The Customer Journey

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Information about The Customer Journey

Published on March 13, 2014

Author: prosumerlab



The Customer Journey: Definition, Context, Usage, Examples. A master class by Prosumerlab. University of Deusto 03/12/2014.


Nice to meet you. I am Mikel Ayala, manager at Prosumerlab ( Prosumerlab is a strategic design consultancy firm. We work with our clients, both public and private, in four main areas:

Empathizing with consumers and understanding their needs

Designing new products, services and user experiences

Sketching strategies for communication and spreading

Creating innovative training contents, based on storytelling

Please join us! Profooders is one of our latest developments ( We create campaigns where we match consumers and companies in the food sector. This scheme is beneficial for both: • Companies can test their assumptions and try new solutions regarding packaging, size of portions, taste… • Consumers receive free samples of the products at home and give their opinion in a simple, fun way

Examples What are your thoughts on these customer journeys?

Context What do you already know about Design Thinking?

There are many definitions. Matching people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and viable as a business strategy. Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

Design Thinking aims towards innovation.

Design Thinking is human-centered. it focuses on people / customers and their needs, and not on a specific technology or other conditions it relies on feeling, intuition and inspiration, not only on rationality and anlysis it uses methods such as observations, interviews, prototyping…

Design Thinking is a process. Bootcamp Bootleg, Stanford D. School

The Design Thiking process is iterative.

This process is diverging / converging. Human-Centered Design Toolkit, IDEO

Design Thinking emphasizes prototyping. If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late. Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn

Definition What is a customer journey?

A customer journey is: A graphic representation that distills research into a concise, visually compelling story of the customer’s experience.

The customer’s experience is: The result of every interaction (touchpoint) with the provider. Customers always have an experience (good, bad, or indifferent).

A touchpoint is: An interaction with emotional resonance for the customer. Touchpoints of low satisfaction are known as painpoints.

A customer journey is NOT: The experience of one real customer Even though it’s based on real events A representation of the whole service Although it may include most of its key points An idealized view the service There are other tools for representing what the service should be like ✗ ✗ ✗

Usage Why / when / how should I use a customer journey?

WHY? Because it creates empathy The service provider can see the customer and understand his/her needs Because it is visual The service provider detects areas of improvement and opportunities, fast Because it is compelling The service provider is moved towards action (creation & implementation) ✓ ✓ ✓

WHEN? customer journey

WHEN? customer journey

HOW? The customer journey has two axis, TIME (x) and SATISFACTION (Y). satisfaction time

HOW? It also has three dimensions: DO (actions, objective), THINK (rational experience) and FEEL (emotional experience). feel think do

time do think feel (1) feel (2)

Sources How / where do we gather information?

Empathy, empathy, empathy. Empathy is the mental habit that moves us beyond thinking of people as laboratory rats or standard deviations. Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

There are three main approaches. Observe And, as much as possible, do observations in relevant contexts Engage Don’t think of talking to a user as an interview, try to make it a conversation Watch and listen Watch people while they interact, ask them to complete a task (think aloud) ✓ ✓ ✓

Method 1: Contextual interview We emphasize the adjective “contextual”: • Context makes the user feel confortable (or distressed) • It allows us to ask them to complete a task or enact an interaction • Relevant details can only emerge in a relevant context The quality of the answers depends entirely on the questions: • Try to combine closed-ended and open-ended questions • Ask why, ask why and keep asking why (the 5whys) If possible, record the interview so you can quote directly.

Contextual interviews: a user explains how he uses a new coffee machine (project with Cafés Baqué)

Method 2: Shadowing / A Day in the Life If you’re trying to become the user’s shadow: • Be as friendly and nonintrusive as posible • Ask the users to think aloud while they perform any interesting action • Don’t hesitate to ask why if there’s anything you don’t understand Sometimes you may need to see the user in a wider context, and this is when you should move from “Shadowing” to “A Day in the Life”.

Shadowing: a general practicioner interacts with a multimorbid patient (project about multimorbidity with O+Berri, Osakidetza)

Method 3: Cultural probes There may be projects where you can’t speak to the users directly: • They are geographically scattered • The subject is too difficult or intimate • Or, simply, they are too many (and you aren’t paid enough) Cultural probes are the perfect method in these cases. They are usually presented as a toolkit that comprises a set of instructions, a workbook, and a photocamera.

Cultural probes: toolkits specifically designed for frontdesk workers at Angulas Aguinaga (training project based on storytelling)

Method 4: Personas Personas (arquetipes) isn’t an optional method. You should work on personas before developing any customer journey. Personas are relevant arquetipes. They are meaningful for the product / service you’re dealing with, because their previous experiences, characteristics and needs, the way they interact with the provider, their expectations… are distinct. You should think of developing a customer journey for each relevant persona or arquetipe.

meaningful details pictures are important avoid stereotyping!!✗

These are a few general recommendations. Take pictures As you already know, a picture is worth 1000 words Don’t judge Make sure the user isn’t under any kind of pressure Eavesdrop Listen to spontaneous exchanges between customers and service providers ✓ ✓ ✓

Exercise Now let’s make a customer journey!

Please remove your shoes. Empathy is not walking in another’s shoes, first you need to remove your own. Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit

Details for the practical exercise.

If you want to learn more. Bootcamp Bootleg, Stanford Design School: Human-Centered Design Toolkit, IDEO: This is Service Design Thinking (book & website): The Lean Startup (book & website): Mapping the customer experience (presentation): journey-maps Customer journey mapping (presentation):

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