What do your customers expect and experience when they interact with your brand? Is your organization more concerned with marketing and sales than user experience? And how do your customers find their way to your business to make that purchase?
Comprehending your customer’s expectations from your service or products begins with a customer journey map that gives you a clear view of your client’s experience with you.
These days it isn’t enough to create a beautiful website and wait for the audience to search for your brand. Instead, you must take a proactive approach to get your services and products in front of your prospective clients.
Customer Journey Map: Why It Matters?
A customer journey map is a pictorial depiction of a prospect or customer’s process to accomplish a company-specific goal. The purpose of these maps is to let you have a better and improved understanding of what can motivate your customers to achieve these objectives.
Customer journey mapping is a strategic approach to gauging customer expectations and is critical to optimizing the customer experience.
This is just as important for medium and small enterprises as customer expectations are shifting for all businesses, irrespective of size. Today, a customer demands Omnichannel marketing, sales, and customer service.
When it comes to customer experience, one of the most vital aspects is personalization. Recent research found that 84 percent of customers want to be treated like people instead of a number is paramount to winning their business.
Customer journey mapping also allows SMEs to deliver personalized experiences across all customer touchpoints for every individual and across all channels.
However, a significant benefit of customer maps is that it lets you know your customers more holistically. The better you know their expectations, the more you can customize the experience to their needs.
Developing Effective Customer Journey Maps
Even though you may target different personas, opt for just one customer scenario and one persona to research and envision at a time. If you are unsure what your scenarios or personas might be, ask some colleagues to help you generate ideas.
You can create journey maps in a wide variety of ways. However, the end goal is always the same: figuring out and addressing the customers’ pain points.
Define Goals And Objectives
Without well-defined goals, it can be challenging to find whether your customer journey maps will translate to a substantial impact on your business and customers. In addition, you will need to identify future and existing buyers to effortlessly set goals for those audiences at every stage of their experience.
Try to collect the key stakeholders within your organization who will likely touch various customer experience points. And cross-functional collaboration is essential to set an attainable and logical goal. Next, collect valuable insights and unique perspectives on every part of your current customer journey and figure out where you need improvements and how you will measure them.
Conduct Persona Research
Elaborate on the persona that inspires your customer journey map. But based on the maturity of your firm, you might have very few reports, records, or other pre-existing information about your target persona.
So, gather your preliminary findings to formulate what you think your customer journey maps may look like. Get facts from your perspective or real customers —those who have interacted and engaged with your brand.
Here are some ways to collect meaningful customer data:
- Talk to the sales employees who interact with customers frequently
- Conduct interviews
- Email a survey to current users
- Get clips from detailed call center conversations
- Clean complaint logs and customer support
- Track discussions regarding your company on social media
- Collect Net Promoter Score (NPS) information
- Leverage web analytics
Look for info that references the following:
- If/when customers cancel or purchase?
- How do customers find your brand initially?
- What problems your brand didn’t or did solve?
- How difficult or easy do they find your site to use?
Collecting quantitative and qualitative information in your research process guarantees your business makes data-driven and informed decisions depending on the actual customer’s voice.
Define Customer Touchpoints
Customer touchpoints contribute to the majority of the customer journey map. They are where and how customers connect with and experience your brand. While carrying out your research and plotting your touchpoints, add information that addresses the action elements, emotion, and possible challenges.
The type and number of touchpoints on the customer journey map are based on business type and nature. For instance, a customer’s experience with SaaS companies is fundamentally different from coffee shops.
Choose accurate touchpoints that reflect the customer’s journey with your brand. Once you define the customer touchpoints, you can arrange them on the journey map.
Map The Existing State
Map the current customer experience. Use a visual workspace and start arranging your touchpoints and data. Prioritize the appropriate and related content over aesthetics. Also, take input from the key stakeholders to build your customer journey map collectively and collaboratively and ensure accuracy.
Again, there is no “right” way to format your customer journey map. However, for each phase along the journey timeline, add the actions, the touchpoints, assigned ownership, and touchpoints (marketing, customer service, sales, etc.).
Then, tailor your diagram pattern with color and images and shape differences to visualize the different emotions, actions, transitions, etc., effectively at a glance.
When you map the current state, you will also start identifying red flags or gaps in the experience. Also, collaborators can comment explicitly on different diagram parts, so it’s precisely clear where there is room for improvement.
Map The Future State
Now that you have visualized the existing customer journey, your map should show the possible gaps in customer experience, poor transitions in stages, information overlap, and considerable customer obstacles and pain points.
Use layers and hotspots to easily map out potential solutions and compare the current customer journey state with the future, ideal condition.
Don’t forget to present your research to everyone and expedite action on the areas that require improvement, with a clear roadmap for anticipated change and how their responsibilities will play an integral part in enhancing the overall customer journey.
Once you entirely understand the customer experience and interaction with your brand, you can satisfy them at all stages in their buying process. Multiple factors can impact this journey, such as customer emotions, pain points, and your company’s processes and touchpoints.
With customer journey maps, this is an actionable way to visualize this data, whether you are optimizing your journey for your customers or exploring new business opportunities to serve the unrecognized needs of your customers.