Try to remember the last time you have given up on a product or service because of a bad overall experience. As a customer, there is nothing worse than those situations where you expect one thing, just to receive a totally different result, as if you were dealing with two different companies. Customer journey mapping is essential for brands to avoid these pitfalls and boost customer experience.
To show how markets have changed in the last five years, let’s start with two insightful statistics:
92% of companies that reported a decline in customer satisfaction said that clients were most disappointed by inconsistent experience (Salesforce)
Customers are 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related rather than price or product related (Bain&Co.)
Even when your customers find everything they need in your products, even when you solve their problems and answer to their wants and requests, they will inevitably feel the bitter taste of dissatisfaction if forced into a bad customer experience. One missing link in their journey is more than enough to compromise an entire marketing strategy.
The battle for customer loyalty is more intense than ever before, and takes place on a different level: not products or prices but experiences - the key to differentiate from the competition.
As Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail”. Translated in business terms: to stay top of mind and retain clients’ attention, never underestimate the value of all different touch points, always maintaining the overall vision of your customer experience management, online and offline.
Easier said than done, and that’s where customer journey map becomes the perfect tool to accomplish this hard task.
In digital markets, made more complex by mobile devices and innovative technologies, the connection between brands and customers is not a flat line, a straight one-way communication. The conversion process might start with a search on a desktop computer, then continue on a smartphone - let’s say a branded app - and end up in a physical retail store - thanks to iBeacon and push notifications.
The customer journey map is a complete framework that illustrates all the stages customers go through when they interact with a brand: from initial contact, through purchasing, post conversion support, remarketing and - hopefully - repeat sales. It maps not just the experience that you want to provide to the customer, but also the one that clients would like to receive. Once you have identified the essential requirements of your map, you are ready to go to step two.
Why would you use a digital customer experience map? The ultimate aim of customer journey mapping is to identify areas for improvement and establish the appropriate technology to effectively enhance the experience across all stages of the customer life cycle. When you believe you truly know yourself and your clients, that is the moment you need it the most.
The map is the only tool that enables you to understand - and eventually fill - the gap that separates the experience that you think you are offering from the journey you actually offer. Any inconsistency between the two increases the percentage of people that will stop doing business with you and become someone else’s customer
If we were to pinpoint the 4 key advantages of customer journey mapping, we would definitely say:
Personalize the experience;
Communicate and act proactively;
Identify and remove bottlenecks;
- Improve efficiency and remove inconsistencies;
Despite being one of the three basic elements of an omni-channel customer experience, journey mapping is not an easy task. It requires deep involvement, the implementation of big data and analytics platforms and - most of all - the ability to look at yourself without filters and the willingness to take that further step from words to action.
It takes time and dedication, but the results are worth the effort. Here are 4 ways customer journey map is essential to design a seamless customer experience and remove inefficient silos and practices:
- Understand customer’s POV - the great thing about mapping is that you can understand exactly how customers experience your brand across all touch points - digital, physical and mobile. Once you have reached such an incredible knowledge, you will be able to tailor-cut your content marketing and engagement actions to better reach them at all stages of the inbound conversion path.
- Recognize Moments of Truth - a framework includes all sorts of touch points, channels and media. Of course not all interactions have the same importance, so how can you recognize the ones truly impacting on your business results? One reason why you should create your own map is exactly to highlight meaningful moments of truth and separate them from those with a lesser relevance.
- Connect with emotions - human desires and needs change over and over again, following the evolution of society and technology. The main reason behind this change is not rational; it's emotional. The weight of emotions in the purchase decision is now higher than ever. Why would customers choose you? A proper map helps you in setting appropriate emotional goals and objectives for every single step of the customer journey.
- Make sense of data - numbers have always been the root of every customer journey map (a tool not so young as you may think); innovative devices plus the Internet plus proximity marketing plus big data make it possible to develop a knowledge inconceivable just few years ago. A well designed map helps you set metrics and time lines to measure the real-time impact of your strategy. To offer the best experience, whenever your clients need it and wherever they are.
You will never have a real process of improvement if you don’t accept the fact that you must dig down deep - putting your identity into play - to understand how your customer experience works, from your client’s perspective. A true and efficient digital transformation always starts from the bottom, the customer.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Map Your Digital Customer Journey, Mobile First
The creation of a proper customer journey map is one of the blocks of the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. You can download the free paper here: