A customer journey map is a visual or graphical representation of the way the customer interacts with the website or the business. The illustration details the emotional and physical steps that the customer goes through when he or she engages with the company to fulfill a particular goal. The aim of the map is to determine the touch points where the customer interacts with the business. Where there is a problem, these touch points can be improved to enhance client experience. When mapping is done effectively it can lead to increased customer loyalty, increased business efficiency, and effective word of mouth advertising.
Why should you map?
Here are a few reasons why a company may create a map of the buyer’s journey:
Gain a better understanding of its customers
Your business needs to understand its customers in order to serve them effectively. Planning allows the business management to walk in the shoes of the customer and ‘feel’ what the customer goes through when interacting with the company.
This helps the people in charge of the business to empathize with the customers. In return, they are able to come up with better processes and procedures that help the business improve its customer interactions and deliver value to its clients. Increased value delivery results in higher sales volumes.
Most of the time, a customer need requires more than one department to fulfill it. These departments must be on the same page in their understanding of the customer need as well as in formulating the approaches to use to address the need. A buyer journey map allows members from various departments to understand the customer along with his or her needs thereby enabling them to put their synergies together in delivering value to the customer.
Identify and fix operational inefficiencies
The map reveals some operational inefficiencies that could be causing poor experience. For example, there could be unnecessary processes that could be causing delays, consuming time, and money without adding any value to the customers. Therefore, removing these inefficiencies not only improves customer experience but also saves the business money.
Enables the company to differentiate its experiences
The illustration goes beyond identifying areas that are lacking in delivering quality experience and fixing the problem. Your business can also use map the buyer journey to differentiate its client experience. This can be done by simplifying the buying process, making it easier for customers to identify new products or introducing new channels for interacting with customers.
Determining what to map
It may be a challenge to map the entire customer journey. On the other hand, one or two touch points may not offer any insights for improving customer experience. However, the company can focus on a moment of truth.
A moment of truth is a touch point or points which determine the direction that the business relationship with the customer takes. For example, when a customer contacts the customer service center for the first time, the quality of service that he or she gets from the company is a moment of truth. It could either make or break the relationship.
It is easy to identify moments of truth, throughout the business process and address each of them separately. Your customer service team can then focus on fixing things that might be going wrong in the moment of truth or overhaul the whole touch point to improve client experience.
How do you prioritize the moments of truth?
Even with moments of truth, you would need to give attention to the touch points with the highest value to your clients first. Here are ways to identify the most important moments of truth.
If you have a functioning customer feedback system, you can identify things that matter most to your customers. This could be a delay in delivery of goods and services, poor customer service, complex instructions and so forth. You can achieve a quick win by addressing some of the most common customer complaints.
Insight from your employees
Your employees can be a good source of insight on touch points that needs fixing. Employees that have a direct contact with the customers get to know all the customer frustrations, as they are the first stop that the customers make when seeking help.
You can also talk to the best performing brand ambassadors in your company. They know the problems that they go through when trying to enhance customer satisfaction. They can also give insights on ways to deal with customer service problems.
Nowadays, companies interact with their customers using different channels such as mobile devices, the website, social media, on the floor of the store and through agents and resellers. In order to enhance client experience, it is important that you integrate your customer across the various channels that you interact with them.
Your customers should get the same quality of service using whatever platform that is available for them at the business. For example, a brick and mortar user satisfaction should be as good as buying a product through the business website.
You cannot satisfy all your customers using a single touch point or channel. Customers are different even when they are consuming the same product. Customer segmentation aims at evaluating customers to learn about their preferences and behaviors. With this insight, you are able to group customers as per their behaviors and preferences. You can increase the business profitability by offering value to as many customer segments as possible.
You will notice that each segment requires a customized unique treatment. A customer center is essential for enhancing customer experiences across various channels. Ensure that you have an actively performing contact center in place.
How To Conduct A Buyer Journey Mapping
Start by taking an inventory of all the customer satisfaction touch points
Where do you interact with your customers? Put together a list of your social media channels, traditional advertising channels such as TV, radio and print, digital advertising channels, sales teams and telephones among others.
Determine the goals of your clients in the touch points
Determine the purpose of the interaction at every moment of truth. What defines success or an excellent client experience at these touch points? For example, the customer could be calling the customer contact center to get more information, place an order or make a complaint.
Categorize touch points by phases
Determine the phases of your customer buying process. Fit different touch points along these phases. The common phases include awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase decision and finally post-purchase experience. There may be additional phases depending on the type of customer or the products you sell.
Work on ways to enhance each customer buying decision phase such that they are able to make an informed decision. Define favorable decisions along the process and look at ways to ensure that the customer makes such decisions.
Customer journey mapping is a painstaking method of determining how your customers feel when interacting with your business. Just like human interactions, a satisfying experience encompasses value, satisfaction, and time value. Make it easier for your customers to decide on purchasing your products and make using the products a great experience so that they come back for more.