Know your users
First of all, we need to know our users. Sure, you heard it a bazillion times already and you probably use some sort of solution to get to know your users, customers. Frequently used methods are the analysis of existing data, creating personas, analysing competition, workshops, surveying and various number of other methods can be used.
Workshops are useful to get on the same page with the PO and the PM team. At UXstudio we always start our projects with a workshop. To get to know the customers we choose to interview the stakeholders, because they have experience in the industry.
The reason we used interviews before creating the customer journeys is a simple one: we wanted to create the journey with and for the right persons and since we wanted a highly exploratory method, interviews were our weapon of choice.
The input from the interviews was very helpful for us to see what kind of issues our target group has. So we started to think of solutions and we found a few very promising functions.
Focusing just on functions is not enough
Functions are important. They are the building blocks of your product, yet functions alone can’t define success, they have to be accepted and loved by our users. That’s why we have to keep on eye on the customers emotions while they use our service. However, a bad function has the potential to compromise your app.
Everybody wants satisfied and happy customers. Fortunately, we are highly emotional beings and often we tend to make decisions based on our emotions. With that in mind, it’s not enough to focus just on the functions, on the logical, rational facts. We are not Spock, neither are our users.
While carefully choosing and planning the functions, we also need to know their needs and feelings and more importantly we need to be able to react to those emotions at every step they take during the journey with our product. If we know what are the touchpoints and the problems, we can intervene to improve their experience and keep them as happy as possible.
Means to an end
The customer journey map is an oriented graph that describes the journey of a user. It represents the different problems, touchpoints, emotions that characterise your customers interaction with your service.
The question you have to ask yourself is:
“How do I help my customers achieve their goals using my application/website while still achieving mine?”
To get an answer to the above mentioned question, we used a customer journey mapping online tool, namely uxpressia. There are many solutions out there, but be aware: the generic customer journey map doesn’t offer the possibility to add emotions to the journey! We don’t recommend to use these type of customer journey maps:
Customer journey maps may be used to determine a wide array of goals:
- Development: developing new products and services
- Improving current product and services
- Building a customer-oriented content marketing strategy
- Reconsider service-related processes and propositions
Based on the interviews we were able to identify problems regarding our target audience. Then, together with our stakeholders, we come up with functions as solutions to those problems. The tricky part is that we also need to take our customer’s emotions into consideration.
Using customer journey mapping we identified the important touchpoints. We were able to rectify the functions list according to our users’ needs and thus, some functions were killed. As a result we have the following milestones defined throughout the customer’s journey. We highlight the features list as it is the heart and soul of an application.
- Goal: The goal the users want to achieve at each step.
- Process: The way they achieve the goals and the next step.
- Interaction: The interactions they have at each stage with the app/service.
- Touchpoints: Are the points of interaction between your company and customer involving a specific human need in a specific time and place.
- Experience: Focuses on the emotional state of customers at each journey stage.
- Problems: The pain points and service barriers that exists on each stage.
- Features: This is the most important output of a customer journey. Based on the list of the features you can construct the app/product to be absolutely useful for your users.
- Ideas: Always good to get information where are the points where improvement is advised.
At the end, we got a list of feasible functions.
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