I did a workshop recently on one of the most useful research tools in the design thinking tool kit – the customer journey map.
Mapping the Experience
Customer journey maps usually hone in on a specific interaction that a customer or member has with your organization. A variation on the journey map -- the experience map can zoom a little further out to see the flow of whole experience.
Capturing the ups and down
Regardless of the scale you decide to focus on, the journey map is essentially a blank flow chart that someone fills in detailing the steps they take to accomplish a specific task. Some examples include joining your organization or deciding to attend an event. The map typically include spaces for the person to note their actions, what were highlights and what are pain points.
Thinking, feeling, doing
Especially important is providing space for the person to note their emotions. You might ask the person who is filling out the map to name the experience stages the group the individual steps. Often it is important to capture the context for the interaction including the place, the environment and who is involved. Your goal is to capture what your customer is thinking, feeling and doing.
Be sure to allow customers to draw their own maps. You can then to look for insights from maps. Have your customers or members or participants tell you what theirexperience is rather than assuming you already know. At the same time, it is also useful for you to create a hypothesis journey map to note your thoughts about the experience you are investigating. You can then compare your version to the versions created by actual customers to see where you got it right and what differs.
Making the hidden visible
The journey map captures both the actions that the person takes as well as what is normally hidden. It prompts them to note what they were thinking at the time and what they were feeling. The emotional up and down of an experience will provide key insights into what aspects might need to be improved.
Case study: First timers
During the workshop, we worked on the experience of first timers at an event or conference and identified several pain points including:
What do you need to learn about your members?
You may choose to investigate other aspects of member engagement just as your members deciding to join, deciding to volunteer. What research questions do you have that could benefit from this tool? Download this template for your use.
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