In today’s world, customers are increasingly demanding and don’t hesitate to switch brands after a single poor experience. To retain customers and maintain their competitive edge, companies need to objectively evaluate themselves from their customer’s points of view. Companies need to understand what their customers want and how they want to do business. The solution is to accomplish this through customer journey mapping.
But what is a customer journey map?
At its core, a customer journey map is a story.
A customer journey map is a living document, a roadmap for the entire organization that tells the story of customer motivations, experiences and interactions with a company. While it can take many forms, customer journey maps are usually accomplished through an infographic that includes both major and minor touch points across the customer-brand relationship. These maps uncover ways to create more connected and personal customer experiences that encourage customer success and engagement.
This process provides multiple opportunities to better identify disjointedness between touchpoints in the customer experience. For instance, there might be competing priorities or gaps in communication across channels, devices, and departments. These gaps inhibit efficient customer service and frustrate customers. Whether simple or sophisticated, rough or streamlined, customer journey mapping is a valuable diagnostic activity for any business.
How do customer journey maps work?
While customer journey maps will vary business to business, there are fundamental components to consider, like personas, timelines, emotions, touchpoints and channels. These components from customer and business perspectives are brought together in a customer journey map to identify service opportunities. They will also highlight improvements that can benefit both sides through savings in time, money and frustration.
For example, if a customer is on a web page and can’t find the information he needs, they are likely to generate a chat, email, or phone call to get their question answered. Each channel is more expensive than the last in terms of agent cost. Real-time dashboards and historical customer journey reporting can point out trends in channel hopping, the same way traditional Call Transfer Analysis and First Call / Contact Resolution reports uncover training inadequacies or a need for agent coaching. The map can show areas in which you can improve your customer journey and lead customers to feel more connected to their brand.
How do I go about creating a customer journey map?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a customer journey map. They can be as varied and diverse as the organizations that incorporate them. What is universal is that the customer-brand connection has a clear and definite result on net profits and Net Promoter Scores. The data collected via a properly executed customer journey map can also give you clear insight into how to strengthen this connection.
Regardless of variability, there are some guidelines and healthy steps on creating a customer journey map you can follow. They can teach you how to apply a customer journey map once created, and how to use contextual data to identify customer experience deficiencies. These efforts won’t go unnoticed, and businesses will soon find they have connected customers that are loyal, anxious to engage, and emphatically promote their favorite brand.
Above all, a customer journey map strives to capture and improve genuine customer engagement. In a mobile world where likes, views, and shares often determine the validity and drive the latest trend, the human touch tends to be forgotten. While exceptional experiences may be difficult to create, customer journey maps lend direction to these endeavors and push beyond quantifying metrics prevalent in social media. Genuine customer engagement hinges on personalization and creating a relationship from which both the customer and business can benefit.
Want to see how VUE can help get your customer journey map jumpstarted? Contact us today for a solutions consultation.
This Aceyus blog post is co-authored by: Ben Vesta, Vice President of Product Development and Cristofo Romani, Application Consultant.