The popularity of customer journey map is progressively rising, which can be attributed to the various benefits and opportunities businesses access with the use of this tool. For a long time, most businesses relied on funnels to evaluate customer experiences and gauge reactions. This linear method is however an out-of-date and journey maps are the new tools when you seek precise metrics on customer experience.
What distinguishes this tool is that it focuses on the experience from a customer’s perspective and includes other attributes of sentiment/emotions, motivation, goals and success. Mapping customer journey helps you identify how customers interact with your business, why they do it, how they ended up doing this and what they would love to be changed. It therefore presents metrics for apparent analysis and opportunities for exploitation. The end result is a tailored high-end customer service, interaction and brand loyalty.
Creating A Customer Journey Map
Concept and Benefits
Before learning how to create a successful customer journey map, it is important to understand the concept. This tool has no pre-defined standard and building it exclusively depends on your understanding of the business and customers. You can build a fine journey map using proven design principles or use known techniques like good attitude and smiley faces. The bottomline should however focus on gathering intelligence on a customer’s perspective of your business, services and interactions.
In this map, you will be able to identify how a customer uses your products and what motivates them to purchase it. As a business, it is essential to acknowledge the high level of modern sophistication and literacy. Customers of today generally have sufficient background information and research long before they make an order. It is important to identify specific needs, motivation and circumstances that led them to that purchase. The main purpose of a journey map is therefore reclined to gaining intelligence that manifests customer experience including understanding, anticipation and opinion.
To create a successful customer journey map is not as smooth as it seems. It requires positioning yourself as a customer to identify how they interact with your business and products. There are various metrics tools that provide vital analytics. The existing technologies will allow you to know the following:
- What pages were browsed
- Which products and services were viewed
- Which emails were opened, read, deleted and followed and
- Total number of view
These are important metrics that show customer interactions. However, you will need more that software-driven metrics to build a journey map of your customer. You will have to incorporate other methods that include ethnography, surveys, after-sales follow-up, market research, opinion box and client shows/meetings/interviews among others. Creating a successful journey map for your customers will require the following:
• Representing customer perspective at all levels – The business should focus on representing the experience at every available level including areas where you have no control. This includes social media activities and web searches. Since customers already have a background education before visiting your retail, it is important to have knowledge of how this turned out. When representing perspective, ensure all your customer segments are accommodated in order to have both sectional and overall insight of the engagements. This aids identifying correlations and streamlining certain operations.
• Comprehensive research – This is very crucial to building a journey map. Besides having open feedback channels, conduct interviews, surveys and intense market research on your target market. You can bring in private customers and incorporate them into your business during the building period. It is always advisable to pick people who are not your staff.
• Include customer goals – It is impossible to map out your customer’s journey without knowing their goals. These may be targets, expectations or anticipations. When customers first begin interactions, they have specific goals which can be to buy a product/service, find information or learn something new. Some customers only intend to test and confirm what they heard, saw or received recommendation for. Others are direct in their approach and only have specific needs. Note that as the journey progresses, so does customer goals.
• Customer emotions – Emotions are another important aspect of a journey map. All relationships, whether B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-client) have an emotional attachment. It is important to illustrate these emotions in the map as they are used to describe happy and frowning customers. There are many other emotional expressions that can be used to identify pleased, satisfied, displeased, dissatisfied and overwhelmed customers.
• Touch points and truth – These are two broad areas that determine whether your journey map is the actual representation of customer experience. Journey mapping has one aim; to improve customer experience, which in turn establishes brand loyalty and drives revenue. It is therefore paramount to identify truths and touch points. Touch points are critical areas that can be major spoilers to a customer’s experience. For example, a bad-tempered receptionist at a hotel’s front office desk may spoil the entire dining experience even when the food and waiting service was perfect. Such areas are critical and should be distinguished since they define moments of truth. It is also important to include touch points that are not in your control.
When it comes to mapping customer journey, you must know whose journey you are mapping and have a clear understanding on what you seek to accomplish by doing this. Ensure all the must-haves that will enable path defining are in place and talk to your staff and customers. Once you are in control of all these operations, ensure your map has “action fixes.” It is worthwhile to note that journey maps are not only meant for illustrations. They should have clear actions that should be taken in case an opportunity present itself like enhancing the quality of a service or enjoyment. Of course, these opportunities should be part of a forecast.
Journey maps are part of the larger customer experience strategy and a core asset of any customer-centric organization. It should be based on accurate research and understanding of business goals, customer experiences and how to apply insight-driven inputs in improving that experience. With that said, a customer journey map provides an outside-in approach that allows businesses to see their customers’ perspectives at each level and identify where improvement opportunities lay.