The customer journey map is one of the most powerful tools for understanding customer expectations and delivering on their needs. It helps you understand your customers’ experience, which is the crucial factor in building an effective customer experience. After you understand your customers’ journey, you can better plan your product or service offerings to meet their expectations and deliver on their needs. In this article, we delve at length into what exactly is a customer journey map, its various elements, and how to create one and turn data into a winning customer experience.
What are some of the best ways to stay ahead of customer expectations and deliver a more effective customer experience? What are the best techniques available to turn data into a winning customer experience?
One of the foremost ways forward in delivering the best for your customers is a customer journey map. This is a graphic that depicts the path of a customer from the time they initiate contact with your business until they complete the purchase of your product or service.
The purpose of a customer journey map is to highlight your customers’ experience from the time they arrive on your website/app, interact with your content, and contact you.
The map is the visual representation of the journey which a customer follows while interacting with your product or service. It can be used to understand, improve and refine your current processes. It can help you understand how customers find your product or service, why they find it useful, and ultimately, the reasons why they come back.
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Creating a customer journey map is extremely useful to help you understand what is happening at every point of the customer’s journey through your website and other channels. Every interaction with the customer is an opportunity to make an informed decision about whether to take an action. This kind of mapping will help you identify how you can improve your products and services, and how to move your business forward in the right direction.
Customer journey mapping is a process that has been done for years by large corporations, but now, because of the rapid advances in technology, has found its way into the hands of small businesses as well. It provides a company with the opportunity to ensure it is not neglecting any important customer interaction.
In order to get the most out of a customer journey map, you should give it plenty of time and focus on it rather than moving from task to task. This will help you fully understand your audience’s needs and wants.
Customer Experience Journey Map Stages
This is a (minimum) three-stage process.
- 1. The customer is aware of your product or service, but not yet engaged. You can establish this stage by including several pages of questions that will require the customers to make decisions about your product or service. At this stage, your customer is aware of your product or service and does research on it to determine if he wants to buy it, and how much it will cost.
Example: What is this product, and what is it meant to you? What are the benefits of the product? Who is it for? What is it supposed to accomplish? What are the pros and cons? Why should I choose this product over other alternatives?
- 2. You now have an aware customer that knows about your product or service completely. In this 2nd stage, you want to encourage them to do additional research and comparison shopping.
Example: We offer same-day shipping and the best prices around.
- 3. The customer has purchased your product or service, i.e the customer becomes engaged with your product or service. In this stage, your audience will begin to use your product or service, for which you will be able to track their purchase history, comments, and social networking actions.
Example: To make sure that the customer is comfortable with your product or service, we have included several FAQs and user guides.
Example: Do you know that the product can be used for multiple applications?
- 4. After the customer is engaged, they become loyal to the product or service. In this stage, your audience has developed a positive relationship with your product or service that makes them feel more comfortable going on using it.
Create A Customer Experience Strategy
A customer journey map is part of your overall customer experience strategy. Recognize that customer experience is the single most important element that determines whether a customer will buy from you or not. Therefore, you should ensure that your service has an exciting and engaging customer experience so that your customers are willing to go out of their way to buy from you.
Here are some of the essential stages of your customer experience strategy:
Define the customer
- Pre-purchase: Collecting information from customers to understand their needs
- Identify the customer’s problem, when to act
- Explore the customer’s background, history, beliefs, preferences, etc
- Compare your product or service with similar products and services
- Make the customer feel as if he/she is going to get something valuable
- Create a sense of urgency, which means if you want to win customers, then give them a reason to buy from you.
- Tell them why you’re doing so
- Be clear on what you need them to do and when you need it done
- Teach the customer what to do next so that they can handle the problem without your help
- Provide ‘a-ha’ moments where they understand how the product or service works
- Inform and instruct them, so that he/she can learn to make a decision based on their own knowledge. This is especially useful for those who are new to your product or service
- Tell them why they need to do what you want them to do
Specifically, here are tips to boost your customer experience, the things that can improve the day-to-day experience of your customers and make their lives easier:
Make it easy to use your product. If there’s a way you can make it easier for your customers to find your product, whether by making it easier to find on your website or by posting tutorials on YouTube, do it.
