Customer Journey Mapping is a tool adopted by companies to analyze and understand their customer’s experience from their first contact with the company until their goal is met.
It allows companies to put themselves in their customer’s shoes through a visual representation of their journey, getting them closer to understanding their customer’s needs and helping them design a more satisfactory journey.
7 Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping
Some of its benefits for your business include:
1. Facilitates Customer Success
Customer success and customer satisfaction are usually the main reasons why companies use customer journey maps as a tool. 90% of customer experience professionals who took part in the 2018 customer experience survey said that amongst other benefits, customer satisfaction is the main area in which journey mapping has helped their business.
By being more conscious of your customer’s journey, you can get closer to providing the type of journey that is satisfactory for your type of client, guiding them towards success.
You’ll understand how as you read the article.
2. Allows You To See Your Company From Your Customers’ P.O.V.
Your customers’ story with your brand starts from the moment they first hear about it to the moment right after their first purchase.
In all steps of their journey, they go through different emotions as they face new challenges (good or bad). Journey mapping allows you to experience those emotions from their perspective, making you more sensitive to your customer’s position.
Journey mapping also allows you to look at the journey as a customer while keeping your lenses, giving you a privileged view of each detail of the experience you are putting out there.
3. Helps with Identifying Pain Points
Pain points are those points in your customer’s journey where they experience some difficulty, and it triggers feelings such as frustration or stress, with their experience, with your company, and with your service. By identifying them, you can correct them.
Although having some friction in your customer’s journey is normal, it should be avoided to the maximum as it can affect customer satisfaction and ruin your brand’s reputation.
4. Provides Valuable Data for Customer Profiling
Customer profiling is a precious practice that consists of grouping your customers based on their behavior and likes for a better chance of providing a customized experience.
Since journey mapping helps you understand your customer’s experience and makes you sensitive to your customer’s emotions, that sets the perfect ground for identifying your customers’ profile and needs.
5. Helps You Design a Better Customer Experience
With all the insight that customer journey mapping provides, it’s inevitable to develop ways that could make your customer’s journey better (than it is).
Keeping in mind the goal of making the customers happy and thriving, and making their lives easy, you can design an extraordinary experience based on the data that you’ve gathered from the map.
6. It’s Good for Marketing
Customer journey mapping is an excellent help for your marketing team as it gives them enough data to plan thoughtful campaigns and a perfect base to test new marketing ideas.
All of this inspires positive feelings within your customer and influences them into spreading good things about the company through referral and word-of-mouth.
7. It’s Good for Your Teams
Your customers are not the only ones who benefit from customer journey mapping. Your teams also benefit as the data about the customers’ challenges and pain points can help identify which departments in the company need help and which are doing their job well.
Journey mapping will also allow your teams to work together to provide a seamless experience to all the customers, contouring the issue of the fragmented experiences.
Since not all that shines is gold, there’s also a downside to Customer Journey Mapping.
Some businesses might vote against using customer journey maps for the following reasons:
Disadvantages of Customer Journey Mapping
Some of the reasons why companies might pass on using customer journey maps are:
Maps have an expiration date while the journey continues:
Journey maps only apply to a certain period (the timeline) while customer journeys are constantly evolving. Therefore, customer journey mapping might not be the most practical tool as you will need to continuously renew the information to be in tune with your customers’ changes and preferences.
They don’t always apply to real, live journeys
Although mapping gives you a general idea of your customer’s experience with your brand, it doesn’t accurately cover all possible real live scenarios. You might miss important aspects in specific customer journeys or fail to meet the customer’s expectations, trying to follow the journey that you’ve designed.
Profiling is also one of the reasons behind this failure as it doesn’t give you an accurate image of your customers and their preferences since it’s based on a sample. That stands in the way of a real, live journey.
They are not flexible
They are not ideal for quickly testing ideas and strategies with your customers. In contrast, customer experience professionals and marketers need that space for testing to explore and find better ways to satisfy their customers.
