Moving from Customer Journeys to Customer Engagement

I’m sure we are all familiar with customer journey maps or experience maps. It is a great tool to visually map out the different touch-points a customer experiences when he engages a service or product.
The main premise of an experience map is that it is often a reflective and reactive activity. We observe and interview customers on hindsight and then we layout our findings. From there we get to see what our customers like or dislike about our products or services.
But being designers and design thinkers we will want to see how we can manipulate these touch-points so that we can create customer engagement. Don’t we?
The traditional definition of customer engagement is described by Sheldon and McDowell, stands for AIDAS:

A – Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer.
I – Interest: raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising).
D – Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.
A – Action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.
S – Satisfaction: satisfy the customer so they become a repeat customer and give referrals to a product.

My friend Maurice McGinley takes this a step further by stringing AIDAS into a different kind of Customer Journey Map and sub-clusters the elements of engagement into three broad categories: Immediacy, Persuasion, and Relevance.
The important thing with this is that it takes the passive nature of customer journey maps and turns it into a pro-active activity we can better manage the touch-points by connecting it up with a reference point. That reference point is time.
For example if you are a designer focusing on aesthetics, you will realize that you have about a second to attract and create interest with your design. At this time you can see (above) that it is important for your customer to intuitively “get” what your solution is all about. Therefore in your drive towards creating better customer engagement you cannot just concern yourself with beauty, this manifestation of beauty has to also communicate what your solution is all about at first go.
After this step, design is actually less about aesthetics, but more about a comprehensive solution where you have less that 15 minutes to convince your customer that there is relevance of your solution (product, process and system) to their needs and objectives.
There are a lot more nuggets you can extract from this, so do head over here for more details.

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