Improving The Customer Experience With Customer Journey Mapping

On average a customer uses almost six touchpoints within their personalized journey.

That’s six opportunities to engage your customer and deliver a lasting impression.  

It’s time to rethink the experience you provide by looking at your entire customer journey from start to finish. 

How can you do so effectively? Let’s ​​introduce you to customer journey mapping.

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

A customer journey map is an illustration or visualization, that shares the many stages and touchpoints involved in a single customer journey with your business. 

Depending on your service or product, the customer journey can either be complex or simple. Referencing an average of six touchpoints, a simple customer journey map would look something like this; a customer sees your product and purchases.

A complex journey on the other hand would look more like this; a customer seeing an ad, sending you a Facebook message, visiting your store, conversing with multiple employees, purchasing, calling customer service, and finally, filling out a survey.

In essence, the customer journey map does its part by sharing every major interaction from beginning to end. However, it won’t always be the same or as straightforward for every customer. Each person will have a different experience or set of touchpoints. Some may start with an ad online, others in person at your store. Keep this in mind, because the key isn’t to get bogged down by granular data but rather showcase a high-level overview of what most of your customers will experience.

 

Why is Customer Journey Mapping Important?

Customer journey mapping is intrinsic to understanding your customer experience and meeting customer needs. By building out a map, you can identify areas of improvement and become cognizant of key touchpoints to engage and personalize the experience. Further, you can use a customer journey map to better connect employees from different departments to ensure everyone is engaging customers in a consistent and loyalty driven way. 

As expectations change and new trends emerge, customer journey mapping becomes even more helpful as you start to incorporate them into your journey. By strategizing with your map, you make the most of each touchpoint, better allocate resources and spend, and ensure your operations run smoothly for long-term loyalty.

How To Get Started With Your Customer Journey Map

Creating a customer journey map is a process, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. An effective customer journey map takes into consideration every moving part within your business as well as your customers’ thoughts and feelings. Before you start building out your framework, consider the following. 

  • What are essential points of contact (offline and online) to receive your service or product?
  • What is the customer doing at each touchpoint?
  • Have I exhausted all points of contact? Even ones after the experience has ended?

Similarly, after you’ve completed your customer journey map, it’s important to analyze your progress. After you’ve mapped out your customer journey, ask yourself:

  • Does this journey map accurately reflect the path customers take?
  • What key moments in the journey can customers be better engaged during?
  • Is the journey easy and simple for the customer to navigate?
  • In what ways, can we make the journey easier for the customer?
  • Which key touchpoints are making the journey more difficult than it needs to be?
  • In what ways can operations be streamlined?

These are merely probing questions, but you get the idea! A customer journey map is paramount in a well-run business and can provide you with insight you may have overlooked. So asking these pivotal questions is key to ensure you’re accurately depicting the journey, extracting the most data, and doing the most to run operations seamlessly.

Where Does Omni-Channel Marketing Fit Into Customer Journey Mapping?

If you reflect on customer demands today, you understand the importance of omnichannel marketing. In fact, it’s likely you’re already leveraging multiple channels within your business. 

Using a robust customer journey map, you highlight every key touchpoint, which makes it much easier to see the value in multiple channels and to understand where your employees should be spending their time communicating.

For instance, you can see each moment a customer connects with your business via an ad online or in-person with an employee. You can obtain a realistic view of channels being used, opportunities for new channels, and insight in order to create an effective strategy. In fact, before even considering multiple channels, it’s often advised to map out a customer journey, see where the gaps are in communication, make a list of channels currently being used, ones you want to use, and see where they fit into your map.

If you’re already using multiple channels or considering adopting more, the Loop Experience Platform is a great tool to consolidate all messages in a single inbox. With Loop managing channels and responding, becomes fast and effective. What’s more, you can see just how effective your channels are within your journey mapping. How? With Loop, you get data on the number of people writing in from a particular device. Using this, you can constantly adjust your journey to add channels, remove channels or keep them the same.

Final Thoughts

In summary, customer journey mapping is a fortified solution to understand customers and their pathway through your business. By drafting a map, you can better understand areas of operational improvement, channel success, moments to engage customers and finally, clarity on the health of your customer experience program.

Keep in mind that every business’s customer journey map will look different. How you interact with your customers, the technology you leverage, your industry, your single or multiple locations, and much more, will affect the journey your customer goes on. Further, as you evolve, it’s always great to revisit your customer journey map, and make changes that fit the current industry landscape. Don’t forget to set goals, embrace change, and utilize your customer journey map to strategically get you there. 

Want to learn more about customer journey mapping and how you can engage customers at critical touchpoints? Click here.

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