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Additional Reading

From leading industry thinkers

Why design thinking is the perfect platform for customer journey mapping

"If you’re serious about business management, it’s very likely that you’re familiar with the phrase ‘design thinking’. But familiarity with the term doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re familiar with the discipline itself – or its potential benefits to customer journey mapping. So for the uninitiated first of all, what is design thinking? While there is no definitive definition, design thinking is a problem-solving framework that is rooted in empathy and understanding of the person (i.e. the customer) that you are solving the problem for. Brands that have embraced design thinking to put customers at the heart of product and service design include the likes of Disney, Uber and Tesla, all of which have subsequently gained a reputation for disrupting markets, delivering superior customer experiences and achieving strong business results.

Spyer proposes a five-step design thinking process, that simultaneously makes design thinking a reality within the business, while also ensuring that the customer journey mapping exercise can deliver real change. Indeed, according to Spyer, customer journey mapping represents the central step on the pathway to design thinking.

The five steps are as follows:

  • Persona development. Think about who you are enhancing the experience for. Segmentation is a powerful tool for planning and targeting campaigns but it isn’t a perfect tool for understanding the needs and attitudes of customers and finding commonality. Instead build personas and use these.
  • Value proposition. Think about what your customers want to achieve. This is a key innovation step as it is where you focus on the needs, pains and gains of your customers or future customers and build your value proposition - the products and services that you could offer, the pain relievers and gain creators.
  • The customer journey. Think about where the experience starts and ends. Map the customer journey and identify the moments of truth - these are the interactions with your products and services that will create or destroy most value for your customers and allow you to sort true innovations from incremental service improvements.
  • Business requirements. Think about how you will deliver the experience. At this point you can start to define the data, technical and measurement requirements and estimate the cost:benefit of your innovation.
  • Make it happen! Think about what you will do and when. Prioritise and quantify the benefits, test, measure and optimise your innovation. "

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