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The Critical Importance of Customer Journey Mapping
4 June 2020 15:47pm
When we’re considering the digital journey a customer makes when they’re en route to making a purchase, there are some key stages they go through.
Nowadays, customers use multiple devices during that journey. They’re using them to consume information, to learn, share and compare before making their decision to go with you.
We know the user experience now has many more touchpoints. It includes your website, social media and third-parties beyond your control, like review sites or user-generated content. All impacting their decision.
Now the journey has more roads, you as the organisation need to be consistent.
Your consumers expect you to have the information or resources they need, regardless of what medium they’ve used to get to you.
This is where customer journey mapping helps organisations identify and streamline opportunities.
A customer journey map is an illustration of the customer experience. It shows how your potential customers are interacting with your brand during these varied touchpoints.
You might be thinking, well, this is all very good for your customers, but how does the company benefit from mapping out the customer journey?
Let’s dive into the benefits:
1. It keeps business objectives relevant and at the core
Gaps might emerge in the customer journey as you build a sales funnel. Knowing these gaps can guide the decisions you make as a business and where investments might be needed.
This exercise extends beyond the marketing team. Creating a map also means creating a framework that allows everyone involved to see where they fit in and where they need to work together. You’ll be able to understand where some actions will need to be prioritised over others. This provides an indication of the overall performance of the company when you’re able to look at it as a whole. You’ll reduce silos and encourage a collective attitude toward achieving a shared goal.
2. It highlights stages in the buying process that need to change
You’ve got a collective understanding of the goals and everyone knows their role in achieving it. Now your customer map needs to focus on the customer data.
Your website analytics lets your marketers analyse your users’ behaviour. This means the stages in your customer purchase cycle is accurate. Knowing this means you can successfully predict and influence more sales.
You can tangibly see which stages take the most time. Then you can dive into why. Is your website preventing conversions because it’s not accessible to some users? Is the search function not fit for purpose? There are many potential blockers that could easily be fixed by a designer and a developer.
Using these audience insights identifies where you should direct your attention. Specifically, doing more of the right things and fine-tuning the less successful stages to encourage a valuable customer experience.
3. It creates a personal user experience
Mapping all potential interactions (touchpoints) a person might have with your brand allows marketers to create a personal customer experience at the same time as measuring the success of their campaigns.
The detail a customer journey map produces will reduce generalisation. Meaning, those users of your website, for example, who don’t convert to customers, can be assessed and addressed. Without mapping their journey, you might overlook them, which would be a mistake and a loss of opportunity (which means profit, if you need more convincing).
Creating a customer journey map means having a clear picture of how your customers like to engage with you and you respond by creating a digital experience to cater to that.3. It places the focus on building empathy.
Today, personas lead the way for successful sales. Knowing motivations, pain points, challenges, preferences, attitudes and behaviours of users and customers, along with traditional demographic data, combine to create a complete picture, which can be used by marketers to deliver what they need and when to guide them toward purchasing.
By grouping personas, you learn about your customer. By doing this, you create empathy. You understand them. You can then predict their behaviour.
4. It encourages
The main aim of a lot of marketing tactics is to encourage your customers to move from their awareness phase to consideration, then toward purchase. Each persona will approach each stage differently.
A customer purchasing technology they’re not familiar with will need a lot of time to research. They’ll need lots of information before they move to the next stage. An IT Manager, for example, will go through this stage a lot faster than a procurement individual.
Mapping allows a marketer to get a deep understanding of each person’s needs and what will motivate them toward conversion.
5. It highlights important touchpoints
You can only understand your customer if you can see things from their perspective. Having a grasp of their perspective means you can match your communication to that.
A well-thought-out customer journey map identifies the touchpoints that are catalysts for a customer to achieve their goals. In our digital world, this means a seamless experience with your website, for example.
Every touchpoint is an opportunity to engage a customer and enhance their experience with your brand. Some have a bigger influence than others. We only know this if we have the data to analyse. Audience insight brings companies closer to their overall objectives and doesn’t leave it purely on the shoulders of marketing.
We believe in keeping your user at the heart of your website project. When we design and develop a site, we conduct thorough research to make sure we meet their needs. Their customer experience is directly linked to how they transition through their customer journey.