What is a customer journey map and why is it an important part of understanding the experiences your customers are having with your business?
First and foremost, it allows you to walk a mile in your customers’ shoes. Okay, not literally. Though I am trying to up my step count. But I digress. Creating a detailed map of each and every touchpoint your customers may encounter, a map of the customer journey, will provide you with valuable insights into the actual interactions that shape your customer experience, helping you double-down on what’s working and optimize what’s not.
At first glance, a map of your customers’ journey can seem like a simple concept––a person finds your brand and buys a product and you draw a line from a to b. But look beyond the surface and you’ll see that a customer journey is far more complex than a simple transaction, because, well, people are complex. And as the touchpoints customers encounter continue to multiply, the journey is becoming increasingly more nuanced––making mapping the customer journey a must-have for any business today.
As a brand, you’re not just selling a product or service. 80% of consumers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as what they’re buying.
The whole process of finding and interacting with a brand is the customer’s journey towards a sale. It’s more important than ever to deliver a positive experience to your customers through your offering and in your interactions with them throughout their journey.
How do you map a customer journey?
A customer journey map is exactly what it sounds like: a visual representation of a customer’s journey with your business. It’s sometimes also called the buyer journey or user journey.
When you take the time to map the customer journey, you can get a clear picture of each and every experience a customer has had with your brand, across every single touchpoint. Everything from social media to chatbots are included in a customer journey map, creating a comprehensive summary of how a user views and interacts with your business.
A map of the customer journey helps you identify pain points and reveals any gaps in your strategy, giving you vital insight to ensure no customer slips through the cracks. The knowledge gained from a customer journey map will allow you to better optimize and personalize the customer experience.
Customer expectations are changing for businesses of all sizes. Users want things to be straightforward, but most of all convenient. An omnichannel approach to customer service, marketing, and sales is the best way to satisfy these high expectations, and a customer journey map is essential to optimizing your process.
Personalization is key here. Research found that 84% of consumers feel that being treated like a human rather than a ticket is crucial to winning their business. With the right customer service platform, you can ensure that customers receive personalized and context-driven support regardless of the channel they engage on. Here at Dixa, we’re all about personalizing a customer’s interactions and giving them an enjoyable experience at every step of their customer journey. But how do you map the customer journey?
5 steps to map a customer journey
Creating a customer journey map is key to understanding your customers: their intentions, motivations, and pain points.
- Create your customer personas
Chances are, your business will have multiple ‘types’ of customers. Things like age, location, job, and even personal goals can influence a customer’s journey with your brand.
Before you can create a customer journey map, it’s important to nail down a few personas that represent typical customers. For example, a Gen Y-er may reach out for customer service via email or a phone call, while a Gen Z-er may only use social media DMs. Aim to create three to five customer personas to map out.
- Profile your personas
You’re going to need some information about your customers to accurately understand their motivations and goals for doing business with you. The best way to get valuable customer feedback is through questionnaires and user testing––perhaps you could email previous customers, or put out a call-out on social media.
What you ask will depend on what you want to focus your journey map on. Some ideas could include:
- How did you hear about us?
- What made you choose to do business with us over another company?
- What problem is our product/service going to solve for you?
- Have you ever interacted with our website with the intent of making a purchase but decided not to? If so, what led you to this decision?
- On a scale of 1-10, how easy is it to navigate our website?
- Have you ever reached out to us for customer support? If yes, were you satisfied?
- Can you recall an experience with another brand where you were disappointed in how they served you? If yes, what happened?
Everything you ask will help you understand your customer on a deeper level, which in turn will ensure you’re giving them the best experience possible. Remember, customers love a personalized experience. The more you know about them, the more you can tailor your service to suit them.
- Map your customer journey touchpoints
Your touchpoints are where customers interact with your brand––from social media to your website to a brick-and-mortar retail store. Not every customer will interact with all your touchpoints, but it’s essential to have a centralized list.
For your first map, consider your most common type of customer persona. Map out all the steps they would go through when encountering your brand for the first time.
Perhaps it could start with them encountering a targeted ad on Instagram, which leads them to your profile page, they follow you, they watch a few of your stories, click through to your website, add items to a wishlist, exit the page, receive an abandoned cart email, and then finally complete the sale.
- Add goals and actions
For each touchpoint, you should include the actions your customers are taking at that stage, and why they’re taking those actions.
Actions can include a Google search, clicking on an email, or following a link from social media. Here is where you can recognize when customers are being expected to take too many actions to achieve their goals.
Goals are your customer’s ‘why’. Every time your customer engages with your brand, there is a goal-driven action behind it, whether it’s to learn more about your company or to make a purchase.
Whatever the goal is, it’s important to ensure that every interaction is designed to be as straightforward as possible. Having a customer-centric sales and support journey will do wonders for customer retention.
- Add obstacles and pain points
For every touchpoint on your map, add any obstacles or issues that could come up for a customer on their journey.
For example, a customer could love your product, but abandon their cart upon discovering unexpectedly high shipping rates. Or a customer might want to check in on the status of an order but doesn’t know the best way to get in touch. You may come across common obstacles when collecting customer feedback.
Highlighting these pain points can help you mitigate them in the future. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes––what will give them the best experience possible?
Research has shown that over $75 billion is lost by businesses each year following poor customer service. This can be managed and minimized with an effective customer-centric engagement strategy.
Committed to giving your customers (and your staff) more positive interactions with your brand?
This is where a centralized approach to customer service comes in handy. By streamlining all of your channels of communication, you can ensure no one is missed or left behind.
Dixa makes the service experience better for the customer––and also more satisfying and productive for the agent.
By responding faster and more meaningfully to customers, you can boost your satisfaction and retention rates through the roof. Forget customer service, we’re all about customer friendship. Get in touch today to learn more.