In the era of GPS and Google Maps, most people trust their technology to get them where they want to go. Gone are the days of printing out maps and highlighting routes. Today’s customers expect easy-to-follow turn-by-turn directions. How your customers interact with your business is no different. They want it to be easy and to be intuitive. If they encounter roadblocks on your website when trying to place an order, or find a retail store layout confusing and disjointed, they’ll often retreat and find a simpler path which may be to your competitor.
What is a customer journey map?
Marketing agencies have long used customer journey maps as a way of identifying the best way to seamlessly guide customers through the purchase process. Like any journey, it involves research, planning and a clear path from the customer’s initial interaction with the business all the way through to purchase and the forging a trusted long-term relationship. While it sounds simple, customer journey maps can be very detailed, addressing every touch point a customer has with a business. It should consider everything from marketing and referrals, to search engine optimization and social media, to traditional advertising campaigns and customer service touch points. No one likes surprises (unless it’s their birthday) and a well-crafted customer journey map can help avoid any negative surprises and build positive customer experiences and testimonials.
Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes.
As any business owner can attest, it can be difficult to see your business through the eyes of your customers. Business owners understand what the intent is for each touch point. But intention may not always translate. Plus, messages can drift over time. Likewise, a brand-new business has yet to gather enough data to really assess customer experiences, making a customer journey map for start-ups even more critical. Customers want to connect with your brand. They want it to be easy and rewarding to do business with you, and they’ll thank you through positive reviews and repeat business.
What are the main benefits of a customer journey map?
Not only can a customer journey maps help reveal silos or bottlenecks in your business’ processes, it can also provide the necessary guidance across many touch points, putting your customers at ease and building trust. Benefits include:
Identifying changes needed at varying stages of the sales funnel.
Ensuring logical order of your customer’s journey.
Showing you how your customers see your business.
Bringing an outside perspective to your sales process.
Helping you to prioritize on where opportunities exist and minimize challenges.
Highlighting gaps between what you intended your customers to experience and what they actually experience at various touch points.
Identifying key areas to focus efforts and dollars on maximizing the overall effectiveness of customer interaction and satisfaction.
Leave no stone unturned.
A customer journey map is not just about the way your customers interact with you in real-time. An EFFECTIVE customer journey map should address EVERYTHING your customer comes into contact when interacting with your business. This could include packaging and manuals, point-of-purchase displays, public relations, mass marketing campaigns, social media, returns/customer service, and much more. A good customer journey map should be driven by data from sources like CRM systems, email engagement results, social media analytics, website heat maps, and website analytics. All of these things can paint for you a clear picture of what your customers like about doing business with your company. More importantly, it also shows you what they don’t like —giving you a clear path to improvement.
Better understand the demographics and psychographics of your customers.
A thorough customer journey map helps you not only target the right customer, but also to ensure you’re offering your products and services to them in a way they prefer. Researching the wants and needs of your customer helps you create a customer journey that fits with the expectations of your target market.
Top marketing agencies like St. Petersburg-based Thompson Marketing Partners have successfully designed customer journey maps for clients that give them a clear snap-shot of where their operation and customers can come together for a great, repeatable experience. Thompson Marketing Partners also offers a full range of marketing services and are experts in developing and executing strategic digital marketing solutions that help you realize more effective customer journeys. To learn more, visit http://www.thompsonmarketingpartners.com.