The lives of others: A customer’s journey

Pete brings us up to date with a visit to Barcelona to watch Arsenal in the Champions League whilst he soaks up the atmosphere from a packed Nou Camp.  If that wasn’t enough, he then goes onto to Dublin to watch the final game of the RBS Six Nations, all in the name of work? Surely not? 
 
Working within the office environment has its distinct advantages.  Firstly, there’s office banter, office gossip, small communities and the odd, always-uneventful office party.  There are however, certain downsides to working within this ‘world’ within our world particularly when, as an organisation, you produce once in a life time experiences.  That downside is…detachment
 
Since I had never done anything like this before, I was given the freedom to approach this how I wanted.  To a creative type such as myself, it provided me the sort of environment I crave, autonomy.  With guidance from my line manager, I set off to experience everything Thomson Sport had to offer, which naturally involved the aforementioned Champions League QF tie between Barcelona and Arsenal.                                                                                      
 
Now, since mapping our customer’s journey is more art than a defined science, I had to come up with a model that would be able to visualise my findings.  The image shown (bottom of the page) is a top-level view of my work.  The model documents, what we perceive are the vital stages of a customer’s journey through our brands.  Each area has predefined terms, language, gates that qualify the customer through to the next stage and internally, we have each individual event mapped that happens along the way.
 
What I have gone on to create with this model, is a blueprint, a framework, for battling that detachment many organisations feel when they forget to press pause and really view their products through the eyes of their customers.  What our customers go through on their journey, from initial awareness of a brand or product, to the phone conversations they have with booking staff, through to the way they are treated after they have experienced what our organisation has to offer.
 

Whats important to note here, is that a customer’s journey doesn’t simply end when they return home and this is a perspective many organisations forget.  Here, in this state, when a customer is between cycles, between holidays or products, they have the potential to become brand advocates and it is our responsibility as a progressive, forward thinking organisation to interact accordingly.  To best capture our customers memories and to ensure they never forget the once in a lifetime experience they had whilst travelling with a TUI brand.

Arsenal warming up just before kickoff

As a final note, I also spent last weekend in ‘working’ in Dublin, watching Ireland smash England in a packed Aviva Stadium for final game of the 2011 Six Nations thanks to Gullivers Sports Travel.  In case you’re confused, I’m Irish and thoroughly enjoyed the Irish victory.

Customer Journey Model

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