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Using Customer Journey Maps and Jobs to Be Done for a Better Customer Experience

8 minute read
Tobias Komischke avatar
Journey mapping is all about determining what matters to the customer, and not so much what you think matters for your customer.

Customer experience design’s goal is providing consumers with the offerings they need to accomplish their objectives frictionlessly across all phases of the customer lifecycle.

In order to achieve this, a structured process is in place. This process utilizes two methods that originated around the same time in the early 2000s: Journey Maps and Jobs to Be Done. These methods lead us from a fundamental needs analysis to an action plan for delivering products and services that customers really need.

To improve customer experience follow these five steps:

1. Create a Journey Map

A journey map is a step-by-step visualization of the activities that a customer goes through to accomplish something. The map reflects the customers’ perspective, and not the viewpoint of the company. For example, when a consumer intends to purchase a car, the steps may look something like these:

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How do we arrive at this map? The best journey maps are based on empirical customer research like interviews, focus groups and field studies.

Each of the steps in the map can be further detailed. For example, we may identify the touch points encountered, such as persons, places or things. To stay in focus of this article, we will explore something else instead: the jobs to be done.

Related Article: Foundational Steps for Customer Journey Mapping Initiatives

2. Identify Jobs to Be Done

People buy products and services to accomplish something: to get jobs done. Products and services come and go, yet the underlying customer need that they are addressing, the job to be done (JTBD), stays the same.

A JTBD exists independently from whether it is being served or not — or how well or poorly it is being served. For example, people have a need to get informed about current affairs. The predominant way this JTBD was served for a long time? Newspapers. Today, we get news delivered on our smartphones.

The JTBD has remained the same, but the solution on which it serves has changed. On the phone, our news is more up-to-date, and it can be consumed on the same device we use for other JTBDs; we don’t have to carry around a separate newspaper anymore.

What are the JTBDs for those steps within the journey map of our car buying example? Let’s take the first step of “Gathering Information.” A JTBD may be that customers want to get an overview of car models and years that fit their taste, needs and budget. Another JTBD may be that they want to gain confidence of having accurate information.

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We can identify JTBDs the same way as we created the journey map — through customer research focusing on the consumers’ stated and even unstated needs.

Related Article: What Lies Ahead for Voice of the Customer Initiatives

3. Prioritize Jobs to Be Done

Since there may be many steps in the journey map and many JTBDs within each step, it is helpful to prioritize the JTBDs. The prioritization needs to be based on customer inputs and can be accomplished through questionnaires, focus groups or interviews asking customers to rate each JTBD on two dimensions:

Learning Opportunities

  • How critical it is for the customer (high or low).
  • How it is served today from the perspective of the customer (well or poorly).

In our example, let’s say that we learn from customers that getting an overview about car options is highly critical and poorly served. In that case we tag this JTBD with the codes HC for “highly critical” and PS for “poorly served.”

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With each JTBD rated on criticality and level of service, all JTBDs can be mapped on a chart like this: 

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The JTBDs of the highest priority are those that our customers say are highly critical but poorly served. The lowest priority is assigned to those JTBDs that are not critical and are already well served.

4. Determine What 'Great' Looks Like

The purpose of prioritizing the JTBDs in the previous step is to make sure that when there is not enough time to optimize all JTBDs, it is clear on which ones to focus. For each JTBD that is poorly served (i.e. priorities 1 and 2), a definition of “great” has to be established. What constitutes “great” is defined by the customers — not from the company that makes the product or service offering.

The table below shows definitions of “great” formulated as user stories known from agile development. Utilizing user stories gives an advantage since many stakeholders already are familiar with the notation.

For each JTBD, measures are determined that allow us to track progress and check whether we reached “great.” While the customers do not have to be involved in the selection of the measures, they are needed to supply data for the measures: directly through their feedback and indirectly through their actions along the journey map, such as leads and revenue generation.

JTBD #

JTBD Description

What does “great” look like and how do we measure?

1

Get an overview about car options

As a customer I easily get an overview of cars that fit my taste, need and budget so that I can down-select and follow-up on possible matches.

Measures: customer feedback, number of data providers certified, number of leads

8

Get a cost estimate and assess value match

As a customer, I get an accurate cost estimate together with a clear value proposition so that I can be sure that I get the value I’m looking for and know how much money I need to get together for the purchase.

Measures: customer feedback, revenue

11

Get best possible value for my money

As a customer, I see black on white that this deal is the best possible so that I can feel sure about my purchasing decision.

Measures: customer feedback, revenue

18

Minimize time I don’t have my car

As a customer, the time I have my car fully functional and available is maximized.

Measures: customer feedback, service turn-around time, revenue

5. Determine How to Get There

Now that we have the status quo, the definition of “great” and measures to assess progress, the remaining step is to come up with a plan to get to the desired future state. This involves determining actions (“what”), responsibilities (“who”) and timelines (“when”). This is an internal step again that does not need to involve customers.

JTBD #

JTBD Description

What does “great” look like and how do we measure?

How do we get there? What, who, by when?

1

Get an overview about car options

As a customer, I easily get an overview of cars that fit my taste, need and budget so that I can down-select and follow-up on possible matches.

Measures: customer feedback, number of data providers certified, number of leads

  • Set up certification for data providers – Team X by end of Q4
  • Work with publishers to cover and disseminate the information to customers – Team Y by end of Q4

8

Get a cost estimate and assess value match

As a customer, I get an accurate cost estimate together with a clear value proposition so that I can be sure that I get the value I’m looking for and know how much money I need to get together for the purchase.

Measures: customer feedback, revenue

  • Create easy-to-understand list of car, finance and service features that explain the benefits in addition to the cost – Team X by end of Q3
  • Create training for sales team to convey this information to potential customers – Team Y by end of Q4

11

Get best possible value for my money

As a customer, I see black on white that this deal is the best possible so that I can feel sure about my purchasing decision.

Measures: customer feedback, revenue

  • See above
  • Develop a self-help value calculator tool for our website – Team X by end of Q4
  • Provide intel data on other dealers’ inventory and pricing – Team Y by end of Q4
  • Sweeten the deal with free extras – Team Z by end of Q3

18

Minimize time I don’t have my car

As a customer I minimize the duration my car is in service, so that I can drive it.

Measures: customer feedback; service turn-around time; revenue

  • Streamline service turn-around time with new scheduling software – Team X by end of Q3
  • Upgrade our courtesy vehicle fleet – Team Y by end of Q3
  • Upgrade our waiting area – Team Z by end of Q3

Voice of the Customer Remains Critical

The voice of customer is critical throughout this whole process. It is indispensable for assessing the status quo (journey map, JTBDs), for prioritizing the JTBDs, framing the definition of “great,” and for tracking progress and determining success.

To properly include customers, we can resort to the well-established and proven method set from the user experience/customer experience discipline: interviews, focus groups, field studies and questionnaires. With all this in place, businesses are primed to improved their customer experience.

About the author

Tobias Komischke

Tobias Komischke, PhD, is a UX Fellow at Infragistics, where he serves as head of the company’s Innovation Lab. He leads data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning initiatives for its emerging software applications, including Indigo.Design and Slingshot.