Why customer journey mapping is important for customer experience.
Once upon a time, I was a frequent traveler. Within 6 months of enrolling in the JP miles, I became a platinum member, and that I believe is a lot of travelling. In fact, I used to always have a packed bag, for that emergency travel. During the initial days of my travel, I experimented with Jet, Spicejet, Indigo, Air India and finally settled in for Jet as the preferred flight. I keep seeing updates on my social feed on how Jet is always delayed, the seats are old & not comfortable and so on. I still stuck my neck & got my seat in Jet, paying the premium every once in a while.
Later, I realized that there were many sub-conscious reasons that made me gravitate towards Jet, which invariably was around my experience.
As a frequent traveler, I was sleep deprived on most days, and an early morning flight is adding fuel to this fire. In such a condition, I wouldn’t want to be pushed & shoved into the flight before time (just to keep the always on time tag), on an early morning.
As a frequent traveler, the food habits go for a toss, and the priority for me was to eat some idlis & dosas at the lounge before the morning flights, and as a Platinum member of JP Miles, had access to that.
The return flights after day long meetings are a challenge. Either the meetings overrun, or the peak hour traffic crawls by, and you hope to God that either the flight is delayed by 10-15 min (yes I have said it) or the check-in to boarding time is super fast.
The day’s been long, I am sleep deprived and I wish for an emergency exit seat, during the checkin, to relax my leg. The cost for that seat is an acceptable tradeoff before the next flight.
If you really look at the priorities, a 30 min delay in the flight for me isn’t a major concern, a seat that is old is also not a concern. The concerns are primarily how I am being treated, getting a good meal at the start & end of the day, comfort of extended leg space and some other stuff perhaps. Everything else is secondary and I am not sure if an indigo, Spicejet or Air Asia can possibly offer these to me.
I am not sure if Jet has done any customer journey mapping. If they had, I would be one of the many consumer personae that comes out. They have enough & more data to understand their consumers. The more they spend time understanding the consumer, the better their customer experience can be, leading to better business results. What I have also realized is that Jet never made any communication about the experience in a long time, the focus has only been on cost of late.
With no scientific study done, but simply by watching my fellow passengers, I can definitely arrive at different personas for any flight.
- Frequent Flyers
- The irate frequent flyer, whose only priority is reaching on time
- Myself, as I explained above, a regular frequent flyer
- An always working frequent flyer
- The entitled, asking for premier upgrade
- College student
- Friends on leisure trip
- Couples on leisure trip
- First time flyers
- Double Income Single Child
- Extended Family Vacation
- Nuclear Family on leisure trip
- Extended family with first time flyers
Merging these consumer personae with the data that the company has, creates multiple possibilities for the marketing team. The marketing team can prioritize the personas & their needs but should always look at improvement. This means that they need to, over time, relook at the data & make changes, which addresses the business needs of the company.
As a digital marketer, I have pitched for multiple projects, including that of website, and most of the time, the pitches are won basis that really good looking mock that is put at the end of the presentation. What I have realized is that most of the good UX products are never the best looking products. Take Amazon for e.g., I consider Amazon website as one of the best in CX, whose primary aim is to help user find & buy. Every addition that Amazon has been making to their ecosystem has been to improve this customer experience. In other words, amazon has been trying to map the customer journey at every step, and more importantly there is an intent & commitment to do that regularly.
For a business to start focusing on better customer experience, which for me is merging customer aspiration with business needs seamlessly, they need to spend time on the consumers, and create a robust customer journey map. This is easier said than done, as it has multiple elements. Consumer journey map is basically answering the questions of “What is (s)he thinking”, “What is (s)he doing”, “What are the opportunities”, across the AIDA, AISAS, RACE or any other frameworks.
This can be achieved by a combination of consumer research, survey, audit, interviews, and finally help the business in identifying areas of improvement & newer opportunity which was missed hitherto.
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