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Interview
November 25, 2021

Petr Faltynek

Enhancing Customer Journey

November 25, 2021

Customer journey is the path a user takes from discovering your brand or product to becoming its advocate and coming back again and again if you did everything right. In case something went off, with today’s guest, Petr Faltynek, UX Design Manager at SWAROVSKI, we created a checklist of activities that can help you enhance your customer journey. We also added ideas to consider when you’re starting to build one yourself. May the journey begin!

Petr Faltynek, UX Design Manager at SWAROVSKI

Petr studied industrial design for four years in Ostrova, Czech Republic, focusing on design sketching and 3D programs. He worked as a graphic designer at a local advertising agency and moved to the graphic and web design branch. In 2015, Petr moved to Switzerland. In 2018 he joined Swarovski as a UX designer. Petr now works there as a UX Design Manager and lives in Zurich.

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What is the Customer Journey?

Well, it’s a journey of a customer. It describes the entire story of relationships between your business and the customer (even before they contact you) to the very end and further to the future if you do it right. As technology and the world evolves, this journey changes and adds new touchpoints on how two sides engage.

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What makes a great Customer Journey?

From the customer’s point of view, it is an easy interaction with your business, smooth conversion and transparent information about a brand and products. And from the business point of view, it is extended research that includes adapting to the current trends and listening to your customers’ critiques so you can improve the journey and get rid of your weaker spots to make customers happier and more loyal.

Petr recommends these resources for inspiration:

I think Medium, UXdesign, 99designs are good places to start. Youtube, with many design channels, is also great. I often return there for tips and inspiration

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What common misconceptions about the customer journey have you heard from clients or business owners?

I’ve been lucky enough to work with experienced and open-minded people, so I don’t know many of those. But one that comes to mind is underestimating global digitization. Take, for instance, mobile shopping. It was still relatively new when it boomed around seven years ago, and many businesses didn’t even consider it an important sales asset. It was difficult to convince business owners with a traditional, offline business approach to focus on mobile phone users and see the potential of smartphones. Once they missed the opportunity, it was hard to catch up and attract new audiences. 

 

The same applies to social media and other 3rd party platforms that play an essential part in any modern customer journey. But ten years ago, people wouldn’t believe in it. So I think that being open-minded about big ‘unrealistic’ ideas and flexible enough to try them out is vital for any modern business strategy.

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Customer Journey Map is customer’s motivation, research, consideration, order, payment and feedback
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Often Customer Journey and Customer Journey Map go side-by-side in design articles. What is a Customer Journey Map?

That’s true. Customer Journey Map (CJM) is a visualization of your customer journey concept. You can include all steps that customers make starting with a reason, contact and consideration stages to the conversion or purchase, and, of course, ensuring the customer’s loyalty and comeback. 

 

To oversimplify it, I would describe the Customer Journey Map as “customer’s motivation, research, consideration, order, payment and feedback.”

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Why is the Customer Journey Map so crucial in the design process?

CJM helps you see the bigger picture and all nuances you have to consider from the customer’s point of view, especially if you have a large business with many teams and channels or just a complex service. It also allows you to see potential problem points and resolve issues beforehand. On top of that, it helps designers and other team members stay on track and plan workflow more thoroughly. Luckily there are helpful tools out there that help you create nice CJMs and automate routine tasks.

Which tools do you use to create CJMs?

Figma
Figma

Figma is currently my No. 1. It’s constantly evolving, adding new features, making it a multipurpose tool for cross-collaboration between different teams

Adobe XD
Adobe XD

I began working in web/UX design with Adobe XD. It was easy to learn and use for me because I'm an active user of other Adobe products

Pencil & paper
Pencil & paper

This is one of my favorite ways to express the design concept and customer journey

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Aside from visualizing a Customer Journey, what steps should a designer take to make it more efficient? 

  1. Do proper UX research. You can collaborate with companies that specialize in this subject and analyze whole e-commerce to give you tips on strengthening customer journey and what steps to take in order to achieve better results.
  2. Watch and analyze. It doesn’t cost anything, and with tools like Google Analytics, you can watch your website and see how the customer interacts with different web pages.
  3. A/B tests. Testing is a helpful and straightforward technique that works every time. Make a few different concepts, either with different designs or the journey logic and see which ideas perform better.
  4. Design system. Build a proper and complete design system with a library of generic components, icons, widgets that will help you make updates or implementations faster. You can download design system examples for free and adapt them to your needs.
  5. Automation. That’s my favorite feature. I always find ways to make work easier and automated by creating smart mockups and templates that anyone can adapt and reuse even without design or software experience. Don’t be afraid to use automation tools in unconventional ways.

Examples of UI kits

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From your experience, what mistakes do many designers make while creating Customer Journeys? How to avoid them?

The most common mistakes I usually see are no proper research, not enough testing and not involving other team members in the process. Sometimes designers think they’ll be able to guess the solution. 

 

I know there’s always a point when you do something new and original, so you don’t have references and guess your next steps based on your experience and common sense. But usually, it’s worth analyzing market trends, competitors’ experiences and making decisions based on that data instead of going blind. 

 

Another great practice is cross-communication between departments. Take time to discuss everything within your design team and other teams, such as marketing and developers, for their opinions. You might have a narrow vision, and your team members are here to support you.

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How do you think the design industry will evolve in the next 10 years? 

OK, I’m no visionary and not even a good example of a user since I have different and unusual opinions on how things should work than most people do. I don’t use my mobile phone that much. I keep updated and educated because I like it.

 

About the future, already 80% of customers shop via smartphones, and sales channels blend insensibly. In 10 years, I can imagine everyone with smartwatches controlling everything around their digital lives, making purchases, communicating and calling without a smartphone. The design will get simplified and 100% responsive to fit all devices and touchpoints. Also, AI and virtual reality will get better and become a more common way of shopping without entering the shop. We’ll see if we’ll get to the 3D hologram, haha. That’s probably still a bit early.

Example of minimalistic Control Panel

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Any final tips for people who want to create their first Customer Journey?

Do your research, dive deep into the user experience to reduce guessing and unsureness about your product. If you're a small business creator, make a few designs or ideas and show them to your friends or social media to get feedback. But most importantly, don't’ wait and start now! 

 


 

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