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BLOG:Journey Mapping: Creating a Ghost Map

Journey Mapping: Creating a Ghost Map

Lay out what you expect before you hit the field.

When organizations talk to us about journey mapping, many tend to do one of two things:

  1. Have only their subject matter experts (SMEs) create the maps (and maybe talking to a few customers along the way); or
  2. Toss a person or persons out to the customers and tell them to “create a map.”

Both will yield results, but both will also give you biased pictures that are either focused heavily on internal assumptions (#1) or on a single-person paradigm (#2). Those two positions can steer your conclusions toward wrong efforts, sometimes resulting in rework and additional costs. Instead, plan on using both methods to position your organization for thorough, meaningful, relevant mapping. It may sound simple, but it is highly impactful.

Ghost Maps is a term we use at the beginning of the journey mapping process to pull the knowledge from the heads of your SMEs. Taking time to have discussions around what you expect your customers to experience prior to going into the field forms a fabulous baseline from which to work.

And this is important to do.

While we are the loudest of proponents to get in to the field to observe and inquire of your end user, doing so without a ghost map can lead to missed stages, misunderstood end user actions, and assumptions of why an activity is done. The combination of SME expertise, end user input, and ethnographic inquiry forms an incredible knowledge base from which an organization can establish growth and change.

Take the simple step and put your ghost maps in place prior to getting in to the field. It will help your CX experts and your organization both in the short and long run.