When was the last time you tested your customer journey?
Your business is up and running and you’re probably starting to think about how to grow your revenue and build a successful and sustainable enterprise for the long-term. You’ve established your customer base to carry out productive research by building and analysing a customer-journey map.
A customer-journey map is an info-graphic visualisation of the process that a persona segment goes through in order to accomplish a goal. Journey maps are useful in communicating the general narratives and themes uncovered by longitudinal research done to understand how a customer works toward a goal over time. Every journey map will look different because the research insights and the resulting visual depend entirely on the context of the journey, its underlying activities, and the persona completing it.
These customer journey maps are not a new thing, but as new technologies and communication channels have infiltrated the buying journey, the digital customer journey maps today look more like elaborate pinball games. Customers bounce from channel to channel at will, at any time of day or night, often creating their own touch points via third-party sources. So now, it is up to each individual business to make sense of the trails they follow and the final outcomes of each interaction.
Today, digital customer journey maps are less about static directional paths and more about living, breathing information that businesses need to capture and analyse in real time. We know it sounds overwhelming, but research shows that spending time developing, optimising and testing an effective digital customer journey map is highly beneficial for the organisation.
Once done with development, the next most important thing you can do is optimisation and to optimise your digital customer journey map is to recognise that it’s a way to gather information about your customers—preferably in real time. The more information you’re able to gather, the better. This means you’ll constantly need to be adding new touch points, channels, and devices, including even those managed by third parties, as technology and the data gained from it continues to evolve.
As with anything in digital transformation, your digital customer journey map is meant to change over time. This means you must constantly work with your team to test your digital customer journey map. You’ll have to evaluate all the three basic stages, pain points and the various touch points.
Once you’ve evaluated every stage of the customer journey, you’ll have a full picture of the customer pain points associated with each stage. Plot these into the map, recognise the gap and take steps to close these gaps to ensure that customers are getting a full, clear picture of your brand and services. You might also want to plan with your team how your organisation will remove obstacles and facilitate a smoother customer progression.
Step into the shoes of your customers. Rather than thinking of where you would like to meet the customer on their journey, think of where they’d naturally want to meet your company—be it a specific pain point, problem, or issue. Add that issue to your digital customer journey map and proactively address it as frequently as possible. Ultimately, the end goal is to build empathy for the customer. This will help your team stay focused on your quest to build a great user experience.
Without empathy and understanding, your marketing efforts will be futile. Emotion is at the core of your relationship with customers. Putting yourself in their shoes during the experience will help gain a wider
understanding of what drives decisions. Understanding motivations and frictions will help you transform interested prospects into loyal long-term customers.
If maintaining a digital customer journey map seems like a lot of work, that’s because it is. Whether you’re evaluating journey research for the creation of a map or digesting a map created by another party, it’s important to know what to look for. As the creator of the map, you’ll want to test frequently to identify and call attention to these important elements through visual emphasis and storytelling. It’s a process of creating as complete of a map as you can to lead your customer where they personally want to go—knowing that destination might even change tomorrow.
ABL Recruitment team