Now’s when we really start to uncover what makes your agent experience tick. RIGHT, you wonderful bunch. You’ve got your journey map all roughly sketched out with more stickies than you can shake a— yeah, bad joke.
Now we’re going to do some deep drilling. Like, think of each phase of your experience map as a potential site of incredible resources, but to get to those resources you’ll have to do some digging. (We’re going to leave the whole oil-drilling analogy here though because honestly, before long we’ll get stuck into concepts like fracking and really what are we even thinking?)
So like we said last time, we want you to pick the most dastardly phase you’ve got in your arsenal – the one where somebody literally asked if there were any poop emoji stickers and everybody laughed because OMG #sotrue.
This will usually be the most frequently encountered phase – which is to say, daily work. We’re putting our money on daily work.
Point is, pick a phase. The worst phase. This’ll be the phase we’ll be, uh, plumbing? Examinatoring? Pick one and run with it.
You know the drill. Sticky notes. Emoji stickers. Coloured stickers. Squad. SNACKS.
Look at you pros.
Those touchpoints you grouped under your experience map? Get ’em. You’ll need ’em.
First things first, you’ll want to decide on their order, so have somebody draw the short straw and shout commands at them until you’re happy with their sequence. Now put headings above clusters of touchpoints that can be grouped into sub-phases.
Feel free to write copies of some touchpoints if they’re encountered in separate sub-phases. And of course write down more touchpoints if you missed any last time.
For example, to truly understand your agent experience, here is how we might go about doing this for the average workday:
- alarm clock (seriously)
- team leader
- phone line
- team leader
- punch clock
- break area
- team leader
- punch clock
So far so good?
Now let’s divide and conquer. Split up into groups and have each group pick a phase to work on. Don’t argue! It’s beneath you.
We’re going to write a story, friends.
But don’t panic! We’re talking real bare bones. Here’s how it’s going to work.
In your group take stock of the touchpoints under your care. Pick the first one in the sequence. Now think of the activities that surround it. Or way better yet, ask the agent in your group to tell you about it.
Now write, on a sticky, a set of paragraphs that take you through the phase step by step. When you’re done with a step, apply an emoji sticker to it to indicate its emotional impact. Feel free to write a few paragraphs, even if they only kinda relate to the touchpoints you have.
Be imaginative, but factual.
Here are some examples:
- Wake up at 4am (still dark!) 🙁
- Get dressed in the dark
- Get kids ready for school 🙁
- Hurry to taxi rank
- Pay half of what you earn to the taxi 🙁
- Spend TWO HOURS (!!!) in traffic 🙁 🙁 🙁
- Punch in two minutes late 🙁
- Chat to colleagues 🙂
- Get reprimanded by team leader for lateness 🙁
- Make a cup of wonderful, wonderful coffee 🙂
- Readjust squeaky chair
- Wait for ancient computer to boot 🙁
- Wait for five THOUSAND different programmes to load 🙁
- Chat to the cute new guy next to you about the horrific computers 🙂 🙂 🙂
- Fiddle with the headset jack to get the sound working 🙁
- Deal with grumpy callers 🙁
- Curse the terrible phone line 🙁
- Receive a sneaky transfer of a horrible customer from a colleague 🙁
- Be reprimanded by your team leader for the bad net promoter score 🙁
- Stretch to try ease the ache in your back (ugh those chairs!) 🙁
- Wonder how your kids are doing at school 🙁
Getting the idea? It’s pretty straightforward. It might even be… fun?
Gather! Discuss! Eat so many snacks you feel triumphantly sick!
Now you’re going to make a simple graph. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be precise! It’s just a gut-feel thing.
From the top to the bottom of one side of the graph, put the numbers +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3.
These numbers represent emotion – a plus means it’s positive; a minus means it’s negative, and zero means it’s neutral.
Now under each step of your story, make a dot. Place this dot at the emotional score you agree on. Once you’ve done each step, draw a line from dot to dot.
This is your emotional graph.
Take a break, everybody. This is some seriously good work you’re doing.
Put your story points up to form a long sequence. We’re going to attack them with stickers now. Arm your squad.
Blue is for repetition. Stick them up on any points that are done over and over in any given phase.
Red is for pain. Apply them to the very worst steps.
Yellow is for easy wins. Stick the gold stickers up where you think it would be possible to improve a step with minimal effort.
Gold is for big wins – real opportunities. Slap them as hard as you can on the steps that would have the best results if you fixed them, no matter how hard it would be to do so.
Green is for… uh… generalisation! Yeah that’s right. Put them on any points that are overly general (in our example above, ‘deal with callers’ is pretty general). This indicates that the step might be broken down into its very own journey map. (Seriously. And indeed you’ll want to do just this if the green sticker overlaps any other sticker.)
Go through each step with stickers on them. Now, on a fresh set of sticky notes, write some supporting information. We’re looking for more info on why this step is the way it is. We’re looking for suggestions of improvement.
Write at least one, and max three, for each step. Now place each set under the appropriate dot on your emotional graph.
Chat about what you’ve put up. Get a collective feel for the rightness of it, and correct anything that feels off.
Repeat this exercise for every point in your experience map (remember, that’s the one we did last time). This is a lot of work, but it’s worth it. You’ll hopefully already see why – but it’s about to get even better.
Take a photo of your work! This is evidence, and we will need it for the next point in our journey – motivating change.
Next time around we’re going to consolidate everything we’ve learned into a report. We’re going to show the powers that be how big a disconnect there is between what our ideal agent (the one whose persona we worked on at the very start) wants and what the journey maps show us.
We’ll make it hurt by seasoning our findings with research into things such as impact to finances and customer satisfaction.
We’re getting close to a beautiful, considered change everybody.
This is real, guys, and it’s all yours.
Read part 5 in our agent experience here.