Are your sales dipping and you’re finding it hard to retain customers? Does it seem as if you’re working harder without any ROI? It may be time to consider your customer experience. Customers will interact and engage with brands that they feel are trustworthy as well as provide them with positive experiences.
However, it can be difficult to identify where you’re going wrong! This is where customer journey mapping comes into play. As a visual representation of the customer journey, you’ll be able to step into your customers’ shoes to identify all their concerns and pain points.
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What is the Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is an infographic of your customers’ journeys as they interact with your brand. They help you understand what your customers are experiencing through their own perspective as well as build empathy for them. It’s also possible to create multiple maps of the user journey based on the customer’s persona.
For instance, you may want to have a separate map for loyal customers who have been purchasing from you for one year or more. You can also create another for new customers who just discovered your online ad. This is because both of these customers have completely different ways of interacting with your business.
What Are the Benefits?
Now that you know what a customer journey map is, you may be wondering why it’s worth your time and investment to create one. The simple answer is that the user experience analytics you collect will help you retain customers and attract new ones.
Revealing the Connections
If you manage a large business, you know that it’s easy to become disconnected from the rest of your departments. For instance, the billing department may not have much reason to interact with the sales department unless an issue arises. However, customer journey maps help make those connections clearer and reveal customer pain points before they become bigger problems.
As an example, the marketing team may find that customers are experiencing analysis paralysis in the product screen of a website. For a more seamless buying experience, developers can simplify the shopping experience with better filters or larger thumbnails of the products.
It can be hard to see your business through the unbiased eyes of a consumer. This lack of empathy can be debilitating if you’re working towards a more comprehensive content marketing strategy or more effective advertisements. Customer journey maps help bridge this gap for B2C companies by helping businesses view the brand from the consumers’ eyes.
By tapping into customer’s emotions and frustrations, brands can find better ways to create a positive experience.
Becoming more in touch with customer’s pain points and issues increases satisfaction all around–both for your customers as well as your employees. With a greater understanding of how each department serves another, employees will be more inclined to collaborate with one another and work as a team.
As your business improves its systems and services, you’ll engage more customers and retain more over time. Customers are also more likely to engage with your brand in a positive way if they feel as if you’re truly prioritizing their needs, such as leaving positive online reviews or completing surveys.
How Do You Create a Customer Journey Map?
Now that you know some of the benefits of customer journey mapping, you can get started making your own. You’ll first want to be clear about the customers you want to map, such as brand new customers versus old ones.
Once you’ve decided on a clear buyer persona that you want to map, your next step will be further understanding their goals and motivations. Here are some questions you can ask your customers via online surveys:
- How did you learn about the company?
- What attracted you to our company versus others?
- What problems were you hoping we’d help you solve?
- How easy is it to interact with our website?
- How effective was customer support?
These questions and more will help give your customer journey map context as you see your customers navigating from one touchpoint to another.
Identify Touchpoints and Actions
Touchpoints are each area on your website or social media channels where customers can interact with you. You need to be able to list out all of the touchpoints, but you can then shorten the list so that only the most commonly used touchpoints are shown.
The easiest way to do this is to navigate from one page of your website to another and list out all the areas where customers can interact and take action. Here are a few examples:
- Social media
- Ratings and reviews
- Point of sale
The actions they take are what they do once they encounter these touchpoints. This can be as simple as sending you an email or adding an item to their cart.
Deciding on Map Elements
Once you’ve done your research, you’ll want to decide on the elements you want your map to show. “Current state” maps are the most prevalent because they help visualize the actions, thoughts, and emotions of customers that they’re currently feeling. This can help you make continual improvements.
“Future state” maps, on the other hand, will help you map out where you want your customers to be in the future. “Day in the life” maps are far more comprehensive and include a customer’s life outside of their interaction with your website.
Last but not least is the “service blueprint” map that’s a simplified version of the “current state” map. You can think of this as a rough draft.
Crafting a Comprehensive Customer Journey
The customer journey map unlocks the ability to peak into your target audience’s mind. You’ll be able to anticipate their needs and desires far before issues arise, leading to a more seamless buying experience. Even better, customer journey maps can also benefit your brand and employees by giving them a greater understanding of how their role in the company makes a difference.