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Mapping experiences: from insight to action – Q&A with Jim Kalbach

| August 12, 2016
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Visualization diagrams are a key tool that helps organizations compile business insights from a variety of sources and translate them into a universally understandable format. In a recent webinar, Jim Kalbach, Head of Customer Success at MURAL, shares his tried-and-tested methods to create value through journeys, blueprints, and diagrams.

We had so many great questions from the audience that we wanted to share a few with you here. You can listen to the full webinar here.

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When mapping experiences, do you use personas? If so, when do they come into play?

Personas do come into play, and they help answer the question, “What’s your point of view?”

Any one diagram, any one map isn’t going to show all of the actors in your ecosystem and all of their experiences. And very often, depending on how complex the products and services are that you’re working on, you need to focus. You need to say okay, whose experience and what experiences are we going to focus on?

The point of view was actually those two questions, “Whose experience?” and “What experiences?” and that’s where personas come into play. If you have personas, segmentation, and those types of things, you can start to have that conversation, so I think personas come into play way up front. You need to model the who before you can talk about the what— or you need to model the persona before you can model the experience.

How is the B2B journey map different than a B2C journey map?

I think the difference is going to be that particularly in B2B context, and that’s where the ecosystem starts to get more complicated. It’s not just an individual. It’s not just the consumer. Often the “individual” in the top part of my diagram is actually an entire organization.

What you might need to do is look at how two individuals or two roles in that organization… so there might be Purchasing, and there might be the IT team, for instance, if you’re looking at a B2B solution of some kind. You might have a slightly more complicated view of the world, and you might actually need multiple diagrams as well because you might have to look at how those experiences intersect. Things start becoming a little bit more complicated, but I think the approach is generic enough that I think it would apply to B2B situations as well too.

What’s the lifecycle of experience map? Is it updated as you go and new information becomes available or is it worthwhile starting from scratch every year or so?

I don’t think I’d start from scratch every year because if you’re looking at an experience as something fundamental, human experiences actually don’t change that rapidly so the volatility of the experiences that we create and that we have as consumers ourselves, actually don’t change that fundamentally.

When they do, we notice it right away, but typically what you’ll find is that the models that you come up with change very slowly, so I think there’s a certain longevity to this type of activity. I think that’s a value of it that it’s not as volatile as something like market feedback or net promoter score surveys, which change like literally in real time and you need to measure every day or every week even.

I’ve found that if you’re looking at an experience as a human activity, and you model it that way, they tend to not change that fundamentally…

I often find that it’s less about the experiences changing, and more about our needs or the information that we need from the map is changing. That is, we need to know more about the emotional experience or we need to know more about a certain aspect for which we have metrics.