Categories
Service design

How long does a journey take to make?

This week a colleague rushed up asking how long it would take to produce a journey map and the answer was … it depends.

But first, what is a journey map?

journey-slider

A journey map is a model of a person’s experience over time with an organisation. They can describe a service experience of an existing customer, such as a support call or they can describe the sales experience of a new customer. The latter usually conforming to some version or other of the purchasing funnel. For the purposes of this post I am discussing current-state and not future-state journey maps.

Who and what is represented in journey maps?

A journey map can be the story of a specific persona or it can depict the generalised experience of all customers. Adaptive Path makes this distinction and labels the former a customer journey map, and the later an experience map.

Then there is the “stage” to consider. The front-stage shows the customer experience and the back-stage presents the corresponding experience of the organisation – the teams, systems and processes that combine to deliver the experience. This kind of journey is usually described as a service blueprint.

So … how long does a journey take to make?

To plan resources, people, and effort you need to think about the content and the data that’s informing it. This can come from internal workshops, co-design sessions, or through customer and staff research.

Guidelines for planning

Resourcing guidelines for journey mapping approaches
Activity Inputs Who you’ll need Time Considerations Cost Trade-off
Quick Workshop Anecdotal knowledge Subject matter experts, product owners, front line staff as proxies for customers. 1-2 facilitators. Half-day
  • Usually output as high-level post-it notes.
  • Add 2 days to make a legible and shareable electronic or print deliverable.
$ Minimal time and cost but no first-hand customer data.
Workshop Existing researchVoice of customer data Subject matter experts, staff, product owners. 1-2  facilitators. 1-2 weeks
  • Invest time in sourcing past research reports.
  • Voice of customer data from different sources needs time to collate into a consistent form for comparison and analysis.
  • No data of external factors (personal network, competitors) and just interactions with your organisation makes for a one-sided story. Customers are more motivated to give feedback when something has gone wrong; the resulting journey may be disproportionately negative and may miss all the positive forces that made them customers in the first place.
$$ Minimal time and cost. Depending on quality of research and data journey can be fragmented with no context for wider story or experience.
Journey co-design workshops Recounted experience. Example touch points. Customers who have recently or are currently going through the experience.One facilitator, one note taker. 2-5 weeks
  • 1-2 weeks to recruit participants.Approximately 1-2 weeks of co-design workshops.
  • Allow more time if your segmentation requires more participants to get a representative sample.Time to synthesise what you learn into insights and onto the journey itself. 3 days – 1 week.You may opt to run modified Delphi sessions where each subsequent co-design session builds on and edits the previous one–so you are essentially always working on the one map.Add 3-5 days to make a legible and shareable electronic or print deliverable.
$$$ Customer data represented but highly dependent on recall. Detail of real time customer experience e.g. with a specific touchpoint or episode may be lost.
JTBD switch interviews with customers Recounted experience. Customers who have very recently switched to your product or away you’re your product to a competitor.
One researcher. Note taker optional.
3-5 weeks
  • 1-2 weeks to recruit participants.
  • Allow more time in recruitment to get the exact customers you need.1-2 weeks of research depending on the number of participants in your study. Synthesis is streamlined with JTBD Four Forces diagram and customer timelines.Great research technique to support agile teams in iterative rounds of discovery or development. Applicable to a buying journey only.
$$$ Customer data represented but dependent on recall. Skilled interviewer should be able to elicit detail of real time customer experience of a specific touchpoint or episode.
Contextual interviews and/or longitudinal diary studies with customers Recounted or directly observed experience.Qualitative insights.Can dig deep into quite low level detail and describe context of use of example touch points. Customers who have recently or are currently going through the experience.
A representative sample for each customer segment.
A team of researchers. 2-4 depending on the number of customers.
8-12 weeks
  • Worthy investment for strategic projects
  • Resource intensive approach to follow-up with participants.
  • Compelling when paired with quantitative research to size findings.
$$$$$ Requires large investment and results are not actionable for some time but end result is credible research report usable by both executive and operational teams.

Conclusion

As with anything, there are trade offs involved. A well researched and high detailed journey will certainly stand the test of time, be useful to multiple audiences, and be a persuasive research piece to support change. It all depends on your project needs and constraints. The 80/20 rule may also apply—making smaller investments with Jobs-to-be-Done research or co-design workshops may yield most of the major insights you need to uncover for significantly less cost and time.

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Update:
I have made a some updates since first publishing this post. Thanks to Krispian Emert for your valuable feeback.

Categories
Events Service design

The evolution of CX

The first Australian CXPA meet-up in Sydney (16/4/2013) was a breakfast session at Atlassian HQ with Cyrus Allen of Strativity as the MC. The special guest via a Google Hangout was CXPA and Temkin Group founder Bruce Temkin. He is also the creator of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index and Voice of Customer Award.

Bruce Temkin beaming in via a Google Hangout
Bruce Temkin beaming in via a Google Hangout

 

What Bruce saw from his side via this tweet

Coming at this space from an Experience Design background as I do, I was most interested in what Bruce Temkin had to say about the ‘evolution of cx management’. He presented the following chronological model:

CX intrigue 2005 -2009

  • Organisations have applications, infrastructure in place.
  • CRMs don’t deliver anticipated value.

CX exuberance 2008 – 2013

  • The term CX gets ’slapped’ on top of titles.
  • 60% of companies think they will be customer experience leaders in 3 years (the maturity model indicates this is a much longer journey)
  • Shows that ambitions are emerging, but that organisations are not realistic about the implications.

CX professionalism 2011 -2015

  • People are starting to have clear practices and procedures around customer experience
  • A set of consistent practices is being collectively pushed into the community (via the CXPA of course 😉
  • VOC programs, journey mapping become standard process.
  • Close loop systems are in place to re-contact customers and learn.

CX Mastery 2014 +

  • Real time customer satisfaction analytics are able to project NPS, customer trends and other metrics.
  • Employee engagement becomes increasingly important as the connection between staff and the ability to drive sustainable customer experience is acknowledged.
  • The human resource sector becomes committed to employee engagement.

Temkin’s rally cry to the community was to practise a core set of repeatable processes and procedures; for the differences in practise that have existed to date to become standardised if the ‘era of CX’ is to continue. In support of this vision the CXPA is developing a vendor neutral certification program they hope will be recognised as a legitimate professional standard globally.

I should mention the format of the breakfast. The talk was followed by a Q&A and group discussion. It was valuable gaining insight into so many organisations so quickly and hearing about the various surveys, processes and incentives in place. I have a whole page of notes but if your are intrigued, you may just have to come along to the next event.

If you want to read more of Bruce Temkin’s work check out his blog Customer Experience Matters.