Why Does Your Brand Need Customer Journey Mapping?

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Emerging technologies make it possible to create positive touchpoints through all customer interactions with a brand, yet many businesses don't pay attention to how this applies in digital. With global e-commerce sales reaching $1.915 trillion this year, according to eMarketer, the digital customer journey is more important than ever.

Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company reports digitisation is dominating consumer journeys, with the number of digital touchpoints increasing by 20 percent each year. The good news about this increase is that digital measurement tools allow brands to take more control of the journey and match up data with each touchpoint. Venture Beat reports only 5 percent of marketers say they are able to adapt and predict the customer journey to improve actions for better customer experiences. Here’s where customer journey mapping can help.

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the path a customer can take when interacting with your product or service across all touchpoints. By examining these interactions, a brand can determine where improvements need to be made to prevent drop-off, and where conversions are more likely to happen so those leads or customers can be perfectly nurtured into loyal brand advocates. If your brand is new to customer journey mapping, here's what you need to know.

Defining Your Touchpoints

While it may be obvious to include the interactions your brand has with your customer and the actions they take, it is also vital to include every action your brand executes (whether the customer is aware of it or not) that impacts their journey. The customer journey map should include:

  • Multiple paths for single actions
  • Internal communication regarding actions, such as the journey a customer service team takes after a complaint is received, or the brand advocacy development program that takes place when a customer promotes the brand on social media
  • Notable data that can be inserted with each action, such as significant percentages representing drop-off or conversions
  • Every single touchpoint – yes, every single touchpoint

Say your brand has an app with useful functionality, beautiful design and a competitive price point. While form and function may be stellar, if the app has a jarring notification sound, that single “minor” touchpoint may be enough for users to remove the app from their library. Similarly, a retail website may have a path that takes the majority of visitors all the way to the check-out page, but the transaction process may be so complicated, they end up abandoning the cart. Devising a clear and thorough customer journey map allows you to see the big picture and identify the details that could derail your efforts.

Make It a Team Effort

In both development and use, your entire organisation should play a role in effective customer journey mapping. Meet with all departments to identify the touchpoints they have with customers. Get feedback on the interactions that need improvement. Delve into your data and analytics to pinpoint the areas that are more important for your brand to focus on, and keep refining how you use your map to improve customer experience and increase sales.

Qualitative data is just as important as hard numbers when it comes to the customer experience, which is why it is essential to get team member feedback, as well as customer comments. Are there points where service can be improved? Are social media users complaining about a certain element of their experience? Are the results of a recent survey alerting you to a touchpoint you hadn't noticed before?

Use feedback to evolve the quality of the journey. Empower your team members to set goals to improve certain touchpoints, and implement ways to measure progress. By involving your team and empowering them to improve the customer journey, they'll feel motivated to drive positive change.

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