Many of our previous articles discussed the customer journey mapping and its importance to understand the customer-brand rapport and improve customer experience accordingly. The story your customer shares with your brand is vital to understand your business’s position in the market.
To give a brief introduction, the customer journey is a complete round-up of interactions that occurred between the customer and brand via different touchpoints from the first encounter to the last. Typically, a customer journey consists of four major phases such as awareness, consideration, purchase, and post-purchase.
In this article, we are going to guide you on mapping or visualizing your customers’ journey to understand their triumphs and pain points better.
1. The Ideal Customer Persona
Who is your typical customer, or who are your typical customers?
A business usually has more than one ideal customer profile, and it’s important to gain a good understanding of each of them. Knowing your customers and their purchasing behaviors can help you map their journey more accurately. So the first step would be to research and find out as much as you can about them. You can even use existing customer records for this purpose. Segment your customer personas based on demographic characters like age, location, and purchasing power and study their requirements, expectations, and behavior.
2. Customer Lifecycle
Once you comprehend your customer, it becomes easier to view the brand from your customers’ perception. So, the next step is to envisage the customer lifecycle by walking in your customer’s shoes. This refers to the entire process customers go through from the first touchpoint to the last.
According to Jaakko Männistö in his book, “The Journey – How to Create the Happiest Customers in the World”, identifying what compelled customers to consider your brand is very valuable. It helps you map the journey more accurately, eliminating erroneous guesswork. Therefore, it’s vital to sketch the customer lifecycle first by interviewing your customers or gathering feedback.
3. Customer Touchpoints
Customer journey is, in fact, a collection of touchpoints. So, the most important aspect of mapping a customer journey is to identify touchpoints relevant to your business, categorize them under each phase, and create a detailed journey map.
Once done, it’s easier to identify areas where your business performs well and areas where your business lags behind when it comes to providing a good customer experience. You can gather information on the quality of touchpoints from customer feedback and fine-tune them.
4. Gaps and Pain Points
As you map and analyze the efficacy of customer touchpoints, you will be able to identify gaps that exist between customer expectations and the brand’s actual delivery. Gaps disrupt the smooth transition from one touchpoint to another and diminish the customer experience. More often, it’s these gaps that give rise to pain points that deter customers from doing business with you.
Jaakko Männistö, in his book, highlights three major stages in which gaps can exist within the customer journey. They are devices, departments, and channels that allow customers to move from one phase to another. The transition from one touchpoint to another in each of them has to be managed effectively.
No customer journey mapping will be perfect until you have assigned Key Performance Indicators to measure and evaluate the quality of touchpoints in each phase. They help you improve and update the journey map as you go. KPIs are also necessary to identify pain points within the customer journey and fix them. So, once you have a fully-fledged customer journey map, use KPIs to monitor, track, and assess how various touchpoints affect customer experience. Some of the frequently used KPIs are Customer Effort Score (CES), Customer Satisfaction Score (C-SAT), and Net Promoter Score (NPS).