Today’s customer is not that much different from previous generations. They still want to do business with companies that have their wants and needs at the core of their offerings. They expect an excellent customer experience, and they expect value for their money. In the digital age, there are more choices for your potential customers, and the competition increases every day.
If you want to compete today, and tomorrow, it still comes down to the old marketing adage: Know your customer. That’s what customer journey mapping does. It helps companies know their customers so they can design a great customer experience from beginning to end.
The customer journey map is a visual blueprint of who your customers are and how they interact with your company and website. The map will break down every step your customer takes and allow you to fine tune all those steps. The goal is to make your customer’s journey easy and painless from beginning to end. A good customer journey map contains information about who customers are, what they want and the best way to interact with them.
Here are some of the key parts of a good map.
- A graphical representation of the entire customer experience in a step by step arrangement
- A breakdown of every “touch-point” between the company and the customer
- An objective list of obstacles that the customer may face on their journey
- A clear understanding of opportunities to reinforce the relationship at critical steps in the journey
A well-developed map will help your customers on their journey to finding a great customer experience with your company, but that’s just the beginning. These travelers will also need knowledgeable, caring guides who know the terrain and the traveler.
These guides are your sales teams, marketing teams, and service teams. Each can guide the customer experience with their unique expertise and experience. But, while the different teams each have their own roles and responsibility to the customer, the overall interaction must be consistent from A to Z. When everyone knows the customer and understands their journey, it becomes easy to make sure there are no obstacles to trip things up.
To create your customer journey map, you will need the right tools. You’ll need patience, a thick skin, and the willingness to change. But the most important tool will be customer research. You must know your customer to tailor their experience and the best way to understand them is to ask. There are a lot of ways to get this data, and you will find that customers are happy to provide it.
Customers will be glad to tell you how they feel if you would only ask. Good surveys ask the most relevant, and revealing, questions possible. A great way to get your teams and your customers acquainted, provide value for the customer and gain essential data in the process. Social media interaction. You can find out a lot about what customers are thinking by taking the time to check out their communication in social media. Like Captain Kirk always said: “Engage.”
Customer journey mapping takes a lot of time, research, and collaboration. From management to customer service reps, the ability to align an entire company to best interact with customers will increase customer loyalty and position your company to be the first choice every time.
Know your customer and they will know you!