“80% of future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing clients” – Gartner Group
As the number of channels available to you for customer interaction grows, your customer’s expectations for a seamless experience is growing even faster.Creating a clear vision for the strategy behind customer interactions is no longer an optional “nice to have”, it’s essential.
One of the most powerful tools for understanding both the “as-is” customer experience and visualising and implementing the ideal experience is a customer journey map.
A customer journey map will illustrate the totality of the experience users have with your business, pointing interesting points for intervention.
So what is a Customer Journey Map?
It’s quite simple really, a Customer journey map is a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through when engaging with your company, whether its products, an experience, a service or any combination. The more touch points for the customer, the more complicated – but necessary- the map becomes.
If you are looking to create your own, here’s a good starting point.
Who is your target customer?
You have probably heard of persona’s, well here is where you will use them best. Have a clear picture of a potential customer, it will help you visual the path much better. Where do they live and work, what job do they have. How do they travel to work? What products or services are they using that your business competes with or might complement? Are they hanging out online? If so, what are they doing and where do they hang out?
Understand your target customers goals
Now you can visualise your customer, think about what they hope to achieve as they experience each step in their journey with you. Better yet, ask them! Use customer surveys, one-on-one interviews or web mapping tools. This way you will better understand whether your business is truly supporting your customers goals. If you’re not meeting them, then you will struggle to achieve your goal of increasing sales for your business.
- What are my options?
- What’s a fair price?
- How will I feel respected?
- How will I stay productive?
Where are the touchpoints?
This is where you start mapping out your Customer Journey. You should organise it by customer stages. Each stage will represent a major goal your customer is trying to achieve in their overall journey.
N.B. Stages should be mapped out according to your customer’s goal oriented journey, not your internal process steps.
A touchpoint is any time a potential customer comes into contact with your business – before, during or after they purchase. You want every touchpoint taken into account so you don’t miss an interesting moment of interventions or opportunity to improve your customers experience with your business.
Here’s a easy way to map this out – don’t think about it from your business process; put yourself into your customers shoes and walk yourself through the process.
- Where do I go and how do I get there when I have xyz problem?
- What do I do when I discover a solution to my problem?
- How will I make my solution decision?
- What happens if I need support after my decision or purchase?
Emotions drive human behaviour
The most rational B2B purchasing decisions are at the mercy of the buyer’s emotions. Capturing your customer’s emotions throughout the journey is essential for truly understanding their experience. It’s important to understand both how they want to feel as opposed to how they actually feel at each stage. If your customer experiences is a positive one, delivering a memorable experience, then they are more likely to repeat and recommend.
Moments of truth
This is where you are going to evaluate the overall experience. Clearly identify the “friction” and “delight” touchpoints in your customers’ journey. Moments of Truth are those make or break moments. Identifying these moments will highlight which of those touchpoints are the most important to optimise for your customer.
Behind the scenes
So, up till now, we have concentrated on the external, or customer experience. But how about combining the view with the internal actions. Mapping both the external experience alongside the internal processes to achieve these, will really drive visibility that will allow your business to truly understand what is involved in delivering and ultimately improving the customer experience.
You will quickly learn that building customer journey can be challenging but well worth it, if you give it the time it deserves. Focus less on making your map pretty, and more on dissecting your customer’s experiences so you can find those interesting moments or opportunities for intervention.