Many organizations are using customer journey mapping to understand and improve the experience of their customers. But it can be confusing. Let’s clear up the confusion and see how you can
add clarity and power in the process.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
Customer Journey Maps are a visual representation of a customer’s relationship with your people, products, services and brand over time. Journey maps may be created for various customer segments. They can be for internal and external customers. They may include various product lines, service offerings, contact and distribution channels.
A good customer journey map should be easily understood and applied to generate customer experience improvements. However, since each map may represent a complex set of players, interactions, relationships, processes, timelines, and emotions, maps too often become vague or confusing with language and visuals that limit their effectiveness as a communication and improvement tool.
To help you maximize the value and effectiveness customer journey maps, here is a clear structure you can apply to customer journey mapping.
- The Customer Life Cycle
A natural collection of Customer Journeys over the life of the customer relationship. Other common terms include: cradle-to-grave relationship, end-to-end relationship, customer for life experience, and lifetime customer connection.
- The Customer Journey
A series of unique paths a customer takes to interact with your company, brand, products, and services over time and across channels. In UP! Your Service terms, this is a series of Service Transactions, also commonly called end-to-end experiences.
- The Service Transaction
These are unique and specific transactions experienced by a customer within a journey to obtain the value that they seek. Other common terms include service events, service episodes, and customer interactions. Confusingly, these complete transactions are sometimes called touchpoints. (See #4 below.)
- The Perception Points
These are individual points within a Service Transaction, or between Service Transactions, where a customer notices something, or experiences something, and forms an opinion about your service. Perception Points are not the process you follow, it is your customer’s experience of your process that matters. Other common terms: moments of truth, moments of magic, moments of misery, pleasure points, and pain points.
- The Process Steps
These are the consistent, documented sequence of actions and other steps taken by service providers to complete a Service Transaction or transition the customer between Service Transactions. Other common terms include: process map, process flowchart, and checklists.