Do you know what the customer journey is and why is it so important?
Customer journey is the understanding of your customers. Understand how they behave when they visit your blog or website. Identify what you can do to improve their experience so that they keep coming back.
Today, marketers are so busy focusing on the product and SEO that they forget the most important part: the customer.
In today’s article, we take an in-depth look at everything you need to know about the customer journey.
In pochi punti:
What Is Customer Journey?
“It’s the complete experience a user has with a brand. It includes all customer interactions across all the touchpoints, channels and devices throughout all the stages of the customer lifecycle.”
Businesses use various tools and channels to communicate with their audience. However, they fail to connect these activities with the customer journey. Marketing and sales become isolated. Therefore, leading to a dissatisfied customer experience.
However, it’s important to note that customer journey and customer experience are different.
The customer journey is understanding what customers do at each stage of the lifecycle. Whereas, the customer experience is understanding how they feel about the lifecycle.
For instance, you want a pair of shoes. You search online, purchase them and wear them the next day. This is a part of the customer journey. Whereas, finding a website that’s easy to use, has fast shipping and has good customer service is a part of the customer experience.
It’s the kind of experience that your customers will be willing to pay more for.
In fact, 86% of customers agree to spend more on products for a good customer experience.
So then how do you ensure that the customers’ experience with your brand is positive?
You do it by mapping the customer journey.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
“It’s a visual representation of the customers’ experience with your brand. It helps us understand the needs and wants of the potential customers that motivate them to buy our products. Having this information allows us to improve the customer experience. In addition, it leads to better customer retention and higher conversion rates.”
Therefore, the customer journey is the process through which customers interact with our brand. They do so to achieve a certain goal. It starts from gaining awareness of our brand via social media channels. You can then send them newsletters and interact with them. In addition, you can take other steps in between.
Therefore, the best way to understand the journey of your customer is by asking them.
A customer journey map is a diagram that shows the stages that customers pass through when interacting with your company. From buying a product to interacting with customer service, the map contains everything.
Visual maps help marketers understand how satisfied their customers are. In addition, they help understand areas that require improvement.
However, to create a map, it’s important to have data-driven research. In addition, they should include different dimensions such as touchpoints and goals. It’s wise to include customer sentiment to get accurate results.
The Importance and Benefits
The customer journey looks simple. Your brand offers products and customers buy them. However, the entire journey is complex.
According to Salesforce, 80% of users consider their experience with your brand to be as important as your product.
From the time they’re introduced to your product to when they purchase it, they go through the journey.
When they’re on the journey, they see ads, speak to sales staff, etc. these stops along the way influence their actions. Therefore, understanding the entire process and its consequences allow you to plan and prepare to drive more customers towards sales.
Creating customer journey maps has the following benefits:
- They help identify gaps between devices. What happens when a customer moves from one device to another? Do they like how your website appears on their phones but not on their laptops?
- They help identify gaps between the departments. Where does the user feel frustrated? When they’re speaking to the sales staff or the customer service?
- They highlight the gaps between channels. Could the transition from your website to social media be better?
- They help refocus your business with an inbound perspective. What is interesting or helpful for your customers? What’s turning them away?
- They help create new target customer bases. What are the pain points for your customers? How can they be solved?
- They help implement excellent customer service. Do you have reliable and proactive customer service?
- They increase the customer retention rate. What are the areas of improvement?
- They help visualise the process from the perspective of a buyer.
Therefore, it provides insightful information for all the departments of your brand.
In addition, it provides clear information on how your customers move through your sales funnel.
How to Create a Customer Journey Map
Understand how to create a customer journey map like a pro by following these steps:
- Set clear goals. Ask yourself: “Why am I making this map?” Focus on who is it about. What kind of experience do you wish to give them? These questions will help you create a buyer persona. A clear persona will help you create an accurate journey map.
- Conduct research. Encourage your customers to give feedback. Do so by user testing and questionnaires. Remember, only reach out to actual prospects and customers.
- Highlight the personas. Narrow your focus on the most important personas. This will help create an accurate map. Pick the most common persona and consider that route they’d normally take when interacting with your business. A tool mike MailsenPai will help you compare each persona. In addition, it will determine which persona will be the best fit for your map.
- Create a list of all the touchpoints. A touchpoint is a pace where your customer interacts with you. Based on the research, list out all these touchpoints. Common examples include email marketing, paid ads and social media channels.
- Determine the resources you’ll need. It’s important to take into account all the resources you have and you’ll need. For instance, if your journey map highlights a flaw in your customer service, then, you need to invest in a customer service tool that helps your team manage customer demands.
- Take the journey yourself. The most important part of designing the map is to analyse the results. Therefore, take the journey as a customer instead of a marketer. This will help you identify all the problem areas.
- Make all the necessary changes. Make all the appropriate changes to your website. This will ensure that you’re able to meet your goals.
Tips and Best Practices
Here are the customer journey mapping tips and best practices to keep in mind:
- Set realistic goals. Determine what you want to achieve but be realistic. Most marketers set unrealistic goals. Know what you need early on to be able to make a better map.
- Learn how to use the map. Focus on the opportunities and gaps in the map to help you achieve your goals.
- Survey customers. The more you know about your customers’ experience, the better. Directly ask your customers and prospects how they feel. In addition, ask what they’d like to change. This information will help you optimise your map.
- Ask customer service about the most commonly asked questions. Customer service bridges the gap between the customer pain points and what the company is offering. Therefore, it’s important to understand and address the most commonly asked questions.
- Regularly track and update journey maps. Do it after every product release. This will ensure that the buying process remains easy. Therefore, track and update the journey map before and after implementing a change.
- Make the journey map accessible. Share them with all your teams. Encourage team members to give their feedback. This ensures that you have better solutions to your problem areas.
Customer Journey Examples
The aim of every organisation is to get its users from Point 1 to Point 2. While it’s up to the organisation to determine what its goal is, it’s generally the purchase of a product. Customers need to be led along this journey. Therefore, to help you in this direction, here are some customer journey examples to take inspiration from:
- Dapper Apps
The customer journey map outlines the five steps they believe a customer goes through when interacting with them. It’s an effective map because it helps the employees see things from the customer’s point of view. In addition, they also mention the steps they need to take to resolve the issues.
- Carnegie Mellon University
It clearly outlines the feelings, actions and thoughts the university wants its students to have. The environments, people, devices and touchpoints are specified that they want their students to interact with. This helps them choose specific changes for every phase and improve them. It’s an excellent representation of where the problem areas are and what they can do to improve them.
Once you have an understanding of your customers’ experience, then you can delight them.
There are different factors that influence the journey such as touchpoints, pain points and emotions.
A customer journey map helps visualise this information. In addition, it helps understand how you can reduce pain points and drive more sales.
So, invest time in understanding the customer journey. Document the process every time a new customer interacts with you. This will help you identify areas that need improvement. Once you do that, more customers will have a positive customer experience.
MailsenPai offers some of the most advanced email marketing and customer experience tools. Get valuable customer insights using MailsenPai today.
Do you use a customer journey map? Which are your company’s touchpoints and pain points? Tell us in the comments section below!