What is a customer Journey Map?

Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) is a great exercise for customer-focused businesses looking to improve their overall customer experience.

Customer Journey Map’s look at the touchpoints through which customers came into contact with your business. Touchpoints can be both online or offline. Customer Journey Maps  provide management with a clear view of how customers move through the sales funnel.

Mapping your customers journey helps to identify potential pain points which they may be facing. From here you can seek to rectify them.

Pain points which your customers might face can range from too many form fields when signing up to a newsletter, to abandoning items in the cart due to a complicated purchasing process.

There is potential for drop off at each of these pain points and as such each serves as a potential lost sale.

A customer journey map is a model much like that of a customer persona. However, businesses should be mindful of the fact that it is a simplified version of the truth. It isn’t a 100% reflection of the reality within your business. Rather it is based on a certain degree of reality and is used to help inform business decisions.

Walk in their shoes

Mapping out the customer journey helps to not only identify pain points but to help you understand what moves a customer from a state of awareness through to that of long term loyalty.

It is important to note that no two customer journey maps are the same. However, the overall aim of a customer journey map is to see the buying process from the point of view of your customer. To get inside their head and understand what their needs, hesitations and concerns are.

This information can then be used to improve the experience for your customers, reducing drop off, churn and so on.

Data is Key

Before attempting to develop a CJM you must ensure that you have the required data to do so.

Both qualitative and quantitative analysis should be completed in advance to ensure that you have enough data to accurately map they customer journey from the point of view of the customer.

Proceeding with inadequate or inaccurate data often leads companies to make assumptions and design the CJM from a perspective of how they would like the journey to look as opposed to how the customers actually experience it.

Analytics will be your best friend here especially when you are attempting to create a digital customer journey map.

Feedback forms, in store observations, and conducting focus groups are other great ways to gain feedback on the customer journey and the potential issues or frustrations they are facing.

Behavioural Stages, Touchpoints and Goals

When developing a customer journey map, it is important to note that this is not a ‘one and done’ process.

A CJM is never static. It evolves, and changes as new touchpoints are introduced and as customers change the way in which they navigate from one touch point to the next.

The best way to start is by defining the behavioural stages a typical customer will go through (i.e. awareness, research, purchase). From there look at the touchpoints and the ways in which each facilitates a particular part of the customer journey. These include anything from your social media channels through to your physical presence in-store.

You should think of touchpoints as both places where your customers are engaging with you & where you can be supporting the completion of their goals.

Goals are what your customers want to achieve as they move through a particular point/phase. For example, downloading a brochure from your website to find out more about what it is you do; or signing up for a free trial to demo the product. Their goals should be aligned with each of the stages.

Once you’ve determined what your touch points are and the goals your customers want to achieve at each, you must now measure whether your customers are actually completing these pre-determined goals.

As a starting point, Google Analytics can help here telling you, where customers came from, where they landed on the site, where they navigated to, and also revealing at which point customers left your site.

All this information can be used to help build the CJM before incorporating data gathered from other customer engagement touchpoints (inbound call centres, outbound marketing communications, instore interactions, loyalty programme and transactional data) to build a fuller view of a customer’s journey with your business.

Prioritising is key!

Once pain points have been identified you must determine which of these need to be addressed first. You are not going to be able to resolve every issue immediately, so prioritising is key!

What issues are impacting the majority of customers? Which ones are causing the highest drop off? What is the cost & time involved with resolving this issue? These are some questions you can ask to help decide which issues to tackle and when.

Sometimes issues will be straight forward and easy to rectify. Take for example reducing the number of fields in your sign-up form. This can be a simple but effective way to increase sign ups.

Others will of course require more work to resolve. So weigh up the potential benefits of resolving the issue against the cost of doing so to determine whether it is worthwhile or not.

Mapping your customer journey is highly rewarding process as it helps to improve the experience your customers have with you.

A better experience leads to a better overall perception of your company and a willingness on the customer to repurchase.

This will in turn generate long term loyalty which is beneficial to your bottom line.

Loosing sales because of a complicated journey is a costly mistake that can be easily resolved so for more info on the topic contact Dataconversion today on +353 1 8041251.


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