There is no better way of understanding your customers than seeing the world through their eyes.
How do customers get to hear about you or your competitors? Where do they start their inspiration and search process? What triggers them to make a purchase? How do they use your product? What makes them come back?
These are just a few questions you will get answered when mapping an end-to-end customer journey.
What is a customer journey map?
A customer journey map is a visual representation of the experience your customers have with your brand from original engagement and into hopefully a long-term relationship.
At Travel Republic we decided to get a better understanding of our travelers, their motivations, objectives, tasks, and emotions during the holiday booking process.
After talking to different stakeholders and noticing the gaps and possible opportunities we were missing on, the UX Research team understood the benefits a project like a customer journey map would bring to the business.
It also seemed to be the perfect reason to bring all the teams together and assess the end-to-end user journey with fresh eyes.
How do you plan a customer journey map project?
A journey map is quite a complex project that requires detailed and careful planning. As with any other research studies, we started it by thinking about the questions we were trying to answer and the deliverables we will be created by the end.
Here are a few steps we followed when creating the customer journey map:
1. Research study design
After discussing the structure of the study within the UX team, we put together a presentation describing the project goals and background, the approach/research methodologies, and expected deliverables. We knew that this would help us not only to keep the project transparent but also to stick to the timeline and initial plan.
The team consisted of 3 UX researchers: Alberto Ferreira - UX research manager, Stephanie Velkova - junior UX researcher, and myself - UX researcher.
We also involved the UX designers who helped with some of the interviews and creating the final customer journey map deliverable.
We proposed a few research methodologies, explaining the reasons for each of them and the valuable findings we will get from each exercise.
2. Stakeholders kick off meeting
The main objective of this project was to encourage team collaboration and innovation at a business level. That's why involving everyone at an early stage and making sure that they understood the benefits of this exercise was key to success.
Once we had the research study design ready, we organised a meeting with all the interested stakeholders and shared our initiative, the project's objectives, and the reason for each research methodology, inviting everyone to ask questions and think about what they would like to/could get out of it.
3. Field work preparation
The one-to-one interviews were the first stage of the project. In preparation for these interviews we planned:
- participants recruitment
- tools and assets needed to run, record, and stream the sessions
- facilitator discussion guide
- notes taking template
To be continued