It may be just me but having one place to condense important experience information in context brings me joy (and a sense of control). This visual format, echoing infographics in many ways, is very helpful…whether they are hand drawn, made by a graphic designer, or drawn on ready-made templates. All are useful and beautiful. This is because no matter how it looks, as long as the information is reliable, these can help an organisation in so many ways.
They can begin to break silos, they can bring a new perspective to every level of the organisation and they can help to flatten hierarchies. This is because it is everyone’s job to pitch in to make these. They cannot be made just by consultants, or leaders, or even from bottom-up. They need input from almost every level of the organisation to be really useful. They also can look at many things at once. Here is an example I made in 2016. For you the information is not very interesting but the sense of what is and can be included is important.
Experience your service as a customer
Do you really know who uses your services? Just as important, do you know how they use your service? What about where the pain points are? Do you know where you get most complaints? How often do you include your front-line staff in service improvements or service creation? How about including various services together to discuss how the various processes work together?
There are so many service issues that can be explored and addressed just by mapping out their processes. There are two very good tools for this: the customer journey and the service blueprint. These are great tools. Bringing together a diverse group of people to map out the touchpoints and real processes of a service lets you see the many perspectives and experiences that influence each one.
My favourite kind of customer journey map is what some call an Experience Map. Again, there are many different kinds of each of these maps depending on the information you wish to put together and the outcomes you want. In the experience maps that I like to use, not only does it include the regular touch point information, it includes information about what the user is feeling and thinking as well as the emotional journey on a -2 to +2 scale. These really help to keep the user at the centre of the process and to emphasise empathy.
The joy in these comes from breaking down barriers (on so many levels), dissecting preconceived problems, banishing assumptions, and forcing you to keep the customer at the centre of your work. I love the experience map because it goes beyond the mechanics of a service- beyond the functionalities of a specific IT system into how that IT system feels to use.
Knowing you are on the right path to providing a useful, usable, and desirable service, for me, is the beginning of joy.
The other beauty of a “customer” journey is remembering that you also have internal customers. Your employees. They are also an organisation’s customer. Many call the employee the ‘first customer’. Because if their experience of the organisation is bad, it makes it much more difficult to sell that experience to other- both technically and in good conscience. Using an experience map to look at your employee experience is a very big step in the right direction. It shows that your employees matter to you; that their daily experience matters. This will also help with reducing staff turnover, thereby reducing recruitment and training costs for the organisation.
Both internal and external customers matter and their experiences should be designed purposefully to reflect their importance to your organisation. The first step is to figure out what it looks like now…and also what you aspire to. These two maps will begin the journey to success. Knowing you are on the right path to providing a useful, usable, and desirable service, for me, is the beginning of joy.