Customer expectations are unquestionably undergoing a major transformation. So how can businesses meet these expectations and ensure every customer interaction is smooth?
One unique way to optimise and understand these customer experiences is a process called customer journey mapping. It is a process that translates into faster sales cycles and more satisfied, loyal customers who make follow-on purchases.
Here’s how you can utilise the process of mapping customer journeys to drive better results for your company and enable better experiences:
What is a Customer Journey Map?
Customer journey mapping gives businesses a way of getting into their customers’ heads, helping them gain valuable insights and understanding regarding potential customer pain points. It is the process of visualising how a customer interacts with a business by mapping out the steps they take to achieve a goal. In addition, it outlines important events, customer motivations, and possible friction in the customer experience.
A recent study found that businesses that offer a rich customer experience have a 1.9 times higher average order value and a 1.7 times higher customer retention rate. Buyers and businesses have more ways to interact online than ever before, and the focus has shifted from getting people into your sales/marketing funnel to delivering exceptional digital experiences.
Why do you need a Customer Journey Map?
Breaking down the customer journey point by point, aligning each action with a goal, and restructuring your touchpoints respectively are essential steps towards maximising customer success. Additionally, a well-crafted journey map takes post-purchase experiences into consideration. That knowledge helps you comprehend why customers leave. Thus, you can enhance your strengths and improve customer retention.
It enables marketers to target prospects across various touchpoints and deliver hyper-personalised experiences desired by your customers through omnichannel marketing and customer service. At each step of the buyer’s journey, you can identify pain points. For example, knowing what kind of questions your customers have helps address their queries promptly. And ultimately, you end up improving your customer experience.
How to Map Customer Journeys?
The real work in journey mapping is utilising the customer information and data available to you from across all business operations and delivering a process and structure to their experience. Developing buyer personas can help you understand how customers behave and function. Although everyone is different, these customer profiles provide guidance and input for the journey mapping. As buyers go down the funnel, you need to understand their goals across each phase. You’ll be able to examine if you are meeting those goals via user testing feedback, email support transcripts, etc. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and map out the buyer’s touchpoints.
Use Google Analytics or take surveys to find all opportunities to understand needs and make improvements to keep customers happy. Whatever the situation may be, understanding the touchpoints is a tool that can help you learn the efficiency and objectives of customer journeys, whether through social channels, paid ads, email marketing, etc. Assemble all your data and look at the big picture to identify potential roadblocks or pain points in the customer journey. Note down areas where you’re doing things right, and figure out ways to improve.
Prioritise and fix these roadblocks by asking yourself: What needs to be corrected/built? Is there a need to crush everything and start from scratch? Are a few simple changes enough for a big impact? Your customers are continually changing and evolving, so your customer journey map should be doing the same. Lastly, test, update and advance your mapping every six months. Tweak them accordingly whenever you introduce significant changes to your product/service.
Journey Mapping Best Practices
Customers in today’s digital age leverage their power to demand more from a business that has created a fiercely competitive landscape. Getting your customer journey right is key to meeting these expectations. Some touchpoints carry more weight because customers experience them at crucial moments in the journey that can make or break their experience. So it’s advisable to calculate their intensities.
Present both onstage (things that the customer sees or experiences with your business) and offstage (actions that happen BTS that the customer doesn’t have sight or knowledge of) experiences for clarity. Capture customer emotions on your journey map. With the digital market being so customer-focused, you need to maximise positive emotions and minimise negative emotions to set yourself apart.
Customer Journey Mapping is a method that generates an overview of the customer experience and maps how customers navigate through the sales funnel. It is especially beneficial for the iteration and refinement process as new elements are designed, and older processes are refined or eliminated. In addition, it allows you to identify opportunities to improve and enhance the overall customer experience. Thus, by defining each step and laying out the pathway, you will find places where the process crumbs down or obvious steps you missed. You might even discover ways to create shortcuts to eliminate actions to increase efficiency and cut down on friction.
It does much more than just benefitting the sales and marketing teams. It is a way to bring diverse sets of data into one place and produce a story based on emotion but backed by numbers so you can ensure your customers always have an awesome experience while interacting with your company.