Why Journey Mapping Sucks

by Colin Shaw on March 18, 2013
Why Journey Mapping Sucks

Why Journey Mapping Sucks

Here is a surprise for you…. your Customers are people! I hope this didn’t shock you too much… Given this I really don’t understand why organizations seem to forget this and design experiences as if people are robots, or logical, rational beings. People are far from being logical and rational. In fact I would go so far as to say much of human’s behaviour is irrational.

Why then do we then design experience based on processes or just look at the rational aspects of a Customer Experience?

I have already blogged about the massive difference between a process and an experience difference between a process and an experience . Processes are internal things; they are what an organization wants a Customer to do. Processes need to consider workflows, handoffs, etc.

An experience is very different. We have experiences all the time. You are having one now reading this. An experience is ‘in the moment’ and looks at all aspects of human behaviour. Therefore when we talk about a ‘Customer Experience’ we are just segmenting a person’s life to when the person is a Customer.

That is why most Journey mapping sucks. Most journey mapping just looks at the rational side of a Customer Experience and that is less than half of a person’s human experience. If you wish to map a Customer’s experience, then that is VERY different. By just using the word ‘experience’ means we should be looking at all the aspects that make up human experience when using journey mapping.

Human experience encompasses the conscious/rational experience emotional experience and the subconscious experience and as we outlined in our last book Customer Experience Future Trends and insights Palgrave Macmillan 2010 the whole area of ‘experience psychology’ comes into play. These also need to be part of your journey mapping. Designing a Customer Experience properly is not for the faint hearted. That is why most experiences are poor.

When we design a new experience for our clients using Moment Mapping®  we take this into account at each touch point.

Here are some key questions that are important when undertaking journey mapping and designing an experience?

Where does the experience start and finish?

Most organizations just think their experience starts when the Customer comes into contact with the Customer. Wrong, invariably the experience starts way before that, and it finishes way after they purchase the product.

What emotions are you trying to evoke?

As over 50% of a Customer Experience is about emotions, which emotions are you trying to evoke in your experience? What emotions are you currently evoking and why? What actions are you going to take to evoke these? All these questions and more need to be considered.

What are your customers feeling entering the experience?

Do you know what your customers are feeling entering the experience? This will affect their experience with you.

What is your subconscious experience?

The majority of what we ‘see’ in an experience is seen by our subconscious. What subconscious signals are you giving to your Customers? What sub conscious signals do you want to give? What effect do these have on your Customers?

How can you use Experience psychology to your advantage?

People are complex animals. Human behaviour is driven in part, by our psychological make up. There are hundreds of examples I could give but let’s focus on one that most people will know. Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs’ impacts the Customer experience. For example does the Customer feel ‘safe’ when they are having their experience, one of the important bottom layers of Maslow? How can you make your experience more ‘social’ to reinforce people’s need to socialisation outlined by Maslow? There are many other psychological theories that you need to take into account. We have created an ‘experience psychology check list’ that our teams use to ‘walk the experience’, so we can ensure we ‘see’ what the customer sees and understand their behaviour.

If you are interested in this subject and want some pointers on how to go about this we are conducting a webinar on journey mapping at the end of March: see here.

To make sure that your journey mapping doesn’t suck you need to consider all these aspects when building a Customer Experience. It is not always easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it and they’re not!

 What other key questions should you ask when designing your experience?

colin shaw

Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.

Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: 
Colin ShawWhy Journey Mapping Sucks