I have found my story background comes in handy as a Product & Brand Strategist. Especially when it comes to really understanding how customers engage with a service and how to improve that service. There are many tools I use to try and see from a customers perspective what their experience is like. One of these tools is a Customer Journey Map. I had the chance to use this on a recent project and it uncovered quite a bit for the company about the gaps it parts of their service.
In fact if I go back to my days working in film as a story editor I think of Journey Maps as a mini movie and each stage along the journey as vignettes or scenes / plot points that happen along the way.
In fact many times I will write a script first, translate it into my journey map (a simple keynote template I use) and then plot out the ups and downs (highs and lows) of the major "plot points" (touch points) so they it gives me a picture of what a customer sees, thinks, feels and hears as they engage with a product.
Here are some simple guidelines of the what and why of Customer Journey Maps. Like everything it's a tool and you have to decide when it's most useful to you.
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey is a scenario based way to follow an ACTUAL customer through a particular path to witness from the CUSTOMER’s point of view what they THINK, SEE, FEEL and HEAR as they move through the journey and engage with various aspects (touch points) of the service.
Why do we create customer journeys?
A customer journey is a tool for innovation that helps us understand, create empathy for and improve the things the customer struggles with most to uncover the areas of opportunity that have the biggest & most positive impact on their overall experience.
A customer journey map can also uncover gaps BETWEEN touch points - places where an experience isn't seamless as customers move between parts of the service to accomplish various goals they have.
Below I have provided an example of what mine looks like - again very simple (I have fancier versions but the idea is to move fast and not get caught up too much in design).