In our world today, it is really difficult to determine the various ways in which a consumer interacts with brands. It could be from gaining awareness via social media or through receiving a “thank you for your purchase” email after a successful transaction. It is a complicated process.
You can not predict this kind of thing or assume based on your thoughts. The journey of every customer is usually a unique one and the most efficient way to get a clear picture of this unique journey, is to ask the customer.
However, it is not just enough to get a clear picture of the customer journey. To make the most of it, you need to form a mental picture of a diagram that you and other employees can always refer to as a resource. This is where you introduce a customer journey map.
The customer journey map is a visual representation of the process a customer or prospect goes through to achieve a goal with your company or organization. Using artificial intelligence will help you discover the reasons behind customer decisions – their needs and pain points.
When you understand the reasons behind the decisions your customers make, you can now know how to arrange your touchpoints to create a very effective process for your customers. A customer journey map informs you visually on the current process, from the beginning to the last touchpoint, so you’ll know if your customers are attaining the goals and, if not, how they can.
It is really difficult to get a mental picture of the map because customer journey can no longer be represented in a linear journey (buyers will usually take a back and forth, cyclical and multi-channel journey).
This has made lots of well-informed leaders resort to using different methods in representing the journey, from post-it notes on the boardroom wall, to Excel Spreadsheets, to infographics. What really matters is that the map makes sense to those that will be using it.
Why Is a Customer Journey Map Important?
It’s quite easy to convince yourself that this is not really necessary for you or your company. You might think there is no need for it because you already know the needs and understand the pain points of your customers. But that is not just the case. There is more to a customer journey map.
1. You can refocus your company with an inbound perspective.
Instead of trying so hard to find customers through outbound marketing, inbound marketing can make things easier by letting your customers discover you.
The tactics used in outbound marketing are poorly targeted at an audience that is not interested, hence the low customer interest.
2. You can create a new target customer base.
Understanding the customer journey will help you have an in-depth knowledge of the demographics and psychographics of your customers. Lack of this knowledge will lead to waste of time and money because it is futile to repeatedly target an audience that is not interested in your products, services or content.
3. You can create a customer-focused mentality throughout the company.
The bigger the company grows, the more difficult it becomes to coordinate all the departments to be as customer-focused as your customer service and support team. Their marketing and sales goals might not resonate with real customers. It is important to move on the sales automation process to make things systematic.
You can share your customer journey map with your whole organization. This map is amazing because it provides a visual representation of every single step of the customer journey from initial purchase to post-purchase support. This includes sales, service, and marketing.
How to Create a Customer Journey Map
- Set clear objectives for the map.
- Profile your personas and define their goals.
- List out all the touchpoints.
- Identify the elements you want your map to show.
- Take the customer journey yourself.
- Make the necessary changes.