Heart of the Customer, a customer journey mapping consultancy discovered insightful information. While studying the software purchase process of a B2B client, it discovered facts that came much as a surprise for their client. It found out that prospects largely depend on their personal networks to form the list of their vendors. Google searches, conference trade shows, and other traditional forms of marketing were ignored. These information channels were considered at a much later stage of the purchase process.
But the most significant part of this finding shows that if the company didn’t win at “word of mouth,” it loses its place in the competition. This invaluable insight enabled the client to work on what matters most to prospects while avoiding wasting resources on programs that were not really making the mark.
So, the moral of this story is that customer journey mapping is key to providing the experience your customer desires. If you are new to the three-word phrase, let’s make it clear for you.
Every customer takes multiple steps before purchasing a product (including you and me). In the interim, the individual experiences a chain of thoughts and emotions that lead to action. Hence, collecting this data, picking up relevant aspects, strategically combining and visualizing them in the form of a diagram is known as customer journey mapping. Technically, this map includes all channels that a consumer uses to communicate with a brand such as websites, social media, email - from first to final touchpoint.
However, not every journey map turns out to be useful. It requires a great deal of effort and lots of coffee (for the energy kick:). An ideal map must be a clear picture of what the customer experiences or sees - and not the way you think they see it. This means that it often comprises elements that are not in your direct control.
Some of these include social media influences, web searches, and touchpoints your customer reaches even before your brand comes into the picture. Furthermore, a well-designed customer journey becomes a roadmap of the customer experience (CX). It will give you a deep dive into the positive and negative areas of an individual's interactions with a company. And through this, you get a wider lens into the lives of customer’s hidden motivations, needs, goals, and pain points.
On the other side, when your business is not leveraging customer journey mapping, you may end up delivering a service your customers don’t need. Perhaps, in an increasingly overpowering digital world, you may miss aligning your digital efforts with your brick and mortar presence.
If you take the broader picture, a business begins crafting an experience for its customers from the manufacturing process. And it keeps designing this experience until the promotion and post-purchase experience of the product.
A customer journey map is like the binoculars or the telescope that can see every layer within a single product purchase experience. As a result, it can help manufacturers to advertisers to create the CX that your customer seeks.
A number of benefits are discussed ahead in detail.
When you know the particular friction your customer faces, you can eliminate that. For instance, you have an e-commerce service and users need to write an email every time they need to return a purchased item. This can be friction for customers which you can replace by adding a ‘Return item’ option right in the user profile on your site.
A customer journey map consists of insights into what type of content interests your target audience. For example, if you have a website, you can access the metrics and see which pages are most visited by your prospects. This gives an idea of what users want. Eventually, when you are giving them what they want, they come to you.
Why is that certain marketing campaigns win customers and some fail to do so? Many times the language or your way of communication doesn’t appeal to the audience. You need to use words or phrases that your viewers can understand while avoiding sounding ostentatious. And the maps are great in showing you the solution.
When it comes to providing a smooth purchase experience to customers, Amazon has mastered it. And all thanks to the giant’s expertise in mapping customer journeys.
According to a CX networks survey, Amazon has multiple components of the purchasing process that make it easy for customers to ‘Place Order.’ Hence, the ecommerce giant has greatly won the battle in removing friction out of the purchasing process.
To be specific, Amazon taps into customer data to provide a personalized experience. Every individual customer finds tailored complementary items that suit their lifestyle - and people love that. Plus, with the Amazon Prime option, the company enabled ‘free’ shipping that people were once always looking out for.
Moral of the story - Any ecommerce site selling items of any kind can get into such a big business through the power of customer journey mapping.
Adidas has been making efforts to become the Pied Piper of digital experience. But unlike the fairy tale, it is committing itself to a better customer experience. One of its biggest initiatives was rolled out when it recognized that customers were increasingly shopping online. As a result, the global shoe brand began pouring resources into a simple and one-size-fits-not-all personalized customer experience.
