Using Journey Maps to Tell a Story

journey map to tell a storyWe hosted the weekly #CXO Chat on Twitter on Monday. What a great and insightful chat it was! If you don’t participate in, or at least observe, these chats, you should. Some of the smartest minds in the world of customer experience exchange thought-provoking tweets for an hour, starting at 12PM EST every Monday. One of the questions posed on Monday was “How do you craft a map that communicates a qualitative customer story based on quantitative data?” Great question. Here are our thoughts, along with some insightful tweets from Monday.

Storytelling is a powerful tool for knowledge sharing. People can relate to stories. The stories create connections – in this case between the customer and the company.

Storytelling is used to outline and detail the customer experience with your brand. Telling the story of the customer’s experience facilitates the communication to, and the buy-in from, the entire company; it helps everyone understand how customers interact with your brand. The story also helps to design future experiences that meet and/or exceed customer expectations.

Using a journey map to tell the story helps to bring the story to life. Because the story is from the customer perspective, not the company’s, it forces the company to focus on the customer. The customer journey map is the backbone of customer experience management.

One of the most important components of the story is the quantitative data; it must be used to support or to accentuate the good and the bad parts of the story. The story the map tells must be from the customer perspective, right? And it must be true; as such, the quantitative data ensures that truth. The data behind the story must be credible and actionable. The data reveals what’s working and what isn’t. Each touchpoint is assigned a score so you can gauge its value and effectiveness and also monitor operational consistency.

You’re probably saying, “How do I get started writing the story?” We’ve written previous posts on how to create a journey map, but in a nutshell, identify your customers; understand who they are, what their needs are, and how they interact with your company; and then create personas to tell their stories. Between conversations with customers and your quantitative data, you’ll have plenty of supporting evidence, including verbatims, actual behaviors (#bigdata), and attitudinal (#survey) findings, to analyze for insights about your customers and their journeys.

A persona on its own tells a story – by definition, it is a story – of the customer or the user. You will create journey maps for each different persona – different stories, different experiences for different customers.

Take each persona and tell the story from the identified need or problem through different possible solutions and interactions through success. The quantitative data will be important here, as it will help to identify gaps and improvement areas. And keep in mind that the more (data-based) evidence you have, the more likely you are to move any strategic change initiatives forward. The quantitative data helps to build a compelling case.

One last note on using quantitative data; customer feedback about the touchpoint can be used to brainstorm and to ideate solutions to problems or to create new journeys or experiences.

Some of the tweets regarding this question included:

@IBMbigdata:  Taking data to derive insight adds depth to journey maps and the customer story.

@Clearaction: Best way to craft a map is augment data w/observation of customer in their own environment.

@jbondre: Big data needs to be combined with anecdotal data from front line, consumer conversations, and general chatter.

@jeanniecw: Quant data should inform qualitative focus for CX mapping. Where do you focus your story?

@IBMbigdata: Data allows us 2 c the customer in 4D as we can map insight from across silos, depts. biz units etc.

@lindaireland: Quant data is your evidence – and helps you shape the diagnostic between the experience you have and the one you want.

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