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Customer Journey: What It Is and Why Should You Care

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Customer Journey: What It Is and Why Should You Care

A customer journey map is a visual representation that portrays the story of the customer’s experience staring from initial contact, through the process of engagement and getting converted into a long-term relationship.

customer-journey

Nowadays, in the modern world, the customer is the cornerstone of the prosperity of any business. Determining and satisfying consumer needs should be one of the main objectives of any marketing strategy.

Acknowledging the importance of customers at all levels of the marketing process enables your business to achieve greater customer satisfaction and to boost its long-term goal of repeat business. 

As customer plays a crucial role in the growth of virtually all businesses, getting to know the customer journey is vital. The customer journey is about nurturing the customer experience, or about nurturing how customers feel about the companies with which they do business. 

However, it is not that simple meaning of the customer journey, and the understanding of the phrase requires your time and effort.

Hence, this article will provide a detailed description of the customer journey: what it is and why you should care about it. You should reevaluate your company’s performance based on the following useful information and boost it afterward.

1. What Is a Customer Journey?

So what is the definition of the customer journey? Well, the customer journey is a concept about knowing your customers, how they act when browsing your website, and what you can do to make their experience smoother, so they keep returning.

It involves the route taken by the consumer before a purchasing decision through so-called touchpoints and customer's complete experience with an organization. In other words, it covers all brand experiences across all channels, devices, and touchpoints across all phases of the customer lifecycle – from recognition to loyalty.

2. Why You Should Care About Customer Journey

customer-journey

It is vital to capture the perspective of the customer and understand their experience with a brand. For this purpose, most businesses use customer journey mapping to analyze the customer experience and learn where to make significant changes.

Brands may construct detailed maps by analyzing quantitative data and experiences from both customers and employees, representing the motives and thoughts of the consumer along the path from potential to a loyal customer. Customer journey mapping has the following three main advantages.

a. Enhance Customer Experience

In the modern world, organizations are acknowledging the importance of offering an experience that distinguishes them from their competition, so the race to own customer experience is always intense.

Customer experience is the number one determining factor of whether customers are willing to continue doing business with the company or not. Currently, 89% of companies compete mainly on the criteria of customer experience – growing from just 36% in 2010. 

You can build the prosperity of your brand through satisfied customers. Satisfaction instinctively rises as you provide customers the experiences they like to see.

Aberdeen Group also states that if companies are taking advantage of these maps, positive social media comments will witness a 24% rise. Customer journey maps allow brands to communicate on an emotional level with their customers as well as offers excellent experiences proactively. 

b. Better Understanding of Customer

Understanding your customer is essential for any business endeavor. Successful entrepreneurs comprehend what their users want and how they can make their product or service available most effectively and efficiently.

Now, the customer journey map can be a great tool in assisting you to gain in-depth knowledge of your customers. Since a consumer goes from touchpoint to touchpoint, a map will show how easily he can do that. 

For instance, can the customer rapidly communicate to an agent via an IVR menu? Could he easily switch to the voice channel from social media? What would be his post-contact rating satisfaction? 

The responses to such queries illustrate how the consumer thinks about every phase of the journey and can help marketers reduce dissatisfaction or confusion-causing methods. Brands can also understand what factors actually satisfy their consumers and then concentrate more on further improving effective practices.

c. Identify Uncover Issues

There are many problems and challenges faced by businesses nowadays and business owners have to adopt flexible methods to deal with them. Now with customer journey mapping, they can possess such a great tool to do that. It helps you uncover where client service lapses may arise. 

For instance, an understaffed network may trigger irritation to customers who love that channel. Likewise, in the case that you can not configure the mobile version, a transition from a computer to a mobile device may not function properly. All in all, these maps are perfect for identifying the should-be-resolved differences through the customer journey.  

3. Key Elements of a Great Customer Journey Map

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a. Build From A Customers’ Point of View

A journey map developed from the perspective of the customer would use the experience of the customer as the basis of the journey map. The journey focuses on what the consumer does instead of mentioning the steps of the journey from a system or business process viewpoint. 

They also concentrate on their thoughts and feelings because the customers interact via various touchpoints and/or partnership phases with your brand. Reconstructing the point of view of the system as the perspective of the customer is incredibly easy. 

