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The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

Whose Journey Is It, Anyway?

As corporations set strategy and re-organize around the idea of customer-centricity, they look to achieve competitive advantage by creating a superior customer experience. e-commerce

Building that experience starts with a candid view of the customer journey.  Journey mapping is an art, to be sure, and there are two primary schools of thought about the best way to go about it.  Some of the industry’s foremost practitioners use what might most accurately be described as an Inside-out approach, a clear example of which appeared recently in Michael Hinshaw’s article on Customer Journey Mapping: 10 Tips for Beginners.  Their processes build the initial view of the journey by assembling and collating input from within the company itself.  This becomes the master view, which is then augmented (modified) by input from actual customers.

Usability Sciences’ methodology works from an Outside-in approach.  We build the customer journey based on primary research conducted with customers and prospective customers.

Rarely, moreover, are we asked to build a single view of the customer journey.  Our customers tend to be Fortune 500 companies, so their customer bases are diverse.  Many of them have consumer and corporate lines of business, often with multiple segments within each line-of-business.  The customer journey experienced by the CFO of a multi-national consumer goods giant is likely to be very different from that of the CMO of a regional trucking company, which will differ again from that of a local restaurant owner.  They are all customers of a single company, yet they are very different personas, with very different needs, often operating across different combinations of touch points.

Their journeys need to be mapped separately.  That’s why it makes sense to start not just with the customer journey, but with the journeys of your key customer personas.  After all, whose journey are you trying to map?  Your customer’s, or your impression of your customer’s?

– Roger Beynon, CSO, Usability Sciences
Interested in talking with us about Journey Mapping? Contact Us!

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