Stepping into the customer’s shoes.
At first glance, its often easy to dismiss a customer journey as being something very simple – you offer a product or service, and the customer buys it. However, the customer journey is often incredibly complex.
The shift to e-commerce has redefined customer expectations. Customers expect to be able to order
almost anything online and have it delivered quickly to their front door. They also use multiple channels to communicate with businesses including email, phone, text, social media, in-person, etc.
As customers become more sophisticated, so too do their expectations, and the experience of buying from a certain company can almost be as important as the product or service itself. This is why customer journey mapping has become so important.
A customer journey map is a visual representation of the customers touchpoints with your business, from first interaction through to final delivery of the product or service, as well as payment. The idea is to help the business to step into the customer’s shoes in order to see things from their perspective, identify pain points and come up with ways to improve.
In order to create a customer journey map, all possible touchpoints are drawn out including advertisements, website, social media, interaction with your sales team and so forth. User journeys are then created from these various touchpoints for each type of buyer. For example, a millennial may become aware of your product or service via social media, research it on your website, read some online independent user reviews and make a purchase online using their laptop, tablet or mobile phone. The map should also include details of the actions the customer needs to take at each stage of the journey.
There are multiple benefits to creating a customer journey map. They allow you to optimise the customer experience and make it easier for the customer to make a purchase decision and close a sale.
Going through the mapping process also helps you to understand the customer experience first-hand and spot ways to make the customer journey easier, more enjoyable, or faster.
Mapping out the customer journey also helps you to create a more logical order for your buyer’s journey – for example, allowing them to enter the delivery address and then asking them if they want to use the same address on the billing page, so they don’t have to re-enter their address.