Customer journey mapping
Mapping a customer journey helps marketers visualise the story of a customer’s experience gained from key interactions with a business, tracking the milestones as prospects travel from initial discovery through to purchase and then a post sales long-term relationship.
The process of developing a customer journey map is a useful one for any organisation. It will provide valuable insights into the customers’ needs, expectations and potential frustrations at each step of their journey. These insights can be overlaid onto a marketing funnel to help you create the best marketing mix helping prospects progress to the point of placing an order, and ensure maximum customer retention post sale.
As the customer journey is a connected process it doesn’t just help marketers with campaign and marketing content planning, it also helps companies realise the whole omnichannel experience a customer will have, taking into consideration interactions with sales, customer service, technical support and logistics. This visual map will help you understand how to further structure each of the different departmental touchpoints that interact with a customer enabling the creation of a more effective and efficient process.
There are many ways you can visualise a customer journey, however the journey map will always consist of a multiple-step process. In the example template shown below we have broken down the buying process into five basic key steps; awareness and interest, consideration, decision and purchase, retention, and finally advocacy.
It may be the case that you want to delve into more granular detail and you may wish to break these steps out or add others. Remember these steps may vary based on the product or service you offer and also based on the persona of the customers.
As you develop your customer journey map you should consider the perspective of a customer, but where do you begin? It helps to start by running a mapping workshop with your internal cross functional teams. Sales, marketing, customer service and technical support will all have valuable insights to add. You may also wish to collect some voice of customer information either with some simple phone calls or by running some simple surveys, and ensure you leverage existing data you have such as your marketing analytics. Customers will be more than willing to help out if you are going to implement business changes that make for a better customer experience. At the end of the mapping process make sure you pressure test some of your findings by discussing them with other members of your company or even trusted customers, this will ensure you get a 360 degree view of your selling process.
In the mapping process you will want to investigate a number of key areas starting with activities customers take within each step, and what their desired outcome is. Think about your customer’s pain points, how they could easily overcome those hurdles and what “good” looks like from their perspective.
Next review all of the touchpoints customers have at each step of the journey. These are points of interaction, they could be places of learning (scientific publications, key exhibitions, websites, marketing communications). They might be in person interactions such as meeting a sales rep or an application scientist, and as a prospect moves towards purchase consider interactions with customer service teams and their associated systems.
In the B2B market space often there is more than one person involved in the buying process, there can sometimes be layers of decision makers involved, different channels to navigate and many steps before a sale can be actioned. So evaluate the different cross business interactions that may need to happen as part of a customer journey.
Assess how you are currently performing. Using a basic scoring mechanism plot the level of experience that a customer feels they are receiving from your business at each step of the journey. Add narrative as to why the customer currently feels they are receiving that experience. Highlight what is good and what is not working at the moment.
Once you have considered the customer journey from the perspective of a customer and pressure tested it you can start to add your our perspectives, for example, what are your business goals at each step of the process, how do you measure against those goals, do you have established KPIs and metrics? You may want to include lead generation numbers, conversion rates, logistics data, customer service satisfaction ratings and survey results. If you aren’t achieving those metrics then what countermeasures could you take to drive improvement?
Finally consider what systems, platforms and standard operating procedures do you have in place to service each step of the customer journey. Based on your metrics, performance and countermeasures you can determine if you have the correct and most efficient systems in place.
In conclusion the customer journey map helps companies visualise each of the stages of the pre and post sales process. It can be used to help improve marketing planning, content development, sales engagement and overall customer experience. It can help give a succinct overview of the commercial platforms and operating procedures used by an organisation highlighting where efficiency measures could be made. A customer journey map can make a valuable training tool when onboarding new members of staff, highlighting how the organisation is currently performing and explaining the shared goals to drive improvement. Ultimately the mapping process will help you convert more prospects to sales and assist you in retaining and growing your customer base.
From strategic planning to campaign execution, Polymorphic Marketing can help your company at each step in it’s marketing process. Contact us for a free of charge consultancy call.