Getting into the minds of your consumers and understanding the reasons behind their behavior can be tough. This entails questions such as why they spend so much time browsing and adding items to their cart without checking out in the end. Or why they take an extended number of steps to go from A to B when it should have been just one step. Regardless of what the confusion maybe chances are they all stem from a poorly defined customer journey within your company. This two-part blog aims to illuminate the value of a customer journey map and their many benefits while clearing any misconceptions.
Research has found a 24.9% year on year growth with customer journey management as opposed to 16.2% without it. Customers today are increasingly demanding and accurately tracking their journey is a bit trickier than before. Right from becoming aware of the brand via social media to receiving a confirmatory email on purchase there are a myriad of steps to be fulfilled in between these stages. Guesswork doesn’t help in this situation and predicting a customer journey based on personal experience won’t work either. Since customer interactions online are very similar to how they shop in a brick and mortar establishment the best way to learn more would be to ask them directly.
What is a Customer Journey Map?
In a nutshell, a customer journey map is a visual representation of the process a customer follows to achieve a goal with your company. Understanding and studying this journey can help optimize customer experience and increase your likelihood of a positive engagement. The visual element or map is all the more important for this purpose since it serves as a reference that executives can come back to, making inferences and cross-referencing patterns. Several insights into how the consumer thinks and feels about your product or service can be gleaned from this map that all serve to improve how you approach your intended audience.
Mapping Out the Journey by Following the Bread Crumbs
In most cases a customer journey map begins as an Excel sheet that lists key events, customer motivations, and aspects resulting in unsatisfactory customer experiences. Taking information from this consolidation and mapping it out visually can illustrate an average customer experience at your business. By understanding this, you can begin to restructure your customer journey by adding or subtracting touch points. If your customers are having a hard time reaching the final goal then you could consider redirecting the flow of clientele to create a more direct path that can increase, if not guarantee, customers getting where they need to be.
Linear customer journey maps are a thing of the past and in fact were rarely that simple in the first place. Buyers circle back and forth many times making it hard to actually track the way they move around your store. Bearing this in mind, executives have taken on creative and visually appealing methods to curating their customer journey maps using post-it notes, different colored markers, infographics, color-coded spreadsheets and so on. The goal is that the end user finds it a comprehensive tool that can be referred to and worked with easily.
Why Do You Need One?
The main goal behind any marketing strategy is to cater to the customer better and give them what they want. Customer journey maps are extremely important primarily because this is exactly what they do. These maps help you understand your customers and evaluate their expectations better so you can meet those expectations head on.
Approximately 80% of customers prefer to be treated like a human instead of a number on an Excel sheet and this crucial to winning them over. This means brands need to ensure that their approach to target audiences is personalized. Another reason why customer journey maps are a vital marketing aid is because they give you deep insight into customer behavior. Customer journey maps have proven to drive a 54% greater return on marketing investments.
In part 2 of this blog series we’ll look at several of the benefits of customer journey maps and how they can enable omnichannel marketing and customer service. If you’d like to explore how you can chart an accurate customer journey map, or if you’d like to expand on the benefits you receive from already having one in place, our team at SprigHub would be happy to help.
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