Using Journey Maps to Prioritize Work

MoSCoW_jpgJourney maps, and the end to end view it gives you of what your customers experience, can help you prioritize work. And it can help you prioritize based on that most critical dimension, the importance to the customer.

What is a customer journey map?

It is a map of every interaction a customer has with a company and product throughout the different stages of a particular customer experience. That experience could be purchasing a new product and the stages mapped could be purchase stages (awareness, consideration, purchase) and use stages (receive, setup, use) or whichever stages are most useful to look at.

The outputs of creating and reviewing a customer journey map are a set opportunities to improve the experience by improving the product or improving the experience in any if the other touch points.

Journey mapping gives you a view of the customers full experience of working with your company and product. The beauty of a journey map is that it does this from the point of view of your customer, which helps give an understanding of how important different parts of the experience are relative to each other. Often making improvements to key experiences can influence what happens much later in the journey. And you will want to consider those implications when you are prioritizing what to work on next.

How does it work?

When identifying opportunities to improve the journey you have mapped out you can use guiding questions to help focus on the specific type of opportunities you’re are looking for. You may want to find any type of opportunities and work with the whole company to select and implement.The question to ask then is, “How can we make this better?” Other times, you will want to get as specific as identifying opportunities for a particular team to focus on. An example would be using the journey to examine the need for support articles to be created or improved. You can do that by taking a second pass at the map with a smaller group who are experts in the area you’re looking for opportunities for. The question could be something like, “What content is needed to make each part of this journey better?”

After completing a customer journey map, you can create a template for the most important stages and add any dimensions that may be most important for you when prioritizing your work. It can be things like importance to customer (sometimes emotional and business value for the customer can be two different dimensions), cost of implementing, number of customers out of the total customer base this will affect, etc.

Using this framework and inputting both, the work you’re already doing and new opportunities that came out of journey mapping, lets you create a new list of priorities.

What you end up with is not just a clearly prioritized list taking into account what’s important to your customer. It also becomes a mental framework that will help guide you and your colleagues’ work…even when you’re not standing in front of the journey map itself.

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