Sunday, July 16, 2023

Journey mapping: illustrated through Dunzo’s order-tracking experience

Whether you are eating, sleeping, gaming, commuting, or working, you are having an experience. And designing richer experiences is the core objective design thinking. Journey mapping is a tool that can be used to map the current experience and imagine an enhanced one. In this article, I would like to present journey mapping process using an example of Dunzo’s order-tracking experience. I will use the blog “Revamping Dunzo’s order tracking experience” by Divyanshu Nandwani as input to build the journey map. Divyanshu has nicely captured the thoughts and emotions of Dunzo’s customers from the time they place an order to receiving it. And he also presents how the experience was enhanced subsequently.

We will look at journey mapping as a 5-step process: (1) Gather customer inputs (2) identify journey stages (3) map customer experience (4) identify dark and bright spots, and (5) frame the challenge.

1. Gather customer inputs: The journey map needs customer or stakeholder inputs. In the case of order tracking, you will need what customers are thinking, at what stage of the journey, with what emotion, and with what kind of emotional intensity. You may use interviews, observations, input from the customer support department, data available through apps, etc. In the case of Dunzo, they got the inputs from support tickets, research interviews, and by looking at the data. Since customers reached out to the delivery partner directly, delivery partners also become an important source of input. If you are launching a new product or service, your input will come from your potential customers’ existing journey that you are planning to enhance. Here is what Dunzo folks have gathered as mentioned in the blog:
2. Identify journey stages: It helps to divide the journey into a few stages. For example, the order tracking journey can be divided into the following milestones: (1) Order received (2) Order accepted by the outlet (3) Partner assigned (4) Partner at the outlet (5) Parcel picked (6) Parcel delivered. These six milestones divide the journey into five stages. We could have made this into a 4-stage or an 8-stage journey by reducing/adding stages. 
The vertical axis of this journey map corresponds to the emotional intensity associated with the observation. The middle line denotes neural emotion. We place observations with positive emotions in the upper half and observations with negative emotions in the lower half of the map. When an observation has high intensity of positive emotion, say the customer is extremely happy, the observation will be placed on the top of the map. Conversely, when the customer is extremely annoyed, it will be placed towards the bottom of the map.

3. Map customer experience:  Once we have observations/thoughts gathered from customers and the stages of the journey ready, we can start placing the observations on the map. For example, observation 2 “Why hasn’t a partner been assigned yet?” is placed in stage-2 where the order is accepted by the outlet but the partner is not assigned yet. Since the customer is likely to be anxious while raising this question, the observation has been placed in the lower half. I have assumed that the anxiety is medium (not very low and not acute). Likewise, I have placed most of the observations listed in step-1 on the map below.

Note that map building can be an ongoing process and is best done by a team rather than an individual. It can be built over a period, say a month, and then looked at for patterns, particularly dark and bright spots.

4. Identify dark and bright spots: Bright spots are those observations where the customer is really happy/excited etc. They are located in the upper half of the journey map, especially towards the top side. For example, observation-13 “Oh yes! The partner is moving” is a bright spot. In contrast, observation-16 “Why is it taking time at the store?” is a dark spot. 

5. Frame the challenge:  The primary objective of journey mapping is problem discovery. Journey map offers multiple options for framing a challenge. For example,

  • Focus on one stage where you want to enhance the experience (e.g. it could be stage-4 in the journey map above which has two dark spots)
  • Focus on dark spots and ask, “How do we reduce/eliminate the anxiety of our customers?”
  • Focus on bright spots and ask, “How to replicate the joy across other stages?”
  • Frame a challenge around end-to-end experience?  For example, the dunzo blog presents following end-to-end experience framing, “How do we show that the order status is coming from the partner and not from the machine? How do we give a human vibe to the order status updates?”

It helps to identify a concrete metaphor or analogy while framing the challenge. For dunzo, the inspiration came from our friendly chat messages. They framed the challenge as “How do we deliver status updates as personalized messages coming from the partner in first person?” This was supplemented by adding animations.

Journey mapping is useful irrespective of whether you are in a B2B, B2C, or D2C business, whether you are offering a product, a service, or a solution. Hope you get to try it out.

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