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How customer journey maps can lead to higher ROI

16th Aug 2017
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customer journey maps

Every day we talk about customer experience (CX), user experience (UX), user interaction with the mobile app or website, user data and analytics.

Have you ever wondered what do these things really have to do with improving the traffic, ROI and conversions?

Today, most companies are comprehending that the competitive advantage lies in developing and delivering an engaging, personal, easy, interactive and useful customer experience in whatever form the business runs- be it through an app, a website or brick-and-mortar. What’s brought the biggest change in this marketing wave is the increase in customer touchpoints through technology.

As a matter of fact, customer journey is no more limited to funnels but starts long before the customer steps/logs into your app/website or store- it starts with a customer journey map.

Customer journey map is the new thing, and that’s how businesses are going to gain that edge over competitors. To become a household name and user’s favorite, each of the startups, enterprises, SMBs in this digital landscape has to understand the concept and implement it to generate high returns.

What is a Customer Journey Map?

As the name suggests, it’s the projection of the consumer’s lifecycle phase by phase- the steps that users take in finding, choosing, buying and living with a product or service. It’s the overall interaction of the customer with your business. Customer journey maps help organizations to find out what’s that attract the customers to stay on the page and what’s that turn them off.

Companies can identify the spots that need improvement so as to engage customers for a longer period. The value that a journey map brings to the table is priceless. No funnels could ever perform the in-depth analysis the way it’s done by a customer journey map.

Building a Customer Journey Map

Though every company has its unique way of creating this map and analyzing user’s stroll, which may be mapped to their objectives and goals out of the service they provide, all of them emerge with the single purpose of tracing user’s behavior on each click. Notwithstanding the change in design patterns, some key elements that each journey map must attribute to include:

  • Identify Customer’s Persona: provides the complete picture on how the customer looks like. What’s their current situation and how they plan to embark on the future journey- it’s a brief customer profile.
  • Identify the Outcomes: tells you what the ideal customer is trying to achieve.
  • Trace the Customer Journey: all the actions customer may have taken to achieve the outcome, after logging into the app or after coming in contact with your business, products and services. Like referring it to a friend, looking at review sites, googling coupons and discounts for the month/day, sharing on social media.
  • Record the Touchpoints: every opportunity that could convert your lead to a real purchase. It’s capturing points where the customer/client/user could establish a connection with you and your business. Think beyond websites and forms; it could be your blog, client reviews, portfolio, Facebook page, a video testimonial on YouTube, Press Release or anything for that matter. 

Regardless of the interface design and industry you work for, a journey map is aimed to deepen a business owner’s understanding of the customer behavior, thoughts, actions, preferences, likes, movement on screens, feelings across the touchpoints and what more they expect from your business website/mobile app.

It Allows More Personalization

As according to a Walker study, CX will outdo price and product as the key brand differentiator, by the end of 2020. Almost 80% of the customers today want to have a personalized experience such that they are made to feel and believe that there are apps, websites, software that love them for who they are and how they want to use it.

These journey maps can be of great help to tailor your products and services to the needs, choices and expectations of the customer as they study every individual and create an independent map, setting milestones to trigger based on individual consumer behavior instead of sending blast campaigns to all users at once.

How to Optimize a Customer Journey Map?

A successful customer journey map is brought out when the concerned business group performs thorough research on all the above elements and the various segments associated with the target audience. But most of them end up integrating those segments to reach other people rather than focusing on the individual customer. If you are among the ones combining those graphs; please stop! Instead, create a map that’s based on a single user- their persona, journey and outcomes.

This all seems like a no-brainer yet companies heed no attention to mapping the customer’s journey from their perspective. The ones who do it- they start well but don’t continue after one or two purchases/ visits.

Once the mapping is done, it calls for optimization of the journey map and involves more than one team such that each of the teams pulls through their best maps and then shares what all they derived in terms of the elements mentioned. This can be further augmented by working more collaboratively and sharing each other’s conclusions for a particular functionality.

For example, quality analysts can focus on finding the bugs that annoy the user every time they proceed for the payment. Sometimes the server is down while others the transaction fails. Yes, this is one of the vexatious things that force the consumer to abandon the cart and stop them from moving further or returning anytime soon.

Similarly, developers can look for the various touchpoints that need improvement in terms of fluidity, speed and latest versions.

Clearly, data retrieved from a customer journey map is extremely helpful in pinning down user’s actions and expectations, which can further stimulate you, as a business owner, to follow where that leads you and introduce improvements that are demanded by the customers. Customer journey map is an exceptionally effective tool to keep customers right along, making it a more rewarding experience both for your customers and for your business. ROI is sure to surge from minimum to maximum in this process of prioritizing customer journey at every touchpoint.

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