Redefining Digital Data with Journey Mapping
Storytelling has always been known to have the power to engage users. But what we failed to realize along the way is that it can also be a powerful way to teach organizations more about their customers.
How, you ask? It’s simple, really. Instead of constantly telling the user/customer/human our brand’s story, we shut the hell up and let them tell us theirs. And then we pay attention so that we can make changes as a result of their feedback.
Let Me Explain:
It’s 2016, so you’re most likely already capturing data on your customers. (And, if you’re not, you should be.) But what is this data actually telling you?
Commonly collected data includes:
- Mobile website visitors vs. desktop
- Average time on site
- Average pages per visit
- And so on
This data can certainly be helpful, but it doesn’t communicate emotion. We can monitor a user’s actions on our website all day long, but that data fails to tell us how our customers feel about our brand and their positive or negative experiences interacting with us. One of the most effective ways to discover the user’s context is through a storytelling tool called journey mapping.
What is Journey Mapping?
Journey mapping is a process to understand how people interact with your brand, product, campaign, website or app and identify their purpose, concerns, frustrations, etc.
The first step in the process is to uncover the user’s context. To do so, we have to determine what action the user is taking, as well as their thoughts and feelings while they’re doing it. This is best done by conducting research. Talk to your customers through in-depth interviews and focus groups. Look at other places they provide feedback, such as on satisfaction surveys, social media or website form inquiries.
To understand what the user thinks, we have to know how they frame and evaluate their experience. What do they expect from your product or on your website? Understanding what the user is feeling is purely about the emotions they have along their journey; are you meeting their expectations or not?
Once we understand a user’s context, we must derive an insight from it. For example, if a busy stay-at-home mom looking to open a new checking account thinks she has found the right bank/product, but then isn’t able to open her new account online, the sale might end there. She’s busy and overwhelmed with her daily life and doesn’t have time to go into a branch to open an account.
The insight we uncovered is that being able to open an account online is critical for this particular user.
Even if we can’t make this functionality available overnight, we can adapt our marketing site to reduce her frustrations. Instead of being required to go to a branch, we could enable users to fill out a request form online and guarantee them a response from the bank within 24 hours. By starting the process online, it enables the mom to check this task off her to do list and move on about her day, which is ultimately what she’s after.
The goal of journey mapping is to uncover insights that allow us to know our users’ experiences with our brand so that we can adapt and improve that experience. We uncover these insights by determining the user’s context. A journey map puts the user front and center in the organization’s thinking, which allows us to prioritize the users’ needs above all else.
We want to give users an experience that creates fewer hassles and less stress. Journey mapping allows us to continually evaluate ourselves based on real experiences from our customers. And that’s what allows us to make stuff that matters.