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Customer Journey Mapping – What is it and Why do you need it?

Customer Journey Mapping – What is it and Why do you need it?

21st February 2018

Any customer buying a product or service is on one step of a long journey, created by all the moments leading up to and after the purchase. You want the journey to be as effective and rewarding as possible. However a negative experience or misaligned message at any stage could easily lead to a lost or unhappy customer.

By mapping out the entire process your customer goes through from start to finish you can experience first-hand what a user is feeling, their motivations and any questions they may have (that you haven’t already answered). Ultimately all of this helps you to see what works well, and in turn, if there are any areas to be improved. Knowing everything you can about your customers journey allows you to provide the most seamless experience possible. Keep reading, as we break down the 5 stages all customer journeys involve.

5 Main Stages of the Customer Journey

1. Awareness. From both advertising and the brand message you are putting out, your customer should know exactly who you are.

2. Evaluation: Our natural reaction when we see something we like is to search for it on sites such as Google to find out more. Search helps us shape our insights and choices at the early stages of the journey by helping us to find the best deals and by linking relevant comments and reviews. Meaning you want as much as possible out there to show potential customers how great both you and your product are.

3. Purchase: An obvious stage but when the customer actually buys your product. This is a key point in the journey but by no means the end.

4. Retention: If everything leading up to this point is seamless and easy then someone who started with a one off purchase could soon become your best customer. A great experience is likely to lead to a great relationship and therefore future purchases.

5. Advocacy: Finally a happy customer is likely to rave about the products and the service they experienced.  From social media posts such as tweets and photos on Instagram to online reviews.

customer-journey-mapping

Customer Mapping can focus on either the whole journey or just a particular part of it. It helps to identify any gaps that are disjointed, for example, moving between devices or channels. A perfect example would be if a customer is transitioning to the website through social media. If this conversion isn’t seamless it could lead to a lost customer. These stages are called touch-points, which is essentially any time a customers comes in contact with your brand. Here are a few top tips on mapping out all of the touch-points:

Identifying the Touch-points

– Map multiple paths: One specific touch-point can have multiple paths of entry. For example did the customer find you through organic search or via a display ad campaign. Each individual element has its own pro’s and con’s.

– Distinguish between front and back end: When evaluating a touch-point, it is critical to not only look at the back end. (behind the scenes) Whilst everything may look like its functioning, any glitches on the front end (what is visible to the customer) can be the difference between a customer continuing their journey or ending it to go somewhere else.

– Distinguish between major and minor: Touch-points are not created equal. Focus on the pressure points that impact the customer experience the most first before working your way through the rest.

Storytelling is not just a tool to engage users but a way to teach organisations about their customers. Ultimately, a customer journey map creates shared goals and a common vision throughout your organisation, ensuring that the business goals are aligned to the goals of the consumers.

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