What is Customer Journey Mapping and Why is it Important?
This post was originally published on CX Master. It has been updated to reflect current market conditions and industry research.
Most people have the wrong view of customer journey mapping, and that is why they get intimidated by it. They think that it has to be an accurate representation of every degree of customer’s experience. This is impossible.
It is better to think of it as a persona. Customer maps are like personas. The only difference is that they focus more on the questions and tasks. They express the experience of customers over time and not as a snapshot. This means that they work together. A customer journey map focuses on the customer experience while a persona focuses on people or the person.
The Meaning of Customer Journey Mapping
According to Forbes, customer journey mapping can be defined as a way of visualizing the experience of customers and how the customers interact with your business. The primary goal of mapping the journey is to remove any obstacles and improve efficiency while also making the process intuitive. The customer experience will improve if you create a seamless experience. Laterally, it is mapping out the best way for the typical journey of the customer. We can refer to it as an archetype representing the underlying complexity and nature of a real journey. There is no way a customer journey map can be 100% accurate. This can leave a lot of people wondering about the importance of customer journey mapping.
Importance of Customer Journey Mapping
It is not easy to create a customer journey because it requires a lot of effort to create. For this reason, you will create fewer of them. People often create customer journey maps for each of their primary audience. Rather than digging into too many details, they focus on the overview of the whole journey. You can polish out the journeys over time. You can also think of customer journey map as a story designed to give insights into the journey of the customer.
Companies Can Refocus With an Inbound Perspective
Customers can discover your company with the aid of inbound marketing rather than using outbound marketing to discover your customers. Using outbound marketing is not effective because it involves using tactics that are poorly targeted at uninterested audiences and it can interrupt customers from their activities.
You can spend a lot of money on outbound marketing and achieve undesirable results. This can annoy customers and deter them. On the other hand, inbound marketing involves creating interesting content that potential customers are already looking for. This can grab the attention of the customers at first and focus on sales later. By mapping out the journey of the customers, you can understand the helpful and interesting things to your customers about your website and company. You can also understand things that are turning your customers away. You can also create vital content to attract the customers to your company and improve customer trust.
The New Target Customer Base
You won’t be able to know the psychographics and demographics of your customers if you don’t understand the customer journey. This can be dangerous and can waste a lot of resources to target an audience that is too broad repeatedly. It is important to target people who are likely to be interested in your content, products, and services. You will get a good picture of the types of people trying to achieve a goal or get services and products from your company if you research the needs of your customers and map out their journey.
Creation of a Customer-Focused Culture
It can be difficult to coordinate different departments in your company as it gets large. This will make it difficult to be customer-focused. Your company will, therefore, have marketing and sales goals that are not based on what the customers want. You can share a clear customer journey map with everyone in your department. The maps will help you understand every step of your customer’s journey from the first time they interacted with your company to the post-purchase support. You cannot deny the importance of customer journey mapping based on this rationale.
Timing is an essential factor for businesses to focus on when looking at the customer journey mapping. Businesses can use the maps to observe the time it takes customers to complete specific actions.
Identifying gaps in Communications and Service
Businesses can use customer journey maps to reveal gaps in customer service. This can enable business managers to make the necessary adjustments and improve service delivery. For example, one department may prove to be understaffed, and this can cause frustration to customers who interact with that department. Problems in communication between departments and among employees may be revealed and solved accordingly.
Businesses that use customer journey maps reduce costs. Research done by the Aberdeen group indicated that brands that use customer journey maps improve in the cost of customer service more than ten times. The research also found out that brands that use customer journey mapping grow by 21% within a year while those that don’t use customer journey maps experience a yearly decline of 2.2%. Customer journey mapping also increases referral marketing, and this reduces the costs of marketing.
An Example of Customer Journey Mapping
This is an example of a customer journey map, and it clearly shows the steps that dapper apps believe customers go through as they interact with them. The company goes beyond the purchasing phase and incorporates the post-purchase needs and initial research.
The map helps employees to get into customer’s mind and understand the questions they have and their emotions. This makes the map effective. The dapper apps take incremental actions in response to the customers’ questions and feelings, and this helps it to solve the current problems that customers have.
Reasons why Customer Journey Maps Fail
There are many different reasons for failure when it comes to customer journey mapping. Here are some of the most common ones that you need to be aware of.
Speaking to Like-Minded Colleagues Alone
When employees are expressing their views on customer journey, they can gravitate towards views that only reflect their own opinions and common wisdom. This can lead to employees expressing their opinions, and not views backed up with concrete evidence. This can be very dangerous if the opinions of the employees are taken and accepted as facts. It is therefore important to seek out a wide range of opinions from different groups of employees.
Lack of Clear Governance
Customer journeys cut across different organizational structures. This makes it useful to form a functional group that cuts across all the structures to reflect different departments’ experiences of the customer journey. It is important to have proper governance in place for this to be successful.
Failure to Involve Stakeholders
It is important to involve all parts of the business to participate in the creation of the map. Strong support should come from the senior leadership to ensure that customer journey mapping is successful. An initiative such as customer journey mapping will fail without executive sponsorship.
Not Speaking to Customers
During customer journey mapping, it is important to take the opinions of your employees. But as we had earlier seen, some employees will only give you their opinions and not hard facts. To solve this problem, it is crucial to validate the views of your customers by talking to the customers and not relying on your employees to give you information.
Spending too Much Time on Research
It is important to do enough research, but this doesn’t mean that you should spend too much time on research. You can result in a lot of problems if you do too much research. Researching for too long can make the project too be too expensive and complex. You only need research to create a detailed and helpful map and not to improve functions.
The process of customer journey mapping creates an overview of customer experience. It also maps how your customers navigate through the sales funnel. Customer journey mapping is useful across both refinement process and iteration as new elements get designed while the old ones get refined or discarded. You can use customer journey mapping to identify opportunities and enhance the overall experience of your customers. Customer journey mapping can help content creators create the best way to approach the creation of their content. For the designer folks, customer journey mapping can help them to identify the missing connections in the navigation and help to eliminate various customer frustrations. With customer journey mapping, you will be able to put your customers at the center of everything you do. You won’t only look at your needs and priorities and make assumptions about ways you can motivate your customers to meet your business goals. It gives you a reason to consider the customers first. To get started with customer journey mapping, you will first need to choose the processes you want to analyze and deconstruct each step taken to complete each process. This sounds easy but you there are some challenges. Nevertheless, every business needs customer journey mapping, and you need to make a decision now because there are numerous benefits that you will enjoy later.