When I ask participants in my Customer Journey Mapping Workshops if their organisations have undertaken mapping, most have, and admit that their efforts are often rudimentary and siloed. In other words, their efforts are top-line and assumptive; based on internal experiences and not from the customer’s perspective, and undertaken by just their own functional group.
To maximise the advantages of customer journeys: understanding customer needs, improving touchpoints and services and aligning functional silos etc., focus needs to be first and foremost on understanding customer point-of-view combined with engaging the wider business to create shared ownership of the customer experience.
Service Safaris are a holistic method of investigating the customer’s journey to develop an initial understanding of how services work. A service safari is undertaken to start the mapping process and is a great way to begin engaging cross functional groups to share ownership of improving experiences.
The aim of a using a service safari to explore your customer’s world is to enable team members to act, think and feel like customers and most importantly, develop customer empathy – to understand customer’s lives: their needs, goals and the jobs they’re trying to get done. What quickly becomes apparent is the painful and frustrating experience moments in the business’s service delivery.
I recommend to clients that they start the mapping process by getting representatives from each functional group to work together and agree on the behavioural stages in the customer’s journey. Following this, they get out and about and immerse themselves in the customer’s world. For example, if it’s a shopping centre, you’d not just visit, but walk through every step a shopper would take pre, during and post the shopping experience.
Complete your service safari with a team workshop to discuss, share and document what it feels like to be a customer; using in the field observations to ‘assumptively map’ experiences across the journey. The next step is to validate your team’s assumptions with qualitative research—what are your customers really thinking, doing and feeling when they’re interacting with your business.
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