With a customer journey mapping you’ll be able to understand and identify opportunities to help make interacting with your brand easy and enjoyable.
A customer comes across a social media post from your business, which then leads them to your website. After browsing, they read the testimonials on your site and the reviews from a few third-party options.
They still have a few questions, so they reach out to your live chat team – who promptly answer these could-be customer’s questions and send them off on their merry way. In the end, the customer decides to make it official and are super pleased they chose you over the competitor. Shoot, they might even let their friends in on how great your company is.
Sounds like an experience you’d love for your customers to have, doesn’t it?
It very well could be. But the first step to amazing customer experiences is to understand their journey from start to finish, inside out.
How do you go about doing that? Customer journey mapping. Otherwise known as a behind the scenes look of your customer’s experience.
With a customer journey mapping you’ll be able to understand and identify opportunities to help make interacting with your brand easy and enjoyable. Of course, this will also shed light on the challenges they face throughout the process.
Here’s how you can get started and create a foundation of understanding of your business and customers to create an overall pleasant customer experience.
What Is A Customer Journey Mapping?
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a customer journey map?
In its simplest form, it’s a visual storyline that maps the customer’s experience from the very first contact throughout every touchpoint of engagement. It’s like interacting with your live chat team and into a (hopefully) long-lasting relationship. On a deeper level, this map also focuses on the emotions, motivations, goals, and questions people have as they move through the buyer’s journey.
Like buyer personas, they’re a collective story or flow built around your target customer’s experience. It allows you and your team to talk a walk in their shoes and truly understand where they’re coming from as a buyer.
Understanding these insights will make it a lot easier to give your customers what they actually want and need vs. what you think they should want and need. Because at the end of the day, that’s exactly what will turn new customers into a long-term relationship.
Understand Who Your Customer Is
Of 11,000 people surveyed by Edelman’s Consumer Marketing Study, 51% of people felt brands are missing the mark when it comes to their needs. And only a mere 10% said that brands are paying attention to this.
Like I mentioned above, there’s a crucial difference between thinking you know and understand your customers’ perspective and actually understanding it. This is where the beginning of the research takes place.
If you don’t know who your customer is and are making guesses there, that’s going to be the first priority. A customer journey mapped out for an imaginary or wishful customer is next to useless. So, if you haven’t already, get your buyer personas in place. Also get to know what types of people are interacting with your business.
This can be done with a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research. Some examples are talking with your customer-facing teams and gaining their insight on interactions. Also digging into customer analytics to better understand segmentation and interviewing current customers past and present.
Knowing the who will help with the what and how. With individualized personas, you can dig deeper into what your ideal customer wants out of their interactions with your brand.
Why are they looking for your type of business in the first place? What problems are they trying to solve? What outcomes do they expect? These are all questions that slowly begin to come to light as you get to know the people who are spending their time and money with you.
Examine All Touchpoints
Social media, landing pages, direct mail, billboards, brand or influencer collaborations. These are all examples of the touchpoints customers reach while getting to know a business.
The more touchpoints there are, however, the more challenging it gets to meet people’s needs. It’s also important to remember to go through this stage with each individual persona as well because the pain points will often vary.
While some touchpoints might be obvious and well-known, others could require examining your analytics to uncover the exact flow of things. Check out tools like Google’s behavior and goal flowcharts and get some cold, hard data on your side.
This is also usually the time when the roadblocks people may be facing appear. While examining each touchpoint, ask yourself and team where they see potential challenges and start making note of how things could be improved. Indications of challenges could be anything from abandoned carts to high bounce rates on a landing page depending on your business and goals.
Implement And Improve
Once you start uncovering common themes, challenges and wins that’s when the real fun begins – by making some change!
This could mean tweaks to your web copy, creating a more in-depth knowledge base or improving a confusing on or off boarding process. Prioritize what needs to be dealt with first and go from there. This will be an ongoing process that may take some time to get right – and there will definitely be some further testing involved.
Understanding your customer’s journey is an eye-opening experience for many companies. Customer journey mapping might uncover some scary truths. But on the other hand, it could assure you that things are headed in the right direction. Either way, it’s more than worth it if you understand how valuable a genuinely positive customer experience is in the success of a business.