Posted by Paul Anderson
Customer Journey Maps – what you know about it?
Customer journey mapping is a trending idea. To explain journey mapping in layman terms – it refers to an idea/diagram that illustrates the touchpoints customer(s) go through in engaging with a company. Now these touchpoints could be varied such as – product purchase, online experience, retail experience, service, or for that matter any combination. The more touchpoints a company has, the more complicated — but necessary the map becomes.
Most often, customer journey maps are “cradle to grave,” depicting the entire arc of engagement. They depict the initial engagement with the prospect (perhaps through advertising or in a store), prospect converting into a customer and buying the product or service, using it, sharing the experience with others, and then finishing the journey by upgrading or choosing a competitor.
Nearly all small and large brand and product marketers utilize journey mapping as a part of their toolkit. Using different enterprise software applications, they analyze the different stages the customer goes through; look at the optimal experiences, things which can go wrong along the way, and then mitigate the risks to ensure the best outcome. In fact, journey mapping has become so pervasive that if you Google “customer journey maps” you’ll find quite a few tactics.
In regards to the trend of customer journey mapping, here is what Forrester senior analyst and customer-experience expert Jonathan Browne has stated – ‘’While customer journey mapping is being carried out by most businesses, the success percentage is low. Businesses need to shake the cobwebs off the traditional thinking. They need to re-examine the time and effort getting invested in journey mapping, and consider whether they need to tweak the creation of journey mapping to get quality input.’’
He further added – ‘’Most of us think that we’re more customer-centric than our competitors. However, the reality is way different. Unless we check the self-centered tendencies prevalent in our organization, we always run the risk of being difficult to deal with. Expecting customers to adapt to our practices won’t cut it anymore because customers have plenty of options. Companies that want to thrive need to understand how to meet and most importantly exceed their customers’ expectations throughout their journeys.”
With that in mind here are a few pointers elaborating how customer journey maps can get you on a path to better customer satisfaction and loyalty:
Ø Customer journey map is made up of the experiences that get created with customers. A properly executed and measured journey map will highlight the barriers and the enablers in the journey. Inevitably, this will allow you to address the area of your business that you need to work upon. In addition, the factors that are costing you share of wallet will also be brought to light by measuring the journey.
Ø Journey maps are at their best only when they are used to map all customer interactions across the organization. This will help understand common pain points and challenges across all the “moments of truth” under different customer personas.
How to analyze the customer journey maps?
Ø Do not create a journey map from your internal process, internal survey or front line staff interviews. The info would not be precise and would just reinforce your conventional understanding about customer experience. Create journey maps based on ethnographic research, social data analysis and contextual interviews.
Ø If you are looking to drive long term commitment, you need to address the post-purchase experiences of the customers. This will help you understand the customer’s willingness to repurchase and evangelize for a brand.
Find answers to questions such as –
ØWhat is the customer doing at each stage?
ØWhat common actions do they take to move themselves to the next stage?
ØWhat is motivating the customers to keep going to the next stage? What emotions are they feeling? What do they value?
ØWhat are the barriers (such as poor structural process, cost, and implementation), uncertainties and jargon standing in the way of customers to move on to the next stage?
Each customer takes a different journey. The objective should be to create a set of potential experiences, irrespective of the path they take.
The embracement of social media and mobile has resulted into new channels getting integrated into customer journeys. So while in a few cases where customer journeys include peer-to-peer help, product purchase journey for the social customer may include “feedback from community”, or “chat with helpdesk on Facebook’’.
Apart from expecting a higher level of speed, efficiency and accessibility, the Social Customer also wants the flexibility to interact across both the new and traditional channels; which is why it is better to update an existing journey (with the new channels) instead of creating a new journey.