Making an expectation map involves investigating and charting what customers expect when they interact with a service. The map can either focus on one specific service, or take the more generalised form of analysing a particular service category.
Why is it used?
Expectation mapping often serves as a diagnosis tool, drawing out those areas of a service in need of attention from a customer-based perspective’ Expectation maps that focus on a particular aspect of a service are a useful way to define and review those areas where customers are regularly experiencing problems. An expectation map might be created in relation to what customers expect when contacting the service provider, by the telephone for example, with this being contrasted with similar person visits or email correspondence.
When is it helpful?
Expectation Mapping is particularly helpful to visualise a customer journey and identify areas with potential for improvement. Very often, not the entire process/service has to be optimised and a focus on the most important aspects is sufficient. Expectation Mapping helps to identify these aspects.
How is it applied?
The material used to construct an expectation map can come from a variety of sources. A first draft of the map can be quickly and easily developed from sources such as media coverage for example, with this then serving as a general indication of how a company is being perceived “out in the wild”. Conducting original research meanwhile — i.e. in-depth interviews with customers designed to gather their reflections — allows the map to be more detailed and targeted around a particular area.
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