In the age of the customer, there is nothing more important for your business than ensuring each lead and/or client goes through a consistently superior customer experience. That is where customer journey mapping comes into play. A customer journey map is a visual representation of every touchpoint (based on actions and behaviors) that your customers have with your brand.
Most customer relationships are far more complex than what meets the eye, especially because so many opportunities for engagement exist than ever before. That being said, this is why it is so important to understand the path your leads and customers go on from the time they come in contact with your brand until conversion and beyond.
For this post, we are going to focus on the benefits of customer journey maps.
Visualize the customer experience through your customer’s’ eyes
There are always two sides to any story. If you want the whole story, then you are going to have to look at it from every perspective. Building customer journey maps helps you see exactly what your customer goes through and experiences at every touchpoint.
You have to think about the many different ways a lead comes into contact with your brand. Does each lead experience the same path or are they different based on predetermined factors or actions?
If you do not lay it out from start to finish, you nor your team understand what it’s like to be in your customer’s shoes. When you see your business from the customer’s point of view you can effectively find how well you are doing at addressing their needs.
Identify holes in your process and fill them with effective touch points
No matter what, your customer wants a seamless experience with your company. A seamless experience usually translates into a long-term relationship. A customer map helps you identify, as a company, where you are falling short and where the silos exist within your organization.
Viewing the journey from your customer’s perspective enables you to find out where you are missing interaction points so you can establish a more consistent and streamlined process.
Missing interactions can include the following:
- Lead nurturing emails
- Being added or removed from a group (segment of contacts)
- Triggering a workflow
- Sales follow up workflow
- Marketing follow up workflow
- Operational (billing, etc.) workflow
Make sure to write down all of the holes and where/why they exist. If there is a disconnect between your brand and your customers, that means there may be a substantial disconnect between your own internal process map as well.
Bridge the gap between sales, marketing and operations
A siloed organization is limited in its ability to provide seamless and consistent customer experiences. Why? Because fragments in your own internal process result in a fragmented customer experience. With the technology we have today, there is no reason why sales and marketing should not be effectively working together to drive your leads through the funnel.
Customer journey mapping bridges the gap between sales and marketing (as well as other departments) by integrating all touchpoints during the lead nurturing process. A customer journey map is a flow chart of different steps that involve marketing, sales, and even customer service and operations. No department left behind. Marketing is no longer the job of just the marketing team, just as sales and customer service are no longer strictly for their respective departments either. Everyone on a team must collaborate. This collaboration translates to a cohesive customer experience.
For example, if someone asks a support or sales question on social media, the marketing team is the first level of contact and therefore must respond with a timely and appropriate response. Whether they respond with a “We will get back to you ASAP” or answer the question publically or via DM, it is important to showcase your commitment to your customers.
With a customer journey map you are able to see how all departments within your organization work together to help address the needs of your leads and clients.
Effectively and efficiently personalize the experiences your leads and customers have with your brand
Not every consumer goes down the same path, which is why it is so important to be able to personalize each journey. Luckily, companies are able to accomplish this with technology. The steps a customer takes should be different based on both their actions and their needs/wants. Keep this in mind when creating your map.
For example, if you have a number of different services, think about the path, the content, and the touchpoints needed to help engage and convert that lead. If they are just interested in one service, it would be unwise to send them down a path with irrelevant information. Get them the information they want first and then upsell later.
A good customer map lets you visualize how you use contact data to help personalize their path and the content they get. It also helps determine next steps depending on their actions. If you send out an email to a contact, the 2nd step should be different depending on whether they clicked or never opened the email. If they clicked, this action should send them in one direction (or move them on to the next step), whereas if they did not even open the email, perhaps a 2nd reminder email is needed to get them back in your funnel.
The customer journey mapping process doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Start by sitting down and drawing out your current process, followed by identifying what is needed to make this process more efficient and better for your customer.
The journeys you create help you learn more about your customers, while delivering personalized and highly relevant experiences so you can drive sales and create long-lasting relationships.