Why The Customer Journey Map Is Vital To Customer Experience
A customer journey map is a customer research tool used to discover the customer's journey and identify opportunities for improvement. Stakeholders can use customer journey maps to better understand their customers by identifying touchpoints, defining objectives, creating customer personas, identifying relevant channels, mapping journeys across multiple channels to form the customer experience ecosystem, prioritising tactical initiatives based on customer feedback, and quantifying potential business impact through data analysis and calibration with financial outcomes.
Why Is Customer Journey Mapping Important?
Customer journey mapping is an essential tool used in customer experience improvements since they help organisations to better connect with their customers by increasing usability, removing bottlenecks that cause unnecessary friction points and synthesising large quantities of customer feedback into tangible plans of action. Understanding how customers move across different touchpoints throughout their day will also help stakeholders to prioritise customer experience initiatives.
It is beneficial for customer-facing departments - customer service, sales, marketing and customer insights - to work together during the process of creating customer journey maps so that they can identify opportunities for customer experience improvement across different touchpoints within the customer journey. This way, strategic goals across all departments will be achieved concurrently.
When Should Customer Journey Maps Be Used?
Customer journey maps are used as an early-stage diagnostic tool to assess customer experience. They can be used as part of customer experience audits and customer feedback programmes, where customer feedback is captured through surveys, interviews or focus groups. Data gathered from customer journey maps can also be used to help calibrate customer satisfaction scores with financial outcomes.
There are five steps in creating a customer journey map:
1) Determine objectives - What insights do you hope to gain from the customer journey map?
2) Create customer personas - Who are your customers? What are their needs?
3) Identify touchpoints - Where do your customers interact with your company?
4) Plot the journey - Draw the customer's path on the map
5) Take the journey - Experience the customer journey yourself. This will give you a first-hand understanding of what it is like to be a customer and will help you identify areas for improvement.
The customer journey is not a straight line. It meanders and changes direction, often as a result of one bad experience at any point in the journey. This is why each step in the process needs to be as important as the next and customer experience initiatives should be prioritised according to customer feedback. Ultimately, the customer journey map is an essential tool because it helps organisations create a blueprint of how customers interact with them across multiple touchpoints, enables measurement and benchmarking of customer experience against competitors and helps drive customer loyalty.
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