Make sure that they can find your products easily, and that they can use it the way you want them to. Build a customer-centric culture in your company.
You want your team to think of customers as more than just someone who uses your product or service. You want your team to consider them as people first, and then customers of the product you’re building. If your team can get better at talking to customers, they can actually hear what they have to say, and in turn, it can help you improve your products.
Different Types Of Customer Journey Maps
There are at least three types of customer journey maps:
- Traditional Journey Maps
- Customer Experience Maps
- Voice of Customer (VOC) Maps
Traditional Journey Maps: A traditional customer journey map is simple and shows you the general path a customer takes from their first encounter with your product to purchase. A traditional customer journey map shows what happens to a customer. It also shows the general path from the first encounter with your product to purchase. This is now considered to be a largely outdated way of mapping.
Customer Experience Maps: The Customer Experience Map is a visual representation of the customer’s experience with a company. Customer Experiences Maps are becoming an increasingly important tool for companies to determine how they’re perceived by their customers.
A Customer Experience Map is another type of customer journey map that shows the different steps along your customer’s path. It may show the steps a customer takes to get to a purchase. This type of map does not show where a customer starts the journey. A customer experience map is an effective way of visualizing complex customer interactions in business.
Like all customer journey maps, a Customer Experience Map is not just for new customers. It is useful for those with loyal customers as well. That is, this map does not show a traditional funnel. Instead, it shows the different touchpoints and how customers interact with your product or service as they use it. Because this map does not show where a customer starts the journey, it may show customers on different stages of their journey as they move through your product or service.
Voice of Customer (VOC) Maps: This is a customer journey map that shows the different steps along your customer’s path to finding a new product or service. It may show the steps a customer takes as he is searching for a solution to his problem.
In this example, a customer starts by filling out a form on the company’s website. He may then watch a video and continue his journey by reading written information.
He may then take a test and continue his journey. This customer journey map illustrates the different steps along a customer’s path. It does not show where a customer starts the journey. The end of the customer journey is when the customer ends up with a decision to buy the product.
How To Create A Customer Journey Map
- Identify the major activities in your business
- Set your business targets
- Define the touchpoints
- Understand buyer persona, including the person’s interests
- Map the events that occur along your customer’s journey
- Identify areas that have a higher level of urgency
- Assess the current quality of service you offer
- Map pain points between stages and solutions
Your buyer persona should be an amalgamation of your customers’ needs and wants. To create a successful buyer persona, you need to find out what the customer wants and needs before you sell them something. This can be achieved through customer surveys, focus groups, interviews, and market research.
How you set about creating your buyer persona will depend on your product or service and what you are selling.
For example, if you are selling luxury cars you need to design a buyer persona that will be able to afford such a car. It means looking at potential buyers who are affluent and who like to buy expensive brands. It is important to note that when designing your buyer persona, you do not want to restrict yourself to looking at only one type of customer.
Also, make sure that you include a wide variety of customer types in your buyer persona. This will allow you to tap into different market segments that are of similar needs.
Personality traits of the buyers who will be buying your product or service should not be limited to gender, age, educational background, and occupation.
Customer journey maps should carry all the touchpoints. Customers want to be able to communicate with companies through a variety of means. Customers follow different routes on these maps as well, which must be reflected on the maps.
When making the map, start by looking at who your customers are and the various touchpoints they have with your company. For example, to design a customer journey map for sales professionals, they should include the following touchpoints:
– Account managers and representatives
– Customer contact centers
– Information retrieval systems such as websites, mobile applications,
– Search engines
– Interactive voice response (IVR) systems
It is also a good idea to include customer complaints, forums, blogs, and social media connections as touchpoints.
Once you have identified the touchpoints, use a mind map to organize your ideas. Then start sketching the map. There are no laid down protocols for this but certain guidelines. Draw out the map that represents how your customers interact with your company.
You need to keep in mind that the look and feel of your maps should be consistent while making the map. That is why the colors, fonts, and imagery used on customer journey maps should not be a one-time decision. It must be dynamic so that it can be adapted to meet the needs of each individual company.
Customer Journey Analytics
Customer journey analytics is the action of analyzing where your customers are in their buying process and how you can influence them to move closer to purchasing your product.
