04 Jul Customer Journey Mapping for better Customer Experience
What’s the Customer Journey?
A simple definition of customer journey: try to remember when was the last time you could or could not find an answer to your questions or solve the problems you had – easily and rapidly. That’s a Customer Journey.
Why you should focus on customer journey? Customer journey drives a higher increase of revenue because they are predictive of desired outcomes. Customer Journeys are a key component of a great Customer Experience and of successful business strategy. Depending on your industry and the type of business you have, these customer journeys may be more or less complex.
The customer journey is based on timing and touch points: at different time, the customer will engage with your company on different touch points.
Timing is essential as the customer will look for different information according to where he stands in the customer journey, and he will get more knowledge by the end of the journey. Along the customer journey, you need to identify what is driving the customer to search for specific information at different stage – and how you can ease the search of this information.
Touch points will be the medium where you deliver that key information to the customers. No matter if it through FAQ, content on your blog, Social Media/Forums, etc. you need to know, according to where is the customer in the customer journey, through which channel/medium he will prefer to communicate or engage with your company. The more complex is the buying process, the earlier to engage with your prospects is advised.
Designing the Customer Journey
When you design the customer journey it should starts before the customer can find your product/service. You need to take into account the following:
- Before the customer find your service
- Where she will typically search for this kind of product/service?
- Where do people discuss about this kind of product/service?
- What are the questions often asked this kind of product/service?
- What are the problems encountered by prospect regarding these this kind of product/service & How you can address this?
- During the visit of your store/website & Purchase
- How easy it is to find what she will look for?
- What’s holding the customer to place their order & How can you facilitate the order process?
- Where can you reduce the level of complexity?
- Where do the traffic exit and why?
- After sales
- How can you answer a maximum of questions on your customer service portal?
- How can you reduce the level of anxiety when your customer are facing issues?
Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes
One thing that is important to remember, if you put yourself in the customer’s shoes, what drives you to go along that journey? Harvard Business Review has an excellent article: Using Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience. Here is an extract below that is really helpful for putting yourself in the customer’s shoes:
“Actions: What is the customer doing at each stage? What actions are they taking to move themselves on to the next stage? (Don’t list what your company or partners such as retailers are doing here. That will come later when we look at touchpoints)
Motivations: Why is the customer motivated to keep going to the next stage? What emotions are they feeling? Why do they care?
Questions: What are the uncertainties, jargon, or other issues preventing the customer from moving to the next stage? As you can from the diagram above, home theater has a larger proportion of questions than almost anything else at each stage, which indicates this is an area that manufacturers and retailers should be attacking aggressively.
Barriers: What structural, process, cost, implementation, or other barriers stand in the way of moving on to the next stage?”
For the same product/service, a customer journey may start on different points. For example, a mother of a one year old baby has bad skin reaction on a cream. She will go to some social medias, forums, specialized website around that topic to find answer to her questions – and ultimately buy a new cream.
Another mom of 12 months old baby, may want to look for baby cream because of certain ingredients known for being good for baby skin. In this case, the mom will want to read into more details the benefits of that particular plant in order to place the order. So, she will go to a search engine, type in the keyword, look for more content (and the recommended brands) and then buy.
These two examples show that for the same product, customer will engage into different journeys, navigate through different touch points, and also look for different information [your content needs to be tailored for them].
In order to be very effective in your customer journey design, you need to know your customers at granular level (This article by Strategy + Business explains well how to be customer centric).
Mapping the Customer Journey
Once you have answer to the questions mentioned above, it’s time to map the customer journey. Remember, there isn’t one journey, but different journey according to different persona (problems, products, services, etc.)
Your customer journey mapping should include:
- The steps of the customer lifecycle: discovery, research, evaluation, purchase, use, advocacy & The timeline/timeframe of that journey (10 minutes or several weeks?)
- The different touch points: Social Media, Web, Apps, Store, Customer Service, Forums, Groups, etc + Behaviour Flow
- The buyers personas
During this journey, you would seek what are the roadblocks and challenges the customer is encountering. The aim is to eliminate these roadblocks and shorten the customer journey to make it smoother and less complex.
Megan Grocki of UXmastery.com explained that creating an Empathy map will help to better understand the point of view of the persona, feel, see and experience the same as this persona along the journey
When mapping the customer journey, always ask yourself: did the customer achieved his goal?
Working on your customer journey will not only improve your bottom line, but it will also improve the customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer Journey is an important part of your overall business strategy.