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MA thesis of Experience-focused customer journey mapping in service operations

Knowing more about customer experiences may improve a company´s customer loyalty and thus improve the company’s competitive advantage.
The interview assistant writes notes on cards as the interviewee is talking. The cards helped to see how the steps and touchpoints relate to the customer’s own events. Cards also supported discussing the customers’ experiences in each step.

Service operations in the area of business-to-business are complex systems, not only because the contracts are often long-lasting relationships, but they also happen between various stakeholders and include many kinds of interactions. As a result,many companies are realising that having the best product is not enough, if their customers do not like dealing with them. The companies need to know more about their customers’ service experiences. This is precisely what Netta Korhonen is exposing with her MA thesis: Experience-focused customer journey mapping for industrial services.

Knowing more about customer experiences may improve a company´s customer loyalty and thus improve the company’s competitive advantage. “This means developing new skills to strategically design for a better customer experience,” explains Netta Korhonen.

Designing for the service experience requires, according to Korhonen, an understanding of both the user, their customer experience, and service design. Trying to understand customers’ experiences can be challenging, because experiences often happen in complex situation chains, called the customer journey. As such, Korhonen set out to map the customers’ journey interactions, the touchpoints of the service, in which the service experiences are located.

By uncovering these touchpoints in the case study, Korhonen studied both the company service development process and how the service feels from a customer’s perspective. Through this new kind of customer journey mapping method, Korhonen offers the service providing company an opportunity to have a deeper understanding of their customers’ experiences: “This means developing new skills to strategically design for better customer experience.”

As Korhonen explains, “experience-focused customer journey mapping can support industrial service development teams to understand the customers’ values and experiences during the whole service journey”.

Ma Thesis Collaborative and Industrial Design
Netta Korhonen: Making sense of complex stories. Experience-focused customer journey mapping for industrial services

The study was conducted for the FIMECC UXUS research program in the Department of Design.

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