Can customer service be linked to all key interactions that a customer has with an organization? At what stage of the journey does the interaction happen? Is it just a one-step process? Or as research has proved does the customer have more than one key interactions before the final sales process is completed? Typically, the more valuable the service or product the more the interactions in the customer journey.
A customer journey map tells the story of the customer’s experience from initial contact through the various points of engagement to purchase and all the way beyond to keeping loyalty. What it always does is identify key interactions that the customer has with the organization. The customer journey map looks at the entire spectrum of engagement.
Typically timeline of a customer journey includes first engaging with a customer (through advertisement or in a store), buying the product or service, using it, sharing about the experience with others (in person or online) and then finishing the journey by upgrading, replacing or choosing a competitor( restarting the journey with another company). It talks about the user’s experience( sense of anticipation or frustration), motivations and triggers at each of these touchpoints. It gives a clear picture as to what is the customer’s greater motivation, what do they wish to achieve, and what are their expectations of the organization.
The more touchpoints the more complicated the customer journey becomes but the map makes it more clearer.
Customer Journey Map: When and Why
Journey maps are generally created against a specific business goal. If the map does not align with reality it cannot achieve the desired business goal. The journey maps shift a company’s perspective from inside-out to outside-in. If an organization allows internal processes and systems to drive decisions that affect customer experience, a journey map could help turn by refocusing on the thoughts, actions and emotions of customers.
The advent of digital technologies in gathering and analyzing massive amounts of data captured throughout the customer journey help in making informed decisions. The use of big data and improved data analytic capabilities help ecommerce business owners and service providers have better insights into the customer buying patterns and their journey path. In turn, companies are working on redefining the customer journey path to their advantage. Customer journeys are being proactively managed by digital marketers through algorithms and data science.
Effective customer journey mapping consists of four main steps:
- Information Gathering: Key stakeholders and collaborators are engaged and information gathered from various customer interactions.
- Gather existing data
- Interview of stakeholders
- Analyze and Get insights: Analyze state of the journey from the information gathered and get all possible inferences including key highlights and problem areas in the customer journey.
- Insights from analysis
- Highlights and fallouts
- Customer Journey: Using insights gathered from the analysis, research new narratives to depict the customer journey.
- Perform qualitative, primary research
- Educate and engage stakeholders
- Prescriptive Projection: Creating the framework redefining the scope and goal using the reframed journey map.
- Define the scope and goal
- Model a draft framework
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