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Focal tool: The customer journey

Watch Alex Cowan explain the customer journey and describe the tools a product manager can use to think through it, discuss it, and test it.
We’re about to talk about your interface with consulting and support. Those are your vehicles to smooth out bumps in the customer journey. To do that, you need a strong, sure understanding of what that customer journey is and how to test it. So I thought we would go through a couple of tools that you can use to think through that, discuss it, test it, and make it better with your consulting and support teams, among others. This is one popular way to diagram the customer journey. So the idea is on this y-axis here, we have kind of emotional cadence, happy and sad, just simple. And then on the x-axis here we have time.
And these little dots are discrete events in the customer journey. Things that we, in most cases, should have specific metrics and instrumentation to collect behavior about. Another thing I like to do, a way to fill in that customer journey line, is to storyboard the customer journey. And I like to use this framework, AIDAOR. Attention-Interest-Desire-Action, and I added Onboarding and Retention. So we look at Enable Quiz, this company that offers lightweight technical quizzes for HR Managers and Functional Managers to Screen talent, people that might fill their engineering jobs. We get Helen’s attention because she sees a post that her friend made on LinkedIn about how great Enable Quiz is.
And we see here on her board that evaluating tech hires, hiring tech talent is on her A list. These are things that we’re going to hypothesize and presumably we’ve gone out and done the customer discovery, interviewed these people if we’re Enable Quiz, to really know this. She clicks through and she sees a landing page that talks specifically about her problem and has a specific call to action. And she says, that hits the mark for me, I’m interested or not. And then we connect with her desire. We know that from our research, our customer discovery, that Helen, the HR Manager, she works at this kind of company that we’ve described and we can screen for.
She wants to do more, she wants to help the company do more in this key activity of recruiting engineering talent. And she would love to have a win that stokes her desire, and she wants to take action. She discusses it with her colleague Frank or Francine who is the hiring manager and they decide, sure, let’s try this out. Onboarding is the process of everything that happens to get the customer their initial reward for using your product. And so for our case here for Enable quiz, it’s Helen creating her first technical quiz against an open job description that they’re hiring for. So that she can go and use that with candidates.
And on the retention step, we think our engine of growth is this organic viral sharing of how great the service is. And we think that Helen is going to, herself, post about how handy Enable Quiz is and how great it worked. So we’ve used this storyboard to discuss the things that we’ve seen and heard from customers. And then we can take this and translate it onto a journey map, like this. And so here are some of our analogs. C is where she talks to Frank or Francine, D is that onboarding step, where she’s creating her first quiz. And we can see that, why is this a low emotional cadence?
Well we think that, we found that, let’s say, that this is hard. Helen or Hank isn’t always confident that they’ll get the right questions in and that it will match right with the job description. So this is kind of a low point that they need to get through to get to this high point of screening their first candidate. Now this is just an example of how to create a shared understanding based on your discovery about the customer that you can discuss with your colleagues. And that you can test based on both the quantitative metrics that you’re seeing in the field and the ongoing qualitative work you’ll do in talking with your customers.
I think you’ll find these tools are really useful for driving to some specifics. Something discussable about how to improve that customer journey and make it better.

In this video, Alex introduces the customer journey and discusses tools to test and understand the journey. One tool used in the video is an x-y axis diagram and the other is a storyboard. Both are applied to the company Enable Quiz. Think about the similarities and the differences that resulted from the tools, and how these results can “smooth out the bumps” in the customer journey.

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