In addition to increasing customer lifetime value (CLV), businesses use it to improve customer loyalty and to grow revenue. Analyzing the customer journey gives teams insight into their behavior which they can then use to make strategic decisions. This form of analytics starts with a customer journey map but you need to determine the type of customer journey you want to track.
Sequential: This is the most common type of customer journey map and represents a linear process from one point to another with intermediate stages in between. It’s the most appropriate choice for product and service design.
This helps to understand customer behavior in order to drive revenue. It works by iterating through each stage in the customer’s journey until you get to the last step before a sale. This is useful for products and services that have multiple steps. Or for a service like management that involves interacting with multiple departments.
Circular: This is similar to sequential, but it does not always have an end. With a circular process, it’s possible to get all the way back to the start of the customer’s journey.
For example, online software companies often use this method to understand the stages of the customer journey and determine customer acquisition.
Branch: This represents where you can pick up the customer as he/she progresses through your brand, company, or product.
The first way to measure customer journey analytics is by using data to identify the current state of your customer’s journey and then compare it to the desired state. By identifying your customers’ pain points, you can eliminate them from the customer journey. A critical component of identifying pain points is understanding the customer’s journey through the current state and its various touchpoints.
A second way to measure customer journey analytics is by comparing your company’s desired state (or vision) to the actual customer experience along that journey. It will make it easier to evaluate and prioritize opportunities to improve your customer experience.
The power of customer journey data is now more accessible than ever with integrated insights for more accurate journey analysis. This form of analytics increases your ability to analyze customer journeys and score journey performance.
Customer Journey Mapping Tools
Web analytics tools to help you understand the return on investment of marketing and advertising efforts. Website analytics tools are also important to not only measure your website but the path that leads to it. You should be able to accurately say, for example, what percentage of people who come to your website are converting?
You can also use website analytics tools to measure what visitors are doing on your site as they’re navigating their way through it.
You should also track people as they reach a specific page on your site. Is this percentage higher than the average? You might decide that it is worth adding a menu of similar products to one of your pages, or you might decide to add a pop-up to encourage them to sign up for your email list.
Customer satisfaction surveys, which provide a snapshot of customer satisfaction, including what they like about your products and services, what they dislike, and what is missing.
Customer feedback forms collect customer sentiment and intent or provide an early warning system on what customers like and don’t like about your products and services.
In-app journey mapping tools let you map what is happening when a customer clicks a button on your app, and compare this to what happens when a user who has already decided to buy something searches for it.
Benefits Of Customer Journey Maps
Here are some of the benefits to customer journey mapping:
Improves product road maps
This is vital for companies who do not know where they want to go but need to plan a successful path.
By looking at the customer journey from beginning to end, companies can see which product road map fits best and what the customer journey is like.
The journey map helps to demonstrate value. It shows where the customer is heading at each stage of the buying process, and what the customer will receive by coming all the way to the end.
Helps to build trust
Building trust through the customer journey helps to increase loyalty. The customer journey maps can help the business to understand if they are satisfying the needs of the customer throughout the journey.
Increases customer engagement
Customer engagement is important as a company so that they can retain and improve customer relationships. By putting the journey through a map, it helps to engage the customers on each stage of the journey. It also helps to show how much effort the customer will need to put in if they want to complete the journey successfully.
Even better, the customer journey maps can engage the customers by showing them where their attention is being drawn.
Customer journey maps can be used as a way to present the product, increasing sales. The customer journey maps can help businesses to reach more customers by letting them see the progress of the customers. Overall, such journey maps help to increase awareness and engagement in the business as a whole. It increases market reach as journey maps are good for reaching out to more customers by using them to display the product on a single page.
In conclusion: Customer journey maps are a powerful tool to create a better customer experience. The focus of such a map is on the customer’s needs, not your product or service. The map itself is an interactive tool that helps customers understand their experience through each step of their buying journey. The map should not be regarded as a goal, or even an objective in itself, but rather a vehicle to help customers to achieve their goals.
An Engine That Drives Customer Intelligence
Oyster is not just a customer data platform (CDP). It is the world’s first customer insights platform (CIP). Why? At its core is your customer. Oyster is a “data unifying software.”
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