They don’t weigh external factors
Journey maps don’t cover external factors to customer decisions; they only focus on aspects directly linked to the experience they provide, which poses a barrier to their accuracy.
They may be biased
Since companies are the ones who design their journey maps, there’s a high likelihood that the data behind it will be the one that suits them best, giving them a biased perception of their customers’ experience.
If you wonder how to implement this tool in your business, I’ve prepared a practical step-by-step guide to help you map your customer’s journey. It’s based on formulas followed by most companies, and it has a little bonus extra tips.
Tips For Creating a Customer Journey Map
Here’s what not to forget if you’re going to create a customer journey map:
- Be Clear of The Why
Have a clear goal in mind before designing your customers’ journey map to help orientate the design in the right direction. Some examples of objectives are:
- Bettering customer experience
- Identifying gaps and pain points or points of friction (to eliminate them)
- Keep an Eye Out For Crucial Points
Rather than solely focusing on the whole, keep an eye out for crucial moments that make or break your customers’ experience. Those generally significantly impact your customers’ perception of the journey and their overall experience.
One of those moments might be, for example, the moment a customer decides to proceed or abandon the purchase.
You can identify those moments by listening to your customers’ descriptions of the journey.
- Don’t Ignore The Emotional Factor
Your customers feel something when they relate to your brand, and even when they don’t feel anything, that in itself is telling of their experience. Therefore, don’t ignore the importance of exploring their emotions as they help get a clear image of your customers’ experience.
- Map in Detail
You want to provide a clear visual image to your team, so they can truly understand what’s the customer journey. The best way to do that is to design a clear visual map with all the necessary details.
Yet, be careful not to overwhelm them with irrelevant details.
For example, detailing the drawing in the map isn’t as important as describing its meaning.
- Use Metrics
The use of metrics will help you understand how journey mapping benefits your business through concrete evidence. They are also a good motivation for your team as it helps them keep track of the company’s progress and each department’s progress.
From another perspective, they help identify points that need to be worked on and changed.
- Take Advantage of Profiling
Profiling is helpful for how it allows you to have a better understanding of your customer. It enables you to group important information about your customers and group it in simplified ways that make sense for the company. From there, it’s much easier to satisfy them.
- Share, Share, Share
Share the moment of creation with your team, as they will help you develop the best ideas to gather information and optimize your journey. Also, share with them the final result to guarantee that they internalize your customer journey and provide a seamless experience to your customers.
You should also be aware of …
Which Elements are Included In A Journey Map?
Journey maps should include items such as :
- A Persona or Buyer Persona
A description of the audience you are targeting. It can come from combining elements that describe your audience and that you gather in the research phase of customer journey mapping. It can also come from interviewing one customer to profile him.
It is essential for the map since the journey mapping revolves around helping the persona achieve success in their journey.
- A Timeline
A representation of a period of time. The customer journey maps represent a series of events from the customer’s first contact with the brand until the end of his journey.
It’s indispensable in journey maps because it gives you a clear idea of the evolution of your customer’s relationship with your brand. It also is beneficial in spotting specific moments of friction.
- The Emotions (being felt by the customers)
Your customer’s emotions are evidence of every conclusion you take out of the process of journey mapping. They guide you in relation to your customer’s experience, allowing you to identify pain points in the journey, as well as positive ones.
All the points in the journey where a customer or a potential customer interacts with your brand.
They tell your team which interactions are the most meaningful, painful, and require your special attention.
- Channels (where the interactions are taking place)
Channels are all the means through which a customer contacts your brand.
Highlighting them in the journey map allows you to recognize which channels your customers prefer to optimize them and make them as seamless as possible for your customer’s benefit.
A good journey map will put you high in customer preferences rankings and turn your customers into loyal fans and promoters of your brand. Better than gaining new customers all the time (which will also happen), you will have a chain of customers that sustain your brand through their belief and investment, and there’s nothing more satisfying for a brand owner.
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