The concept of a Customer Journey is older than many who implement it. Born in the late 80’s with practices such as service blueprint, the customer journey map refers to what customers do at each stage of their lifecycle: before, during and after buying a brand.
According to Gartner, organizations that have and use customer journey maps are twice as likely to outperform their competitors as those that do not. And what could be better than winning more customers than our competitors?
Today there is a lot of talk about customer experience and it is worth understanding that it depends entirely on the success of the journey: we all know that a flawless customer journey will result in happy and loyal brand advocates. However, the “how” of achieving this holy grail has stopped most brands in their tracks.
Why are Customer Journey Maps important?
Customer journey maps are crucial business tools for many reasons. Not only is the market tough and competition is high, but user expectations are increasing day by day. Today’s customers expect beautiful, easy-to-navigate applications, and this expectation of ease and intolerance for “frustrating” experiences has spread to other industries as well.
Achieving brand loyalty is also more complicated than ever. Simple interactions with companies now involve complex systems and interconnected networks of people and technology. Customers expect there to be a single chain of information throughout their interactions with a brand, but this is often not the case.
If a user has a good impression of a brand, but the experience falls apart when they call customer service for the third time in a row and find themselves repeating everything, this can ruin their entire experience, even if it’s just one part of the customer journey.
The benefits of working with Customer Journey Maps
Although there are many more benefits, some of the main ones are:
- Identify gaps between the desired process and the actual process: defining a complete and exhaustive map will allow us to identify experience or service gaps in the buying process that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
- Align product development with business needs: through the use of customer journey maps, all departments get a uniform view of the path a buyer takes when interacting with the brand. This ensures that all teams have the same intelligence, allowing them to work towards a common goal.
- They help predict how buyers will behave as our relationship with them progresses: a good journey map establishes the most relevant stress points and allows us to generate strategies to mitigate any problems that may arise along the way.
- Prioritize efforts and initiatives: by defining the main pains and benefits of our key customers, we obtain a complete x-ray that allows us to identify the most important points of improvement, allowing us to focus the product backlog on mitigating these problems.
- Improve sales: maps help leverage customer feedback to improve the experience during sales cycles. A company that prioritizes customer experience is more likely to retain customers. Customers can also refer their friends, making them ambassadors of our brand.
Points of attention
A travel map only admits one type of customer person. Each person responds differently to stimuli, both positive and negative. We must design different customer journey maps for each type of person we have defined.
The influence of external factors on customer behavior should not be considered. A journey map captures the standard or typical behavior of a customer. It does not take into account extreme conditions, such as an emergency during which the customer’s needs and behavior will be different.
Every company should have strategies in place to improve the customer experience. By adopting customer experience mapping, a company puts itself in a more advantageous position to survive a competitive market. Any business looking to improve its products, make and retain customers should look no further than the Customer Journey Map.