When asking customers what impacts their trust with a company, offering excellent customer service ranks number one. Customers base their purchase decision and loyalty on the basis of the experience they receive rather than on the price or product.
That’s why customer experience has become the top priority for businesses in 2019.
But to deliver a great customer experience, businesses have to understand their customers. You have to identify roadblocks, dead ends, and frustration that customers experience in their journey with your brand. Only then can you find solutions and streamline your customer experience.
And, customer journey mapping is the right tool to do so.
What is Customer Journey Mapping?
A customer journey map is the visual representation of every experience your customers have with you and how they interact with your business.
Customer journey mapping helps businesses gain insights into:
- Customer’s pain points
- How and what is needed to improve customer experience
- Define what customers need to complete the purchasing process
In simpler terms, customer journey mapping is to remove obstacles and to map out the smoothest path for the customer journey. In fact, customer journey mapping is at the core of customer retention strategies of top companies.
Process of mapping the customer journey
Depending on the business, best practices, and design of customer journey maps may vary. It gives you the freedom to be creative with your mapping.
Start with basic customer journey map using the following steps and expand it the way you want:
Step 1: Define the behavioral stages in your buying process
Depending on your business, customers go through different stages while navigating your website.
Your buyer personas should give a good idea of the process that customers go through from their first landing on your site to making a purchase. For inspiration, you can check buyer persona examples in your business niche.
People at different stages behave and interact with your business differently. So spend time distinguishing between someone who has been doing market research and someone who is ready to purchase.
Once you have defined stages in your buying process, align customer goals with each stage. Different ways to understand customers’ goals are:
- Survey answers
- Interview transcripts
- User testing
- Study customer service emails
Step2: Plot Customer Touchpoints
Touchpoints are the places where buyers engage with your site. It refers to any time a customer comes in contact with your business, before, during, or after purchasing something from you.
For retailers, touchpoints are product description pages, and for a service business, it may be a contact form.
Also, count in potential touchpoints between your customer and business. It will help you collect all the opportunities to listen to your customers and make improvements to keep them satisfied.
Figuring out potential touchpoints may be challenging as buying experience varies from customer to customer. To make the task easy, think like a customer.
If you have Google Analytics, you will get two useful reports:
- Behavior flow report
The Behavior Flow report shows how customers move from one page to the next. It shows you obstacles on a customer’s journey and where they want to navigate on to your site. Segment traffic by any dimension and analyze specific steps in the flow by mousing over them.
- Goal flow report
The Goal Flow report helps you see whether users are completing a goal on behavioral stages or where your traffic loops back.
The outcomes of these practices will also help you identify the best customer retention strategies for your business, product, or services.
Step3: Implement Your Customer Journey Map
Create a visually appealing customer journey map that is accessible to all team members. You can take help from a graphic designer to compile your findings and touchpoints in an intuitive and logical visual sequence. Alternatively, you can do it yourself using an online customer journey map template.
Targeted prospects want their journey to be as simple as possible. While reviewing your customer journey map, keep their journey easy so that they can take logical steps while providing personalized and engaging content.
Step 4: Regularly review and optimize your customer journey map
Online customer journey frequently changes as technology advances. By regularly reviewing how your customers are behaving through the buying cycle, you will be able to find out the problems and make necessary changes to streamline the customer experience.
Step5: Visualizing The Customer Journey
Once you have picked the process, visualize each step using a customer journey map template. Defining each step helps you find weak points and steps you might be missing.
Customer journey mapping allows you to observe customers trying to navigate through your buying process to help you get to the end goal.