolkit was only “launched” a month ago, so we don’t have much feedback yet, apart from adding a template for the customer journey as-is workshop.
But we are excited to find out how the teams will experience mapping customer journeys on their own, with little assistance from us service designers. Have we provided sufficient information or not? Do we also need to run training courses to help them get started? Time will tell.
We have in this toolkits recommended teams to start by mapping the journey as they believe it happens. This is strictly not necessary, but there are two reasons for recommending this. By mapping the journey as you believe it happens you get the multidisciplinary teams together – talking across silos – which is valuable in itself. The other reason is that it makes the interviews with customers easier, as you can ask better and more relevant questions.
About the authors
Cecilie Campey, UX & SD Manager
Cecilie works as a UX & Service Design Manager at Visma. She has over 15 years experience of working as designer and leading design teams. Her goal is to find the perfect balance between the customer needs, business goals and organisational capability.
Marianne Miller, Service Designer
Marianne works as a Service Designer at Visma. She has a BSc in Arts and worked with photography for many years. She then had a career change and studied Digital Media Creative at Hyper Island. She aims to create better services with the use of collaboration, facilitation and a holistic view.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin