Why a service blueprint is a useful complement to customer journey mapping
Have you ever mapped out your entire customer journey? From the initial research and the purchase, all the way to the first use? Or even further perhaps. Once there are repeat purchases, your customer has become a regular user. We call this ‘customer journey mapping.’
Those who have a clear picture of the customer journey soon learn how well it works for improved marketing and sales activities. For those unfamiliar with customer journey mapping, please refer to our previous article that explains it all: “Move from a touchpoint mindset to a customer journey mindset.”
Customer journey mapping: the customer journey ‘as-is’
In short, customer journey mapping boils down to this: You outline what a typical customer does to get acquainted with a purchase, to consider their options, to make their decisions and to start using your product. In doing so, you look carefully at the touchpoint your company has with customers during each phase.
customer journey mapping describes the process as it happens. We can add all kinds of useful information in this kind of map such as:
- the importance of customer touchpoints,
- customer ratings for each touchpoint, or
- key moments in the customer journey
Improving the customer journey
Once we have a good idea of our customer journey, we can take the next step. We do this by identifying the key areas for improvement.
By addressing the key contact moments with average ratings, we can improve the customer journey. If we then also set measurable targets for this process, we have taken some very positive steps.
Designing new customer journeys
With your improvements, you leave the essence of the customer journey intact. You just make sure to tackle any weak spots.
True change comes when you redesign the customer journey. In this process, the essence of your customer journey is different. You start ‘from the drawing board’ thinking about how to deliver the ideal customer experience.
You can develop new ideas using the convenient customer journey map.
When should you (re)design a customer journey? For example:
- if you have never used digital marketing for lead generation before (or not systematically)
- when you launch automated campaigns to convert leads into buying customers
- if you plan to grow clients using digital campaigns
- when starting your company’s first e-commerce activities, etc.
Customer journey mapping is ‘end-to-end’
Visualising a customer journey is from A to Z, ‘end-to-end’. So for example, from their initial research on a possible purchase to regular use of a product.
When a customer journey is on paper, you see it all laid out in front of you. Sometimes it doesn’t all fit on one A3, so we just stick another one on the side.
And what is a service blueprint?
Do you ever stop and think about it? Every day, all over the world, we go on billions of customer journeys. As customers, we consider certain purchases, order an item, have something delivered to us, etc.
We also play a role in our customers’ journey on behalf of our company: we offer inspiration in consultations, we make offers, etc.
Yet most people who work in commercial businesses don’t interact with customers very often. If a company has 10 people working directly with customers, a multitude is working to make it all possible.
This is where a service blueprint can help us. Think of it this way:
- A customer journey map shows the customer touchpoints in the most common order. Everything that happens visibly in relation to customer interactions is on your customer journey map. You could say it’s what happens ‘on stage’.
- A service blueprint adds a bit of depth. Indeed, by adding this extra layer, the model also depicts what needs to happen behind the scenes – ‘backstage’ – to allow the (target) interaction with customers to happen. It also shows which systems are involved for each component.
The importance of a service blueprint
When redesigning a customer journey, you can really ‘go wild’. If you do a proper brainstorming session, the possibilities for offering customers a great experience can seem endless. By adding to that the in-depth details of a service blueprint, you can then see what it would take to achieve that customer experience.
So a service blueprint like this actually serves as a kind of initial reality check. We not only see what is required during the customer touchpoints, but also what we need to do to make it happen. After all, what’s the purpose of designing a new customer journey if you can’t implement it?
How do you begin?
Your route to a perfect customer experience is also a journey. And that ideally starts with creating a customer journey map. In the process, you map customer behaviours as they are now.
We have created a template to help you. It will enable you to take the first step in customer journey mapping:
- Define your objective.
- Why are you mapping the customer journey?
- How will you go about examining it?
- Which persona are you mapping the customer journey for?