Customer journey mapping methodology is becoming more and more popular as the focus of many companies in the world shifts from the product to the customer. So encourage and involve colleagues to conduct a customer journey mapping workshop, as two (and more) heads are better than two.
Organizing a workshop is also a kind of journey, and we’re ready to share the roadmap with you. In the previous part of this article, we covered the preparatory phase of the customer journey mapping workshop, and now it’s time to delve into the actual conduct of the session and what follows.
Ironically, the workshop itself takes less time than the preparation for it and some tasks that need to be addressed afterwards. However, this phase is key to getting valuable insights that will improve your customer experience. Don’t overburden yourself the day before and make sure that all workshop participants do the same. You all will need a fresh mind.
There are 5 steps ahead, flavored with useful tips. Ready? We’re starting.
Step 1. Break the ice
Once everyone’s gathered, don’t start right off the bat. No matter how serious the agenda is, first people need to relax, and even get to know each other if not all workshop participants worked together before.
Tip #1: Divide the participants into teams and invite them to discuss some neutral topics. For example, to name three pleasant events that happened to them in the last month. Or think of using other icebreaker activities.
Tip #2: You can offer those who are ready to speak up in the circle to give each other compliments about their professional superpowers. If someone is willing to stay calm, that’s alright. This activity can highlight other people’s achievements and make it clear to others who are doing what in the company. It also helps to set the team up for success, because there are so many pros around.
Tip #3: To check whether everyone has learned the introductory information (if you shared it with them before the session), warm up their brains and break the ice even harder, you can conduct an introductory quiz on the workshop topic and the journey mapping methodology in particular.
Step 2. Give the context
Yes, you told everyone all the details in advance, but it’s time to do it again. Briefly explain key things about the journey mapping methodology. There may be people that have never mapped customer journeys and even seen them.
Tip #1: Don’t go into the details of each workshop’s part. People won’t remember that much anyway. Save the details for later and give those in portions as the session moves forward, keeping to the agenda.
Also, present your persona(s) and the reasons for mapping their journey(s), how they affect your organization, and some peculiarities of their experience with you. Announce the agenda and the order of your further actions.
Tip #2: Even if it seems to you that everyone got what you said, make sure that it’s so. It may be embarrassing for some people to ask something again, or they may not even realize that they have missed a thing or two. So be sure to back up the same information with its digital or printed copy. Then even the shyest people will be able to glance over the needed information during the workshop.
Step 3. Set the rules
A small but essential step. All conversations may lack spark—or vice versa and—can slide into the abyss of chaos. If it’s an online workshop, people see each other through small windows and may miss a raised hand. If the team discusses something offline, the order is crucial too. So be sure to determine under what conditions the participants may speak.
Tip: Encourage everyone to be polite and friendly, as well as open-minded. Above all, forget about the hierarchy, otherwise someone’s good ideas may drown under someone’s authority.
Step 4. Onto the mapping
Well, now the most dynamic part. The team is ready to act. Tell what will happen at this stage of the workshop, outline the goal, provide the details, and proceed to the actions part.
Practice is more effective when people don’t get bored doing the same things among the same people and are comfortable enough to actively take part. That’s why it’s good to play with various types of group interactions: divide everyone into groups, work together, or alternate group sizes and communication formats at different stages of the workshop.
Tip #2: To save time and speed up the process, you can divide those present into several teams and assign each to a certain map section to fill in information or generate ideas. And then swap teams.
Tip #3: If you decide to focus on a small area of the map, you can still divide the team into groups so that everyone speaks and is active, which may be difficult to do when working in a large group.
Tip #4: Join groups as they interact (spend a minute or so with a group if there are many) not to miss interesting thoughts that teammates may not document and come to the rescue if needed.
Tip #5: After each practice, ask for feedback and offer to explain anything the participants don’t understand. At the same time, don’t push the people. Not everyone is comfortable speaking out in a large circle, while those who wish will definitely respond.
Step 5. Wrap up the workshop
At the end of the workshop, thank everyone for participating, summarize the results, and discuss the next steps.
Tip #1: If you use a whiteboard for a workshop, you will need a person who will digitize everything after the event, using a professional journey mapping tool or any designer software.
Tip #2: Even if you work with the digitized journey map, there has to be someone who will polish the finished map and maybe prepare it for the next workshop.
It’s too early to relax after the workshop. You have done an amazing and fruitful job, but if everything’s not put together, structured and next steps aren’t outlined, your efforts will be wasted.
Take three steps that will help you complete the workshop initiative and lay the foundation for future success.
Step 1. Follow up
Share the final version of the map with all participants. Also, send them emails with gratitude for taking part and brief or detailed results of your joint work.
Tip: Ask colleagues to fill out an anonymous feedback form to see if everything went as planned and what to improve for the next time.
Step 2. Share the responsibility
If you already have actionable steps to take, assign those responsible, and agree on deadlines.
Tip #1: When a workshop participant sees that the event has led to concrete plans and they personally can influence the experience of a customer, user, or team, the engagement grows even more. Therefore, distribute big and small tasks among everyone to ignite them all.
Tip #2: Celebrate the ideas that are generated at the workshop and brought to life. Positive emotions underpin motivation and desire to go on.
Step 3. What’s next?
Think over the next workshop, because there’s always something else to analyze and improve.
To sum it up
The process of preparation and running a workshop may seem complicated and time-consuming. It is, and it’s worth the effort. In addition, with each new workshop, you will optimize all steps and do everything faster, coming up with new tips and hacks. Each workshop will give birth to actionable ideas, and the results won’t keep you waiting—happy customers, users, and employees.
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