Customer journey maps, sometimes called experience maps, are part art and part science. They are a way to visually represent every touchpoint any customer has with your company. These are best used for customer-centric businesses (both B2B and B2C). Customer journey maps allow you to meaningfully align with your customers while looking to create business impact.
The customer journey map is the visualization of interacting with your brand from the customer’s point of view. Doing this allows you to differentiate between the customer’s actual experience and what you believe it to be. Understanding your customer’s expectations better helps you deliver the excellence they expect.
Empathizing, understanding, and making changes for your customer creates the foundation for successful interactions and business outcomes. This also helps to create a functional framework for customer experience initiatives.
Whether your organization is purpose or profit-driven, you have to focus on how your prospects and customers interact with your brand across these major touchpoints:
- Your website
- Your outbound marketing team
- Your sales team
- Your customer support team
- Your brand presence on social media
Creating Maximum Impact
Customer journey mapping is a way to understand how to improve customer experience by creating a seamless and consistent experience at all touchpoints and on all channels. This requires you to understand the journey from their perspective. What is working well, and what needs improvement? This process will aid in bringing teams together and resolve hurdles and pitfalls customers face; this allows you to develop solutions for maximum impact.
The result is faster and higher customer conversions rates because you have worked to minimize negative customer experiences. This is done by identifying the difficulties your customers face at decision points. This will also increase retention because you will better understand how they travel through all the touchpoints and decision-making points.
Additionally, customer journey maps allow your business to focus on your customer experience strategy by finding gaps between channels and departments.
Create Better Experiences
As you study and begin to understand all phases of your customer’s journey with your brand, you will gain insights on where you are not meeting expectations; or worse–where you might be alienating prospects and customers. When you receive Google Reviews that include words like “painful,” “awful,” or “frustrating,” you are providing poor customer experiences. However, if you speak with them about their journey, you have the opportunity to take corrective action. As you address these issues, you begin to create better experiences. Doing this allows prospects and customers a better way to interact with your brand. In turn, this may generate faster sales cycles and loyal customers who will be repeat business.
Gain A Better View
A 2018 study on customer mapping from CXPA reported that 85% of those using customer journey mapping reported a “positive” or “very positive” impact. Customer journey maps allow you to gain essential and invaluable views of your potential and existing customers. The more complete the picture you have, including personas, the more it will help you cultivate better engagement with customers, resulting in higher revenues.
As you better understand your customer’s pain points with your touchpoints, you should also research their pain points with your competitors. Is it an internal problem or an industry issue? At the same time, you need to include as many customers as possible in your research. By doing this, you will find patterns that provide insight as to the areas your customers are enjoying and the places they are struggling in their interactions with you.
Understanding the experience from the customer’s point of view is vitally important and tremendously valuable. You need to journey through their eyes through every touchpoint with your company, your competitors, and any other relevant entities. This will help you gain new insights as you document the journey as the customer describes it. Understand the needs, pain points, and goals of every consumer stakeholder (persona) at each point. This will help guide specific actions. Equally important is to identify the make-or-break decision moments for your customers. This is the point where customers either walk away or agree to stay a little longer.
Don’t Forget Humans Are Emotional
Make sure you account for people’s emotions when developing a customer journey map. Making purchases or business decisions is a big deal, so you will want to have empathy and keep in mind the customer’s logic to accurately depict their experience.
A customer journey map is a powerful technique for understanding your customer’s motives; what their needs, hesitations, and concerns are. While most of us perform data collection on our customers, the data fail to communicate our customers’ frustrations and experiences. Their stories can remedy this.
You want your customer to succeed. With customer experience being the differentiator, it is smart to begin journey mapping. This requires you to understand their journey, with insights into what is and what is not working for them. By understanding both the ideal and actual state of the customer experience, you can improve touchpoints and provide better service. As a result, you will better meet your customer’s goals–and thrive.
Interested in how to get started? Reach out to us today!