What is a Customer Journey Map?
A business’s long term success and its absurdity along with placing the customer at the core of business can be achieved by implementing customer journey mapping. A customer journey map, in a nutshell, is the visual storyline of each engagement a customer has with a business organization, product or service. The goal of the customer journey map is to put the customer’s needs, their perceptions and their processes in front of the organization. A journey map will detail all the bases a customer may have touched with your brand, be it their first interaction hearing about you through social media or visiting your website or to purchase your product/service etc.! The journey map also takes into consideration all the actions a customer takes to achieve an objective in between a period of time.
Why is a customer journey map important?
A visual representation of the customer journey can provide valuable insights into the thoughts of your customers. This can then lay the groundwork for essential changes to your product or service, marketing, and business strategies. It is also crucial for optimizing the customer experience. Customer expectations are changing for all businesses, making customer journey mapping just as important for small-medium sized businesses as it is for larger/established companies.
Mapping the customer journey has a host of benefits such as:
● allowing you to optimize the customer onboarding process.
● checking customer expectations against the experience they actually receive.
● Understanding the differences in buyer personas as they move from prospect to conversion through the buying funnel.
● Creating a logical order to your buyer journey However, the biggest benefit of customer journey mapping is simply understanding your customers more. The better you understand their expectations, the more you can tailor the customer experience to their needs. Now that you understand what it is and why it’s important, here are the key tips that will help you create a comprehensive customer journey map, and take your business to new heights!
7 key aspects that need to be considered before mapping a customer journey map
1. Research And Analytics:
The foundation of your customer journey map should always be customer and market research as, nowadays, they represent the baseline for any marketing and sales processes. Considering the need to thoroughly understand your target demographic and finding motivating factors for your customers to be able to assist them on the journey.
However the journeys will probably be a little different than what you would want to achieve and what a customer’s intent might be regarding your brand. Some customers will be looking to buy, some wanting quality content, and others are comparing their options – hence difference in their journeys.
According to research findings by salesforce, 80% of the customers value their interactions and experience with the company as important as with its products hence increasing the importance of customer journey maps for a business.
Considering all the above mentioned, it’s essential to understand these different types of customers. And identifying them based on age and gender, nationality and location,
as well as their socio-economic background.
2. Create Customer Personas:
Listening to the customers is the key! Listening carefully to what your customers have to say will uncover the pain points, desires, goals, likes and dislikes that you can use to create a precise customer journey map. This information on personas is gathered through different means, such as questionnaires, customer support team inputs, user analytics, social media, and more.
How would that help you? Research findings explain that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and as much as 72% of them say positive reviews and testimonials have a positive effect on brand trust.
Customer/buyer personas help you empathize with the customer’s side of the story and tackle problems they encounter in their customer journey more effectively. While mapping a customer journey, keep your customer/user personas ready so that you know, more accurately, what the customers might feel, think, or do when they are searching for a solution to their problems.
3. Target Touchpoints:
Recapitulating on the point touched upon earlier, the success of the business/organization rests upon the customer success and how well the business understands their target demographic needs and wants. Forbes reports that 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.
Here are some touchpoints to keep in mind:
A successful interaction also improves the customer’s trust in a brand, eventually making them an advocate and promoter for your business.
4. Think Tank:
Feedbacks plays a pivotal role in making a business organization better every day. You should use a website tool to create continuous surveys to get the valuable information from the customers. It is an effective way to get the visitors rating or the customer’s perception about the business. You can let it pop-up on exiting the website or any page a customer has landed to.
Your customer journey map should create concrete questions and figure out the solutions when you are stuck. This can help you avoiding un-necessary questions, or questions that get you to nothing.
5. Identify and Address Customer Pain Points:
The very first attempt at making a customer journey map will not be easy nor will it be clean. Your customers are not happy at many stages of the journey, and you will know that these stages are not leading to conversions. The steps mentioned above will help you identify where the customers are facing difficulties. This is the time you will utilize to delve into these difficulties with clarity and to address/solve them. Ultimately, identifying the pain points in a customer journey is what will lead to progress.
6. Monitor and Feedback:
Customer journeys do not end with a purchase. Existing customers are valuable assets to a company, and their opinions matter in order to increase retention. Customer loyalty and retention analytics are important drivers to increase revenue by curtailing costs.
7. A Full Circle:
Customer journey mapping is not a onetime process. This process is stringent, lengthy and time consuming, and will often need re-visitations as you may have missed out on important issues in need of addressing, for which you’ll need to start from the top again.
This brings us to the end of all the steps for mapping the customer journey. To wrap it up, customer journey maps are crucial for crafting high-performing sales, marketing, and support strategies. It’s also the only way to truly optimize the entire brand experience. The number of maps you may have will depend upon the number of user personas or the varying products you sell. To tie it all up, it’s all about the customer’s viewpoint and finding the right solutions to accommodate them at the right time.