Customer journeys: a tool for behaviour change

Natasha Cowan, Elisa del Galdo|13th April 2018

Innovation in healthcare has always been reliant on data. Since the early 2000’s, those at the forefront of healthcare have preached the importance of gathering information directly from customers.

Customer journeys provide a useful tool for simplifying and visualising different types of data clearly, from developing a product launch strategy to designing a more user-centric service. These maps spark innovation by shining light on new solutions to problems and highlighting services.

The journey illustrates customer behaviour, while demonstrating the friction and barriers that prevent customers from achieving better outcomes, or seeing the value in your products or services.

Here, Blue Latitude Health Director and Head of Customer Experience Elisa del Galdo explains how she uses customer journeys to facilitate behaviour change and create cutting-edge tools and services, which give customers what they need at the exact moment they need it.

What is a customer journey?

EDG: It’s a visual, step-by-step, representation of a person’s experience as they perform a task or address a life situation. The steps in the journey, and what influences and shapes it, are shown visually on a timeline. The map identifies gaps in unmet needs and challenges and shows the causes and connections between them. The gaps represent opportunities to create solutions, which address the real problems customers experience.

At the end of the day, a customer journey is used to inform the design of relevant and innovative solutions. Once a customer journey has been developed, it can be easily circulated throughout the organisation to drive learning and ensure campaigns serve the customers’ needs.

How do you start a journey-mapping project? 

EDG: We start by identifying the purpose of the customer journey and how it will be used. This tells the researcher about the appropriate data to collect and helps them ask the right questions.

As a result, it’s important to define your objective clearly and then think about what data you’ll need to collect, how it will be collected, and from whom. We mostly use qualitative research to construct journeys, but we also include quantitative data from a target audience.

Do you think technology and the digitalisation of healthcare is impacting our ability to transform the customer experience?

EDG: Technology is massively changing the way the pharma industry does business and the way healthcare professionals deliver healthcare. Research methods can help us identify and understand which elements of a customer experience work and which don’t. The more we understand about how people behave and how data and technology can be used to support them efficiently, the better our relationship with our customers becomes.

Our interactions need to be multichannel, tuned and personalised. This means taking customer needs into consideration – remote e-Details are a great example of this.

You mentioned the importance of personalisation – do you have any tips for creating bespoke messages?

EDG: Personalisation starts with rich insights about customers, including balancing the information we already know with new data. Customer journeys can help us capture these insights and leverage them in campaigns and messaging.

For example, pharmaceutical reps know different customers respond to different types of information. Since customer journeys are designed to integrate data from multiple sources, we can use them to combine insight from qualitative and quantitative research. This creates a much richer data source, which lays the foundation for creating services and tools that are more personalised to the needs of the customer.

How have you used a customer journey to drive innovation?

EDG: In 2008, I was involved in a project for a low cost airline, which was a new entry into the market. The client’s objective was to create a new design for a simplified booking process for the website. Ultimately, the aim was to increase overall satisfaction and drive business revenue. Back then online booking was not commonplace compared to now, where every customer expects it.

From the start, the redesign was grounded in research on the customer experience. The project then followed a user-centric design process, moving from concept to high-fidelity design, which was iterated and informed with feedback from usability testing.

Between research and design, insights were used to create a journey map, which showed the customers’ behaviour and needs during the flight-booking task. Journeys and personas were also used to inform the design of a new, improved reservation funnel.

How did it make a difference to the bottom line?

EDG: It laid the foundations for real growth in the multi-product and multi-entry point booking engine – something really innovative for the time. It changed the way the airline thought about travel, and their customers’ behaviour and needs.

The client reported a £12m increase in revenue for the year following the changes to the booking process. In 2009, it also won the silver award for the best flight booking website at the UK British Travel Awards.

Essentially, the research and creation of the customer journeys inspired more customer-centric thinking, demonstrating that the organisation recognised who their customers were and what they needed.

What’s your top piece of advice for creating customer journeys that make a real difference to a brand?

EDG: Be brave. Sometimes jumping into this kind of approach can be a little bit scary, especially if it’s very different from what you’re used to. Work collaboratively with your customer experience team and trust them to guide you through the process. They’ll ensure you not only understand your organisation’s objectives and the needs of your customers, but you also come up with a solution that addresses the both parties’ needs. Also, be creative – don’t assume the answer is always digital – and validate any assumptions and ideas. Importantly, don’t see mistakes as a failure but as one more step towards the solution.

We are experts in developing customer journeys to elicit behaviour change and drive innovation. Contact to find out how we can help you.



Our content has moved

Blue Latitude Health|18th November 2020

We’re posting all new articles on our parent website

read more

Fishawack Health launches Delta Magazine

Blue Latitude Health|17th November 2020

Our parent company Fishawack Health has launched a new magazine with a first issue unpacking rare disease.

read more

In the precision medicine era, the line between products and services is blurred

Amit Sheinholtz and Ilektra Safari|27th August 2020

Precision and personalised medicines are more than products, they are services in their own right. So, how should pharma approach this uncharted territory to ensure targeted therapies work for patients?

read more

The landscape of healthcare has changed. So have we.

Blue Latitude Health is now Fishawack Health

Redirecting you to in 5...