It fine-tuned its brand communication and content based on data insights and user engagement. Moreover, it also started listening to customer feedback which led them to introduce sustainable items. For instance, Adidas began producing shoes from ocean waste and sold over 1 million pairs in just one year.
The moral of the story - By investing in customer journey mapping, you can change your brand’s growth trajectory. And it can emerge as a leader in the industry.
It is said that the greatest leaders always have the habit of reading. Perhaps, reading and listening are two skills that give us a window into new perspectives, not-heard-of ideas, and solutions to complex challenges. So, if you wish to become a leader in customer experience, here are some books that could be of great guidance.
This one gets a Goodreads rating of 4.09/5 stars. This book is speaker and consultant Matthew Watkinson’s first book. As per his consultancy’s site, twelve publishers rejected the proposal before the Financial Times Press “took pity on him.” And “The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experience” bagged the CMI Management Book of the Year Award in the innovation and entrepreneurship category in 2014. In his book, Watkinson gives insights into how to improve CX for leading firms in industries including healthcare, banking, retail, luxury, snack food, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Goodreads rating of this book is 4.07/5. Author Dave Kerpen is a New York Times bestselling author, founder, and CEO of Likable Local, a social media software company that serves small businesses. The book takes the readers through eleven strategies on how to cultivate and communicate qualities including storytelling, authenticity, team playing, transparency, responsiveness, and more. Reviewers appreciate the book’s lively language and incorporation of examples not just from other businesses, but from the author’s own life and business.
This book gets a Goodreads rating of 4.05/5 stars. This creation comes from Author Jim Kalback who has helped companies like Audi, eBay, Elsevier, and SONY to enhance their user experience - in terms of design, information architecture, and strategy. When it comes to mapping experience, reviewers on Goodreads regard this book as a resource and reference book.
The book gets Goodreadings ratings of 4.02/5 stars. This creation comes from author Don Pepper whose first book “The One to One Future’ co-authored with Martha Rogers was credited for having launched the CRM revolution. Satmetrix ranked the authors as the world’s foremost influential authorities on CX management issues in 2015. Extreme Trust provides insights into how businesses should approach CX in the digital age when keeping secrets is no longer a choice.
On Goodreads, the book gets 5/5 from 3 readers. It comes from author Jim Tincher who is also the founder of Heart of the Customer whose insights we discussed at the beginning of this blog. Tincher is a nationally recognized CX expert, journey mapper, author, and speaker. He was in charge of crafting customer experiences at Best Buy and UnitedHealth Group before launching his consultancy. This book gives plenty of real-world case studies and extensive research. You can learn some of the best ways to enhance CX, boost loyalty, satisfaction, and your bottom line.
Now let’s give you some brief steps on how to create a surefire customer journey map.
Identify who all exactly fall under the category of your customers. You need to be very specific in terms of demographics and psychographics. Hence, you need to begin with user and market research.
Collect data about how your customers take action with your product. You can use the information to create a user persona. An ideal customer journey map concentrates on a single persona’s experience in a single scenario with a single goal.
Have clear objectives on why you want to make a custom journey map. This will help you in determining the map’s scope and keeping things to the point.
Now, start creating the map. At this stage, you need to create a diagram that provides a visual representation of how your customer interacts with your brand. It should involve every minor step that leads the customer to take action until the post-purchase experience. Consider and include everything mentioned in the “Understanding in brief” section of this article.
Creating a customer journey map is an amalgamation of art, maths, science, and psychology. It requires a group of experts to prepare a map that leads to beneficial results. Creating an efficient and fail-safe journey map and customer experience strategy is a core service at PulsAero.
We dive deep into customer problems, come out with their pain points, motivations and goals to create an ideal user persona for your business. Based on that, we create maps that can lead designers to craft a great customer experience - in terms of both product design and experience at every touchpoint.
Brands often come off the track to focus too much on near-team service fixes for quick results. However, this ‘speed’ of companies is meaningless without a direction. Hence our team provides that ‘direction’ - and that’s what PulsAero is all about both literally and functionally.
“Co-creation is king,” so how about collaborating over a cup of coffee? :)