Customer journey maps should be intended to particular customers in mind and hopefully primarily focused on an in-depth, background reading-driven awareness of the experiences of your customers. The map should display which are the modeled segments or persona’s journey. 

Basically, during their journey, the map should be constructed on a true grasp of their behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Journey mapping projects and personnel management activities should be parallel, as the maps are paving the way for the driving results team.

b. Incorporate Performance Indicators

Performance indicators provide the framework for the assessment of journey maps. Most customer journey maps take advantage of analytical data to imagine the emotional ups and downs of customers. 

Visual indicators show positive/neutral/negative or exceeds/meets/does not meet expectations so that you can recognize and assess areas of opportunity effectively. They become important and useful to evaluate customer experience improvement projects over time by incorporating quantitative metrics into customer journey maps.

After an improvement program, the same metrics can be collected to measure the effect of the improvement. The metrics you gather consist of net promoter score or other customer loyalty measures, customer satisfaction measures, etc.

Then you include them in the journey maps that can enable you to evaluate the present and future health of your customer experience. And thus, it would help encourage the stakeholders to make value-driven decisions following the customer experience performance model.

c. Visualize Customer Journey

The capacity to put other necessary information on the map as well as the essential journey features and the potential to envision the map in a manner that tells and reaches the target audience are the two decisive factors that make the journey map particularly powerful. 

For instance, by adding essential performance metrics in your map, you could attract your executives most effectively. 

Indeed, the map is a useful way to reframe the performance dashboards that are often portrayed to top management throughout touchpoints with the real customer experience.

Other stakeholders may gain some advantages from data such as a comprehensive view of the people, processes, and systems "behind the scenes" related to providing customer experience at each touchpoint so that they can obtain clear visibility of how the areas they manage lead to either favorable or unfavorable customer experiences.

4. How to Create a Customer Journey Map

create-customer-journey-map

a. Set Objectives

First, you ought to wonder why you should make one before you can be engaged in building your map. You should consider your expectations for this map and the specific target users and the source of this experience. You might want to generate a buyer persona depending on this.

This is an imaginary customer portraying your average customer with all their demographics and psycho graphics. It is beneficial to have a specific person to notify you to steer all aspects of your customer journey map to them.

b. Identify Customer’s Persona

The second step is making sure that you research the customer feedback to create an accurate buyer’s persona. Questionnaires and user testing are some effective ways to gain priceless customer feedback. Targeting only the current or potential customers is essential. 

You also need feedback from people who like buying your products and services and who have already communicated with your business or are intending to do so. You could consider relevant questions regarding the source of information, previous purchase, the need for customer support, how helpful the customer service is. 

c. Identity the Touchpoints

This vital step gives you knowledge about what your customers do. A grasp of touchpoints is a method to acknowledge the customer journey's ease and goals. 

Touchpoints are all the areas in which your customers can communicate with you on your website. Depending on your research, you should list all the touchpoints presently used by your current and potential customers, and also those you assume should be used if there is no overlap. 

You should think about social channels, paid ads, email marketing, third-party review sites or mentions that the customer will find you online. You can consider operating your brand's quick Google search to see all the websites that bring you up.

By checking in on your Google Analytics, you can see the source of your visit. There is a high likelihood of seeing an event correlated with it by reducing the list to the most common touchpoints.

d. Implement and Adjust

The entire customer journey mapping exercise will never stay hypothetical if you give it a try on your own. You should not hesitate to join each customer's journey via their online activity, their emails, or via online searching. 

Besides, the assessment of your data should give you an idea of what your website is like. To accomplish your objectives, you can then make the necessary adjustments to your website. 

Call-to-action links may be more differentiated. Or, perhaps, to make the objective obvious, it is creating broader explanations under each item. They will be powerful regardless of the size of the adjustments, as they are directly related to what customers have cited as their pain points. And you can assure that these needs and pain points are always handled with the aid of your visualized map.

Conclusion

Based on the aforementioned information, hopefully, you can have an in-depth understanding of the customer journey including its definition as well as the role of it to every enterprise. As power has virtually shifted from brand to consumer, understanding the customer journey is a key element to your business success. Do not say no to this business strategy.

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