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Understanding and analyzing your customer behavior is not easy. This is where customer journey maps come into the picture. However, having a customer journey map doesn't mean that you are delivering on expectations. You can always refine the mapping and make it even better.
How can you make your customer journey map better? What are the important things that you need to add to make the difference and leverage the untapped potential it offers?
What is a customer journey map?
Customer journey mapping basically means identifying and visualizing the customer journey when interacting with a brand, product, or service. It involves identifying the various touchpoints, interactions, and different experiences that a customer has with a brand or product, from initial awareness to post-purchase evaluation.
The primary goal of customer journey mapping is to gain insights into customer behavior, identify pain points, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Organizations can leverage these customer journey maps and make their businesses completely customer-centric.
Let us see the most important components of a customer journey map:
Important components of a customer journey map
- Touchpoints: Customers interact with a brand multiple times and may be on different platforms. Touchpoints usually refer to the record of all these interactions that a customer has with a brand, such as a website visit, social media engagement, customer service call, in-store visit, or email communication.
- Customer personas: These are fictional representations of different types of customers who interact with the brand. Customer personas help to understand the different needs, behaviors, and preferences of the customers.
- Emotions: Emotions play a crucial role in the customer journey. Identifying the emotions that customers experience at each touchpoint helps to understand their needs, wants, and expectations.
- Pain points: These are the points in the customer journey where customers experience difficulty, frustration, or dissatisfaction. Identifying pain points helps to understand the areas that need improvement.
- Opportunities: Opportunities refer to the areas where a brand can improve the customer experience or delight the customer. Identifying opportunities prioritizes actions that can improve the customer journey.
- Channels: Channels are the different mediums through which customers interact with the brand. Identifying the channels used by customers helps optimize the customer journey for each channel.
- Metrics: Metrics are the quantitative measures that help to evaluate the effectiveness of the customer journey. Metrics can include customer satisfaction scores, conversion rates, and customer retention rates.
9 ways to elaborate customer journey mapping
Here are nine ways to curate customer journey mapping and ensure that you are leveraging it to the fullest.
1. Filter personas
Personas play a very important role in defining the customer journey. When these personas are refined and properly filtered, it becomes simple for both marketing and sales teams to approach the customer and persuade them. But, a small mistake in these personas can have a huge impact on the interactions and throw a negative light on your organization.
So, it is very important to have accurate personas. Apart from collecting basic details like the age, gender, location, marital status, and earnings of the households, you should also know details like the mode of communication they prefer, products that they have purchased in your niche, what type of content formats they tend to show interest on, etc.
2. Identify the touchpoints
As mentioned above in the components, touchpoints refer to the interactions that a customer has with your brand. Always make sure to document every touchpoint. Apart from the buying stage, the pre-sale and post-sale engagement with customers is equally important for a company.
Having detailed documentation related to the interactions will give you insights into what can be changed, how you can smoothen customer experience and various other details.
3. Create different customer journey maps
Every one of your customers is different and comes with a unique perspective of their own. There is no-one-size-fits-all theory when it comes to customer journey mapping. Companies need to put themselves in the customer's shoes and create multiple scenarios and maps accordingly. This will give them a clear idea of what to do when a customer gets stuck in the middle of a journey.
Let us take an example of an eCommerce brand that is facing a high cart abandonment rate. There can be a multitude of reasons for this, like complex order placing formats, interaction speed, etc. Having a map for each of these scenarios will simplify the customer journey.
Being specific and having a pre-defined solution for multiple scenarios is the peak of personalization, and it ensures great customer satisfaction as well.
4. Overlay data
Most companies are sitting on a gold mine called data without leveraging it to the fullest. This data comes from all areas of the business, as in a prospective lead visiting your website, scrolling through your social media pages, or contacting you via WhatsApp to place an order. When you overlay all of this data, you will get a bird-eye's view of how customers are interacting with your company on different fronts.
The data can be analytical or anecdotal; make sure to have everything in one place.
5. Identify the gaps
Gaps basically mean the points that prompt your customers to take their business elsewhere. The points that you are lacking and need to check on. A customer map should take different types of gaps into account and have a clear idea of what to do to prevent customers from moving elsewhere.
These gaps can occur when you shift that customer from one department to another or make them travel from one platform to another, etc. These gaps can have a huge impact on the customer journey and make you lose one.
6. Get enterprise-wide buy-in
Customer journey mapping isn't something that happens between marketing and sales teams alone. You need to make sure that everyone, right from the decision-makers to support teams know about these journey maps.
Keeping a customer at the center of an organization and ensuring that they are provided with relevant support and a smooth journey all the time isn't something that only sales and marketing teams do. So, having everyone on board with customer journey maps will certainly smoothen things out.
7. Align with sales
Sales teams are the front runners when it comes to customer interactions, and they know the hiccups and bottlenecks. They have invaluable information about what customers need to hear before they make the final purchase decision.
All of this information can help marketing teams to curate their strategies. Sellers and marketers have a myriad of ways to communicate, and it is important for them to stay on the same page when it comes to customer persuasion.
8. Develop KPIs
When the topic is about KPIs, the first and foremost thing that every company thinks about is revenue. Yes, at the end of the day, revenue is the most important thing for every business. But, apart from that, there are some other KPIs that can impact your revenue. It can be bounce rate, CTR, conversion rate, cart abandonment rate in eCommerce, etc.
Ensuring that these metrics are measured from time to time will help priortize the customer journey.
9. Adapt and change
Do not settle on the customer journey maps that you have created and work around them for years. Remember that customer behavior, interests, and everything changes. Spend good time analyzing the customer behavior and their patterns and understand what changes you can incorporate into the map.
What are customers saying about their experience with your brand, and how can you compare it with the testimonials from the past six months to one year? Understanding how customers are evolving with your brand will give you an idea of what you need to do. Remember that the customer journey isn't just about the touchpoints. There are so many other things associated with it.
Logging customer behavior, their touchpoints with your company, and their buying pattern will help you with analytics and give you an idea of how you can curate an exceptional buying journey for your customers. Once you build this, it becomes easy to turn them from prospective buyers to a buyer and then into loyal customers.