Customer journey mapping
Customer journey mapping is the process of tracking and describing all the experiences that customers have as they encounter a service or set of services, taking into account not only what happens to them, but also their responses to their experiences. Used well, it can reveal opportunities for improvement and innovation in that experience, acting as a strategic tool to ensure every interaction with the customer is as positive as it can be.
The government context
A key aim of the Transformational Government Strategy is better customer focus in the design and delivery of public services. As David Varney put it:
“Deep insight into customer needs, behaviours and motivations, plus the ability for citizens and businesses to have better information on the services on offer, are all important for the design of public services that support the Government’s desired policy outcomes..”
(Service Transformation: A better service for citizens and businesses, a better deal for the taxpayer by Sir David Varney, Dec 2006)
Journey mapping approaches
In putting the guidance together, we have identified three types of journey mapping.
Customer experience mapping is a qualitative approach, focused on emotional insights about a customer, in order to tell his or her story with passion and narrative. It’s a powerful way of engaging both staff and customers.
Mapping the system, or process mapping maps the steps in a process and identifies where to act to make the experience as easy, pleasant and efficient as possible.
Measuring the experience is a form of mapping that allows us to determine how well an experience is delivered. It can quantify the effect of changes and contribute to business cases.
The approaches work best of all in combination. Mapping the experience brings the story to life and engages your audience. Comparing this with current processes helps identify priority actions. Adding quantification to this tells you how many people are affected, at what cost. Building these layers of understanding maximises the value of the approach.
In terms of customer understanding, journey mapping helps:
- See things from the customer’s point of view
- Deliver information, messages and services at the most appropriate time
- Deliver a seamless, streamlined experience that cuts across silos by recognising where and when it makes sense to join things up for the customer
- Get it right when it really matters e.g. when emotions are highest or need greatest
- Look at the current situation and the ‘ideal’ side-by-side, giving a chance to genuinely redraw the customer journey
In terms of building efficiency, journey mapping helps:
- Bring about change across government in a way that cuts across silos
- Target limited resource for maximum impact
- Plan the most efficient and effective experience by reducing duplication and shortening the length of processes
- Identify ‘baton-change’ points where service or communication breakdown is most likely
- Identify problems and issues without attributing blame
- Identify cheapest ‘cost to serve’
- Set performance indicators and standards so that progress can be tracked and measured over time