The digital revolution is redefining customer expectations every day, with customers now using several channels to communicate with businesses. It can thus be difficult to consistently provide a great customer experience due to increasingly complex customer journeys driven by so many touchpoints.
Companies can monitor customers’ reactions to brand touchpoints by creating customer journey maps. This reinforces customer loyalty and prevents future problems early.
A Definition of Customer Journey Mapping
A customer journey map is a visual depiction of each interaction consumers have with a business, its services, its products, and the brand. These maps display all possible customer touchpoints with images that convey a narrative of how customers go through them.
Journey mapping may assist content producers in evaluating what material they need in order to develop a new product, campaign, or service, and how best to create it. It also offers UX designers context on how people perceive an experience. Furthermore, it may assist them in detecting missing links in the navigation, stress areas, and customer pain points.
There are three types of customer journey mapping techniques:
- Future State (Ideal) Journey Mapping: This allows users to visualize the likely thoughts, attitudes, and emotions customers might have while engaging with a company in the future.
- Current State Journey Mapping: This helps create a greater understanding of what customers experience while engaging with a product or service currently.
- “Day in the Life” Mapping: This shows customers’ pain points and helps companies address specific issues.
The Five Steps of Customer Journey Mapping
To create the customer journey map, companies should:
Step 1. Identify the Customer Persona
It is essential to differentiate between a potential customer who has been researching a product for a few months and someone who just recently began looking into how to fulfil a specific demand. Personas can be demographic-based and informed by their position in the customer lifecycle.
Step 2. Pinpoint the Customer Intent
Identifying the routes a customer may follow when visiting a company’s website is a good starting point for this. If the visitor is a member or a returning customer, they may log in before doing anything else, for example. Other actions include browsing, looking for products, comparing possible options, and more.
Step 3. Visualize the Network of Touchpoints
The network of touchpoints zeroes in on every customer interaction with the brand, whether before, during, or after a transaction. This encompasses offline/online, marketing, in-person, and over-the-phone interactions. By visualizing them, companies may discover touchpoints with more significance than others.
Step 4. Understand Potential Pain Points and Blockers
At this stage, it’s important to compile all the information and examine the big picture. This will show possible barriers or challenges throughout the customer journey. After identifying these, managers should mark them on a customer journey map. Customer experience management (CXM) platforms can benefit this step of customer journey mapping, as they help gather feedback at every touchpoint.
Step 5. Activate and Update
Now that the customer journey map has been completed, it is crucial to identify and eliminate bottlenecks. After completion, these journey maps should inspire execution — and not just remain unused as a mere intellectual exercise.
Companies must consider them as “living documents” that will keep changing. It is a good idea to test, update, and enhance customer journey maps every six months.
Companies must factor in several roles and departments when conducting a customer journey mapping exercise, particularly those interacting directly with customers. In addition to creating voice-of-the-customer initiatives, setting up questionnaires, and tracking social media channels, businesses should also leverage customer data.
Lastly, as customers, marketplaces, and product offerings evolve, companies must continually revisit their customer journey maps to incorporate these changes.