Customer Journey Maps Improve L.L. Bean's Workplace Efficiency

Today’s shoppers demand a seamless experience with retailers they trust. But a seamless experience is hard to achieve! Particularly an omnichannel experience, across multiple sales channels. For that, a company needs two things. First, true workplace efficiency. And two, a customer-centric approach.

  • 100K duckboot sales in 2007
  • 750K duckboot sales in 2007
  • Multiple sales channels were affecting their legendary 100% satisfaction guarantee.
  • More than 300% increase in demand of boots since 2012

Journey Maps Identify Customer Friction Points

Why Improve Workplace Efficiency?

L.L. Bean built its business on a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. But with the retail world expanding beyond brick-and-mortar stores to outlets, catalog, phone, and online ordering, keeping that promise was a major challenge. L.L. Bean asked Mad*Pow to create a set of customer journey maps to identify friction points in the Return/Exchange process. Mad*Pow developed a a roadmap to help L.L. Bean increase workplace efficiency and provide a better customer experience.

The Process: Focus on Customer Experience

Reliable return and exchange is an important part of customer satisfaction. But at L.L. Bean, different sales channels implemented the policies in different ways.

To understand why, and how to address the problem, Mad*Pow conducted a research-based situation analysis. They then created a series of five Customer Journey Maps. These maps identified friction points for both customers and staff in the retailer’s Return/Exchange process. They also displayed a roadmap to success.

Research First: Finding the Friction Points

Mad*Pow knew it was critical to look at the problem from the customer's point of view. That's why they started by reviewing L.L. Bean’s existing service blueprint. They also learned by interviewing stakeholders, and conducting “secret shopper” experiments. This research uncovered numerous friction points in the Return/Exchange process.

It turned out, most issues were caused by back-office incompatibilities! The retail system used in stores did not work well with the system reps used on the phone and online.

The Results: Journey Maps Guide Workplace Efficiency

Working with Smaply, a cloud-based service design tool, Mad*Pow created a series of Customer Journey Maps. These maps captured customer and staff experiences during the Return/Exchange process.

Mad*Pow collaborated with L.L. Bean's key staff to share the results of the research, and discuss the most important friction points to address. After the workshop, Mad*Pow revised the Customer Journey Maps and delivered them as editable Smaply maps. L.L. Bean will be able to use these maps to direct changes, and stand by its 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Key Services

  • Research and Testing: Mad*Pow's researchers acted as secret-shoppers. They experienced the return process as customers do.
  • Experience Strategy and Service Design: Strategists led this project. The team created the omnichannel journey maps to make holistic experience improvements.
  • Experience Design: The design team translated the journeys into a visual format. This was key to helping the team use the maps.