Fight, flight or flee - the new customer journey mapping!

Find out more about the importance of Tripping Points from our guest blogger Tim Routledge from CX Lab - Tim is running a meaningful customer journey mapping workshop on the Applied Customer Experience course starting in October.

"Understanding CX and applying that knowledge commercially means rigorously studying customers’ experiences – what they see, hear, touch, taste and feel during the experience itself and, critically, how that actual experience matches with the expectations that they’d set beforehand.

The real-time and ongoing matching of expectation and reality is happening to us all the time. It’s unconscious. Our brains are filtering the world around us, measuring that things are as we predict they will be, conserving our ‘thinking’ resources until they are needed. But, any deviation from our expectations triggers a cascade of neurological and physiological reactions – we call them ‘tripping points’ – that forces our conscious brain to become aware of what’s happening. This is an evolved defence mechanism so we are ready to take action if necessary to either fight, flee or freeze to save ourselves from danger.

Despite all the sophistication of our modern world, these tripping points occur frequently as things don’t match up, whether that’s physically, the sudden uneven pavement that literally trips us up, or emotionally when that unexpected bill turns up, the train’s not on time, the attitude of the sales person when we ask what seems a perfectly straightforward question.

Knowing where these tripping points happen in any and every customer experience is the key to improving them. The problem is that conventional research, asking people when they occurred and what caused them is highly unlikely to tell us accurately. Customers are not deliberately deceitful, but they simply do not know consciously how tripping points arise and so misattribute their cause, often leading CX practitioners down completely the wrong path. The good news is that science allows us to observe tripping points as they actually happen through the use of biometric monitoring.

Although humans are unaware of tripping points and their causes in a conscious sense, their bodies physiological reaction can be accurately tracked using the latest wearable technologies. Heart rate, respiration, electrodermal activity, movement, eye-tracking and many other indicators of emotional response can be monitored. By tracking the customer journey itself using onboard or remote video monitoring or ethnographic observation and integrating this with the physiological responses, we can identify the moments when tripping points occur and their causes.

This step-change in customer journey mapping – producing a real-time biometric representation of actual experience – allows us to see what’s really happening, in both a customer and the sales people that assist them, to monitor physical and virtual journeys and even to couple physiological with neurological measures such as EEG to complete the picture.

By establishing a benchmark of the current experience and seeing where it goes wrong (and indeed where it goes right!), we can help businesses and public services to make changes and gauge their impact going forward. The use of further experimentation, both on and off-line, using behavioural science research techniques such as game theory, further allows the fine-tuning of improved experiences to optimise them for customers and employees alike."

To find out more about biometric journey mapping, tripping points and the appliance of science to the enhancement of customer and employee experiences, sign up for the Pearson Applied Customer Experience course. Click here to register:

Our guest blogger is Tim Routledge co-founder of CX Lab. Tim and his team will be running a meaningful customer journey mapping workshop on the Applied Customer Experience course.