Tools from the tables – customer journey mapping

By Suzanne Holder

The Citizen First/Customer Service round table has been learning about root cause analysis, problem-solving and approaching service design to keep our citizens top of mind. Our table experienced a real aha moment with customer journey maps. It was time to shift gears from training and planning to learning by doing. We decided to look for colleagues interested in exploring their processes from the other side of the counter – the citizen or customer perspective.

Service Guelph employees jumped in and are now working with round table and Guelph Lab resources. They are mapping the marriage license application process to better understand how citizens access this service, where the frustrations and barriers exist and identify opportunities to improve the overall experience.

Service Guelph, round table and Guelph Lab collaborate to build customer journey maps.

Service Guelph, round table and Guelph Lab collaborate to build customer journey maps.

Basic Process

  1. Identify and collect qualitative (stories and insights) and quantitative (statistics/numbers) data.
  2. Analyze data to develop customer personas to better understand the people who access this service.
  3. Create step-by-step maps that illustrate the experiences of various types of customers using the developed personas and identify opportunities to improve.
Example of a customer journey map

Example of a customer journey map

Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping:

  1. Better understanding of our citizens. Empathizing with citizens makes it easier to shift out of internal process mode and into thinking about how the City can improve delivery of value to citizens.
  2. Identifying operational inefficiencies is a quick win. Using this tool, we identify things that are time consuming for employees or expensive to do and yet fail to add value to the citizen relationship. Removing these inefficiencies not only improves the experience, they can also save money.
  3. Customer Journey Mapping builds shared understanding of issues. Working on the maps together puts individuals most capable of solving citizens’ problems on the same page about what these problems are and the best approach to fix them. This “silo-busting” activity encourages the cross-departmental coordination needed to fix/improve the citizen experience.

The end goal of Customer Journey Mapping is to establish clear direction on what needs to change and who is responsible for making that change happen. The most value from Customer Journey Mapping will not be derived from the Journey Map itself, but from the actions that follow.

Leah Parolin, Service Guelph says of her experience working with the round table: “The round table is a great way for frontline staff to be involved in reviewing and developing new practices/processes – especially in customer service. Being asked for this type of input, and given a voice, is encouraging for staff to know that their knowledge is valued. Rather than executing decisions after they have been made, this is an excellent opportunity to be a part of the change.”