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How Customer Journey Mapping Enhances the Customer Experience

Customer journey mapping is a relatively new concept in enhancing the customer experience.

This strategy can prove to be significantly beneficial for both the customer, and the company employing the strategy.

Simply put, customer journey mapping is a visual representation of the customer’s journey and interaction with a service. The map itself is usually presented in a visual graph format. This informative map allows organizations to see what works and what does not work on the customer journey. They can then adapt and develop solutions based off of this information.

Since customer journey mapping is not on everyone’s radar yet I have prepared a quick primer to introduce you to some of the benefits of such a program.

1. Understanding The Usefulness

Many companies are unaware of the advantages. A CMO Council study from 2007-2008, "Business Gain From How You Retain", discovered that over 50% of global marketers have fair, little, or no knowledge of customer demographic, behavioral, psychographic and transaction data. A scant 6% feel as though they have excellent customer knowledge. Without understanding what your customers’ needs and wants, it is difficult to target products towards them. Customer journey mapping allows businesses to identify what a customer wants and how they view their interactions with the organization.

As pointed out by ConversionXL, 8 in 10 marketers agree that it is easier to retain customers, rather than constantly trying to attract new ones. Organizations can view themselves as the customers see them with customer journey mapping. Businesses need to be able to determine what works and what needs improvement. That valuable customer journey mapping viewpoint can be utilized to enhance the customer experience.

2. Have A Goal In Mind

It is important to understand what your specific needs are as you prepare your customer journey map. This will establish the number of details required. If you are looking to improve your site and customer communications then a customer journey map will allow you to pinpoint which areas need improvement. However, if you only want to see how customers interact with touch points, such as ads and social media reviews a greater degree of detail may not be required. This step is important to ensure that resources are being directed in the right area.

3. What Information Is Needed

Adam Richardson indicates, four main points that you must identify when preparing a customer journey map. These are actions, motivations, questions, and barriers. It is important to know what customers are doing at each checkpoint and what they are doing to move on to the next one. Additionally, consider what is motivating customers to move on to the next stage. Perhaps the first touch point piqued their interest. It is possible that they found a product that is not quite what they are looking for, but hope to find something similar. Conversely, consider what could be preventing them from moving on to the next touchpoint, such as cost, implementation etc. The accumulation of this data provides a valuable wealth of information to better understand customers and improve customer service.

4. Creating The Customer Journey Map

First you must set up various touch points. These are most commonly represented as ads, websites, surveys and social media. These are crucial to the implementation of the customer journey map, as the frequency of visited touch points, the time spent there etc., are essential to identifying the customer perspective. Once you have collected all the data, set it up in an organized and concise form. You can use various visual formats like charts, diagrams, or illustrations. Make sure it touches on what the customer did on your site, how long they spent there and whether they went to the next stage. This way, the entire customer service team can be clear on the data and work upon improving it, further enhancing customer service.

Be careful how you gather data. Surveys tend to overlook details that may benefit a company significantly. Consider requesting customers map out their journeys for you. This will create a more direct and personalized map, created by the target group themselves.

5. Consider All Possibilities

Keep in mind that non customers also browse your site. Their navigation history is still valuable to an organization, simply because it allows businesses to see how non customers make their way throughout a site and what interests them. While customer journey mapping mostly focuses on retaining customers, it can also work towards enticing new customers as well. By observing the behavior of non-customers, businesses can identify what interests non customers most and what to improve on, and work from there.

Be aware of the fact that customers may skip stages altogether. The idea is to create as many possible scenarios and work with customers to enhance customer service. By considering all situations that may arise, companies are better prepared and can provide a more suitable customer service as a result.