Customer Journey Mapping: Why it’s Useful and How It Can Create a Business Advantage – May 2014
Let’s start with the basics, what is the customer journey? Essentially, it’s the end-to-end experience of your customer as they engage with your company’s products & services. This may be an online experience, offline experience, or a combination. Now, factor in multiple multi-channel customer touch points (email, direct, digital marketing, social, brick & mortar, support, telesales) throughout the customer journey and it leads to a very dynamic experience for customers and companies. Studies have shown that 90% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Companies that rate high in customer experience are successful at acquiring and engaging the loyalty of customers.
Customer journey mapping can be effective in laying out the experience to be very clear and deliberate about a customer’s activities, pain points, and identify new opportunities to delight the consumer.
Three benefits of customer journey mapping:
Viewing the world from the customer’s perspective: Customer empathy can help in putting yourself in the shoes of the customer from their desires, behaviors, and emotions of engaging with a company’s products & services. The intent is to stay focused from their point of view.
Awareness of customer touch points: Understanding the different ways a customer interacts (mobile, social, web, support) with a company’s products & services can identify ways to streamline the process and increase engagement and loyalty.
Increasing the overall experience: The intent is to be very mindful throughout the journey to create an easy, frictionless, and enjoyable experience which impacts customer satisfaction and lifetime value.
While customer journey mapping can be very beneficial, I would keep in mind a few things:
Customer segmentation: If you have different customer segments (e.g. consumers, businesses), the experience may be different based on where they fit. You should map out different journeys so you address your customer segments accurately.
Collaborate with colleagues and customers: To avoid potential blind spots, collaborate and gather input from your colleagues and customers cross-functionally. It’s a great way to look at this from the “inside out” and “outside in”.
Make it visual, bring it to life: Be creative and visual with your customer journey map. Using different colors, shapes and images that represent the customer journey stages, customer emotions and pain points, may help evoke ideas and new opportunities.
We are in the age of the customer – access to information and the customer experience – is now controlled by the customer. Companies that focus on what they can control – products and services, seeking and incorporating customer feedback, and exploring new ways to improve the experience – can create a meaningful experience and competitive advantage.
- Ty Madarang, Director
Blueprint Consulting Services