What is Customer Journey Mapping & Why is it Important?

19-12-2020

The definition of a customer’s journey with a brand, product, or service has evolved significantly over time. The whole concept may seem pretty straightforward and simple in theory, you offer a product or service and the customer buys it. But only upon pondering closer can we identify the complexity of the journey. Customer experience journey mapping is one such tool that gives you a lens to observe the world from the eyes of the customer. Stepping into the target customers’ shoes is arguably the best method to grow the brand both vertically and horizontally which means you can either scale your product line and services inside the existing market or altogether expand your offerings to reach a new market.

Let’s define customer journey mapping

Traditionally, a customer journey map is considered to be simple to understand, a high-level flowchart that can demonstrate where exactly the customer is in the marketing and sales process as well as the service and retention process. These maps, throughout the entire customer lifecycle, help to tell a story of the customers’ experience at each touchpoint and strive to capture and improve genuine custom engagement. At its core, the customer journey map can be defined as a roadmap for the organization that depicts the customer’s motivations, experiences, and interactions with the company. Such processes are important for the company to uncover ways to build a better customer-brand relationship. Let us have a look at the reasons why constructing such a map has become increasingly important in recent times.

Journey Mapping

The mapping process in a nutshell

We have understood what customer experience journey mapping means, now let us get an overview of how one can embark on the procedure of making one. There are five major channels of customer contact that need to be observed for making an effective customer journey map. These include the company website, outbound marketing output, the sales team, the customer support team, and the brand presence on different platforms, channels, and social media. While looking at these channels, try to identify the customer persona, touchpoints, customer episodes, and the points of friction. Then, check whether there are any other touchpoints that affect the customer experience other than the ones mentioned here. The best way to carry out this process is to keep the customer as the center point of attention then build further after assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the current customer journey. Conduct brainstorming sessions to analyze the results and come up with potential improvements to create smoother interactions.

Key benefits of customer journey mapping:

The following pointers lay down the ultimate reasons why a company should look into tracing the customer’s journey with their brand or the product and create a strategic approach to better understanding the customer’s expectations.

#1 Smoothening the dents in the operations

One of the major advantages of such maps is that they help get the teams out of their silos. This ensures that every team works in collaboration with the other and not in isolation. This is an issue, even in big firms, that there is no flow of information, goals, tools, and processes between different departments. The fragmentation within the company can often lead to a fragmented customer experience. But the journey mapping brings all the departments together to craft an all-encompassing view of every customer interaction and build detailed customer profiles, based on a mix of engagements across the channels.

#2 Understanding your business through customer’s eyes

Sometimes it becomes difficult for an organization to reverse the perspective and view their business from an outsider’s vision. Customer experience journey mapping does exactly this. It puts the team in the place of the shoppers and lets them have a bird-eye view of the whole journey. Once there is appropriate identification of kinks and points of friction in the process, it can be optimized by taking meaningful actions.

#3 Greater ROI and quicker sale cycles

When you gather deeper insight into customer behaviours and how different checkpoints impact your business, the company can invest in generating rewarding interactions at certain touchpoints that produce successful conversions. These maps provide real, quality data that helps design the strategies to optimize the processes in the appropriate areas. Once these strategies are implemented, all the kinks are smoothened out, and the sale cycle streamlined there is a significant acceleration in the duration of the sale cycles.

Wrapping up

Creating better products or services alone will not result in a thriving business, enhancing customer experience simultaneously is what distinguishes a successful company from its competitors. We have slowly been observing the shift in focus from price and product improvement to enhancing the customer experience. The accelerating pace of technological innovations has helped businesses immensely in improving how they deliver their objective to enjoy a competitive edge. An informative and thorough customer journey map is the method that will enable omnichannel customer experience management, fuel the content marketing strategies in the right way, pave a path for personalized customer experiences, and improve the company’s chances of creating loyal customers.