A fresh look at customer journeys
We have a fresh approach to understanding customer journeys. We focus on what and how people are thinking as they take their 'journey'
The key points
- Thinking. We are interested not just in what people do on their 'journey'; we are interested in the mental to-ing and fro-ing, the self-talk, the uncertainty that goes on as they interact with the service (this is 'sense-making').
- Expectations. How people frame the problem they are trying to solve shapes the journey they will take. Understanding 'expectations transfer' is key (see the case study below)
- Stories. We learn about people's experiences by listening to the stories people tell about themselves. The first step is to listen to what your customers are telling you about their experiences. This can be done in situ, but you can also use deep unstructured interviews and creativity sessions. Don't start with your processes and see how customers use them - that's the wrong way round.
- Goals. We focus on how customers try to get the things done that they want to get done, which means that we need to understand their goals.
How we do this
- We talk to your customers directly and get to know them and what matters to them.
- We identify moments of ambiguity and uncertainty, as well as pain points and moments that matter.
- We focus on outcomes. We find out the answers to questions like:
- What drove customer to choose Option A instead of B, when B would be more efficient and how can we re-frame the options to change that behaviour?
- How can we rewrite the instructions so that people can follow them?
- We show you the frame of expectations that journey-makers use, and create personas and journey maps to make it make sense to you.
Case Study - understanding expectations transfer
Our client is a government agency going through a period of cultural change, and needs to ensure that it delivers the services that customers need. Our service journey research revealed that people using this service for the first time came to the experience with a particular cognitive frame. Much of this has to do with 'expectations transfer' - Australians are now so used to experiencing a certain style of service interaction from commercial organisations that they now expect it everywhere. This means that there is a significant gap between the service the organisation is able to provide and customers' expectations. We are working with the client on communicating better to customers but also bridging gaps in organisational processes to deliver what customers need. It was important through this process to acknowledge the difference between delivering a service that was needed and one that was expected. This qualitative research helped the understand - make sense of - the survey metrics they were using.
Services research is not just a pale imitation of product research. Product research and services research are different as we explain here in our Why services are different blog post.