A Customer Journey Mapping Epiphany from the Restroom
This article was originally published on the FCR blog on September 25, 2017. Click here to read the original.
One of the great joys (not really) as a parent is taking my kids to public restrooms. These trips tend to involve uncomfortable amounts of standing around. In the time spent waiting, I’ve developed a sort of fascination with automation in bathrooms. Hear me out for a minute because this led to a customer experience insight.
On one such bathroom visit, I helped my son wash his hands. The soap dispenser was automatic so he waved his hands near the sensor and soap came out. The same happened with the water faucet. He then moved to the paper towel dispenser. He stood there for a few moments waving his hands at it and nothing happened. Finally, realizing it wasn’t automatic, I showed him the lever to pull to get a paper towel.
My customer experience epiphany occurred when I witnessed my son waving his hands at the paper towel dispenser. Translate this to business and you realize that customers do this same thing at various stages in their journey with a company — especially new customers using a product or service for the first time.
This is precisely why customer journey mapping is such a hot topic right now. It’s an exercise where we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and experience our product or service through their eyes. Tools that allow us to see what customers are seeing can give us real data and eliminate some of the guesswork in unearthing and fixing the issues that require unnecessary customer effort.
Here’s a simple visual: journey mapping, with the aid of the right technology, reveals where customers, like my son, are waving their hands under a paper towel dispenser waiting for something to happen. Yes, some customers may work through those issues on their own — but others are likely to take their wet hands elsewhere and find a paper towel dispenser that works the way they expect it to.