The way sellers think of retail has changed enormously in the past couple of decades. Years ago, the customer went to the store and picked up whatever product they needed. At most, they went back to return an item. Nowadays, there are many other touchpoints between customer and seller. And the way to convert these interactions into a seamless experience is through customer journey mapping.
What is Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer journey mapping is the process of visually representing the customers’ experience with your company. Once you’ve set up a customer journey map, it will show you each moment of direct customer-company communication.
Some of the critical elements of a customer journey map:
- Personas: These are the people you’re directing products to; in other words, the target audience. You can be offering the most incredible products and services, and they’ll get lost in the noise if the wrong people are looking.
- Timeline: You should be taking the whole experience into account, from the moment a potential customer becomes aware of the brand until the moment they’re happy with the results. You could be looking at a process of over a year, which is why you need to know the exact timeframe.
- Emotions: It’s essential to understand the way customers feel at each point of their experience. New customers, for example, may feel uneasy but curious about what awaits.
- Touchpoints: These are the moments of direct contact between the company and the customer. One example can be email correspondence with a potential customer to answer their questions.
- Devices: These are the tools that connect you with customers, for example, a landing page inviting customers to a special event you’re organizing.
Some of the benefits of customer journey mapping include:
- It allows you to see the moments of interaction between customers and business.
- It helps to identify the logical order of the customer journey.
- It can make you focus on the customers’ specific needs at each stage of their journey.
- It’ll allow you to see the process from the outside for an “objective” perspective.
- With it, you can develop priorities according to how customers move around your website and brand.
- It can let you see what matters the most to focus efforts and expenses to maximize effectiveness.
- You can pinpoint what you’re doing wrong and working on improving the experience for the customers.
The perfectly useful customer journey mapping should include:
- Every moment in which the customer and your business come into contact.
- Quantitative elements. It should include your Google Analytics and software for call center management.
- The post-purchase journey. The customer journey doesn’t end after hitting the “buy” button. In these times, it doesn’t stop until your customer is entirely satisfied, even if they had to make a return. You need to do everything you can to improve even that moment of the journey.
AVIS uses "We try harder." as their brand promise.
The ultimate goal of customer journey mapping is to build the most pleasant experience possible. You want customers to have a hiccup-free journey across your brand and ultimately come back. By seeing each point of their trip and matching it up with your brand, you can see what works and what doesn’t. This way, you can fix any issues and build great relationships with the customers.
Planning Your Future
We live in a world of growing retail, where online and offline sales work hand in hand. You need to be on multiple channels at once, catering to your customers of all ages.
Customer journey mapping is the first step towards a multi-channel retail strategy.
These are some of the factors:
- Consumers are shifting from offline to online, particularly younger generations. Digital natives are now old enough to have a strong say in the industry, and they tend to favor online shopping. You need to make the experience as pleasant as possible for them.
- Even brick and mortar stores are going digital. Even if you’re not ready to try eCommerce yet, you should provide an online experience.
- New consumers are more conscious of their purchases. Consumers research products, they look into social media and check review sites.
- The number of touchpoints is continually increasing. Besides taking care of your actual business, you need to be on top of your website, social media, and every other channel available. Every contact can make or break your relationship with a new customer.
How Do I Know If My Customer Journey Is the Right One?
You need to set your customer journey map to find out the kind of experience you’re providing. Bright Vessel is here to walk you through each step of the process. Contact us to find out more about our services!