A customer experience journey map should be the heart of your business. It is not about how you think the customer sees your brand and interacts with it, rather it should show how they interact with your products or services and provide a window into the pain points they are facing that prevent them from purchasing or investing in your services. A customer experience journey map is literally a walk in the shoes of the customer so that you can identify the issues they encounter when dealing with your brand to improve the customer experience. Developing the map is
Benefits of A Customer Experience Journey Map
Customer journey mapping drives creation of more effective communication with the customer and can guide them in making decisions about the brand. Benefits of this mapping process include:
- A visual standardized framework employed by the company to document the customer journey
- Identifying and documenting the different stages of the customer journey
- Understanding how customers interact with the brand so communication can be targeted and improved
- Identifying the motivation behind how and why the customer decides to make a purchase
- Understanding the problems the customer would like to solve
- Identifying pain points that can be resolved to attract, convert, and retain potential customers
- Ability to tailor products and services to an expanded audience.
Stages of the Customer Experience Journey Map
Because there is no “standard” map, there is also no “standard” customer experience. The best maps are tailored to document the current status of your customer’s journey, through the customer’s eyes. This helps identify where future resources need to be focused, cost-effective initiatives to implement to generate the greatest return on investment (ROI). The goal – to increase customer loyalty, retention and referrals.
The customer journey is usually divided into four stages. A careful analysis of each stage is key to mapping the customer interaction and engagement with brand. These stages are:
- Research and Consideration
- Opportunity for Retention and Referral
Category Questions To Develop For Each Stage Of The Customer Experience Journey Map
To adequately drill down with the right questions, a template incorporating these stages should first be created. Download a free template here to get started.
This should be followed by methodically generating a list of questions for each stage to understand the major challenges and touch points potential customers experience using four categories of questions:
- What activities does the customer engage in?
- What are their motivations?
- What questions do they have?
- How many touch points do they have with your brand?
- What barriers do they encounter or what complaints do they have?
Keep in mind that customer journey mapping is not static exercise nor just another customer survey, but a powerful tool to help understand the customer. It will require fine-tuning as the business grows or introduces new products and services.
Important Criteria For Building a Customer Experience Journey Map – Customer Centric
To create a beneficial customer journey map certain criteria must be followed in the design of the process maps.
CUSTOMER – BRAND RELATED
The Customer Experience Journey Map Must Portray the Customers Perspective
The process map must reflect the customers’ experience as they see it, and not the way you think they see it. This will include aspects related to indirect control, such as referrals, web search, social media influence, and other external steps taken by the customer.
Identify Customer Touvh points
Wherever the customer and the company interact is referred to as a customer touch point. These include other activities over which you have little direct control, such as the social media, referrals, online research etc
DEVELOP CUSTOMER PERSONAS
Focus on Your Ideal Customer
It is impossible to work on all customer perspectives, so only focus on your ideal customers.
Research the Customer
Begin with qualitative research as an evaluation of the customer’s touch points, their interactions and emotional responses, followed by other quantitative methods. These latter methods include in-person, telephone, or virtual interviews, surveys, and evaluation of cultural trends and habits (ethnography).
Identify Customer Segments and Develop Personas
Different customers have very different experiences.
When creating a customer journey map, you must identify and describe the customers whose journeys you plan to map.
Younger or senior demographics for example tend to interact differently. These two segments cannot be lumped together, because the result would not accurately reflect the experience of either segment.
The solution is to create customer personas that represent a typical customer experience. If your target market includes different types of customers, you can create personas for each type of customer. A note of caution. Do not create too many personas as this will complicate the mapping process and make it less useful, rather create broad categories of personas to adopt.
CUSTOMER GOALS AND EMOTIONS
Incorporate the Goals of the Customer
The customer journey map should illustrate what customers are trying to accomplish at each stage of their experience, and whether these goals are met by the journey.
The play of emotions in the customer experience journey is important because emotions are tied to accomplishment of goals, and decisions whether to purchase or not, or whether to be a repeat or referring customer.
Important Criteria For Building a Customer Experience Journey Map – Brand Centric
Evaluate Your Brand Promise
Are you delivering on your brand promise? Customer journey mapping can reveal how your brand promise aligns with the actual customer experience you’re providing, as well as how to fix issues if you’re falling short.
Measure Length of Customer Experience Time
The length of a customer experience provides important context. Does a typical call last 30 seconds or 10 minutes? Did shoppers take an hour or a week to decide on a purchase? A great journey map recognizes that this information is essential and is built around it.
A customer experience journey map portrays how the customer sees your brand and steps taken to interact with it. Mapping each step helps optimize how the customer interacts with your products or services and provides a window into their pain points provide opportunities for improvement.
Salesforce 2020. What Are Customer Expectations, and How Have They Changed? https://www.salesforce.com/resources/articles/customer-expectations/