The Importance of a Customer Journey Map

CloudCherry | Featured | February 3, 2016

Let me start by asking a simple question: Do you know what customers truly feel about your brand? What is their perception of your brand? If you have trouble finding an answer, that is because you don’t have enough information about your customers, yet. And being in the dark about your own customers is why you should consider developing a customer journey map.

But, I’m already collecting customer feedback! Why do I need to create a journey map?

While you can definitely gather ample amount of data on your customers, no amount of that data can exactly tell you the quality of the customer experience across every single touch point of the customer journey.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

 

A customer journey map essentially tells the story of your customer’s experience with your brand from the beginning to the end. So what does that mean? Essentially, it involves mapping out how your customers perceive and react to your brand from the initial contact, through the process of sustained engagement, and ultimately to a long-term relationship.

This map could focus on one part of the journey or it can provide you with an overview of the entire experience. The goal is to identify important interactions that the customer experiences with your brand, discover their motivations and feelings behind engaging with you.

The Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping

 

A CX journey map can be a very powerful tool if it is utilized properly. No matter what type of business you conduct, you can gain a firm view of the customer’s experience and how they move through the sales funnel. You can also discover new ways to make your brand more customer friendly.

Most importantly, this tool can put you in a place in which you can fully understand dynamic customer behavior patterns and at what point along the journey customer preferences shift. It often results in changes and improvements in how you conduct your business. Journey maps can often result in motivating everyone involved inside and outside of your organization to consider the customers’ emotions , needs, and expectations while designing the experience.

Challenges that occur could be…

 

Every function, process or task is often encountered by numerous challenges. And a Customer Journey Map is no different, because without the right direction a CJM cannot generate desirable outcomes. Generally, a Customer Journey Map is bound to encounter

• Gaps between touchpoints: Social media or email, be it a kiosk set-up outside stores or SMS surveys, Customer wish for a flawless experience irrespective of the medium.

• Gadget to gadget breach: Some might be conventional and use a desktop, while the tech-savvy, on the go generation would prefer operating the mobile. Whatever be the case, the user shouldn’t face any difficulty while using different devices.

• Gaps in staff departments: The customer is bound to lose his patience when he finds his queries being lost between different departments of the organization.

Creating a Customer Journey Map

 

The first step in creating a map is to understand who your customers are. You may already have some data about your customers that you can use to develop your CX journey map, such as information on social media, search data, and survey information from those customers who chose to participate. Other forms of data, such as those who speak to you or your staff, emails, messages, and any other form of feedback, can also help in the development of the journey map.

There is no one way to produce a customer journey map. It is often presented in the form of an infographic with a timeline of the customer’s experience. You can also use a storyboard or a video. What you want to do with this map is to get the customer’s story in the front of your employees’ minds so that they thoroughly understand customer pain points and what needs to be done to ensure a smooth journey. You may wish to hire a designer to develop your map to ensure it is easily read and presentable.

Here are a few stand-out features of an efficient Customer journey map.

• Activity: Customers constantly interact with the brand, and at each stage they encounter positive and negative experiences. A powerful Customer Journey Map must meticulously track this customer data and monitor the actions taken by customers as they move from one stage to another.
• Inspiration: You’ve won over the customers’ trust and loyalty, when they feel motivated and confident to move from one stage to another with the brand.
• Uncertainties: Do your customer face any issues in progressing to the next stage? Are their qualms resolved as they continue journeying with the brand? Incorporating a thought on these factors while creating a Customer Journey Map is mandatory to achieve efficiency.
• Road-Block: A good CJM ensures that customers face absolutely no barriers while moving from one stage to another. This can bolster the faith customers invest in your brand.

While the map should not be overly complex, it must include both statistical and anecdotal evidence that highlights the customer’s needs and their interactions with your brand. Also keep in mind that the graphic does not have to map out every minute detail of their experience, but should provide a main story that focuses on the needs of the customer.