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4 Critical Tactics for Developing your Customer Journey Maps

By Alessandra Ceresa

In my first post, we looked at the process for how to get started with customer journeys. Hopefully, by the time you read this post, you have established your goals for customer journey mapping and have dissected your current process. 

Before you read this article, have you achieved the following:

  • Identified your current processes/customer journeys?
  • Established all current touchpoints and identified holes?
  • Determined data needed to properly segment your communication?

If you said yes to all, it’s time to move on to the next step of setting up your customer journey maps.

Build from a customer’s point of view NOT from your internal POV

businessman-with-binoculars_BFu7P8RBsThis is probably one of the most missed points when I see clients developing their customer journey maps. They build them from an internal perspective based off of their technology and people rather than from a customer-centric standpoint. This is wrong. Why? Simply, because you aren’t the one going through the journey.

Step one to developing any customer journey is to identify what is currently in place and how the customer experiences that process. This means stepping into your customer’s shoes and walking through this journey. Once you do, you will typically come across a number of missed opportunities for engagement. Just as taking a walk in your customer’s shoes brings to light the holes in your process, it also helps you develop the right journey for each of your buyer personas.

Start at the beginning as your customer. If they sign up through a form, what happens next? If they have identified a particular interest, where do they go from there? If they want to talk directly to a sales person, how does the lead get from point A to point B as swiftly as possible?

Walk through each possible scenario as the customer. What would you like to have happen? What makes the most sense from the external perspective? This external perspective drives your internal process. Remember, it’s all about the customer.

The reason you must use this strategy in both your evaluation and planning phase is to ensure correct analysis and accurate development of the journey based on real experiences and data.

In the age of the customer, there is no excuse for companies ignoring the customer experience. Establish a customer-centric strategy by becoming the customer first.

 

Look at the experience as a whole NOT just one touchpoint

In order to create a seamless customer experience, you cannot simply rely on one touchpoint. You must look at the experience and every point of engagement as a whole. How your customer moves through your funnel helps them understand your commitment to serving their needs and how smooth or rocky the relationship might be moving forward. The smoother things are, the more likely your lead is to stay engaged and ready to convert.

A great experience results in happy customers. Even one missed touchpoint can wreak havoc for you and your company. Instead of focusing on one significant touchpoint, look at each of them as a fundamental building block for a successful journey.  Create positive memories whenever you engage and understand how to turn a negative into a positive through interaction, content, and well-planned strategy.

 

Optimize your customer journeys by testing and measuring KPIs

No marketing effort is complete without testing. A journey is no different. Establish reasonable metrics to allow your team to gauge whether your journey is achieving your goals.

First, measure the journey as a whole. Are your leads and customers converting at the end of the journey? Are they satisfied? You can measure this with both qualitative and quantitative data, but as for a simple hint that your customer journey is effective? Your clients are happy and converting!

A few other metrics you can use to measure the success of each touchpoint and your journey as a whole are the following:

  • Emails opened or clicked along your journey
  • Conversions
  • Unsubscribes/complaints
  • Customer engagement (social, live chat, responses, etc.)
  • Response times on the side of the company (email, live chat, phone, etc.)

Of course, you’ll want to test out different content and change up the journey to see which strategy is most effective.  If you notice that people are falling off and out of your funnel, it is time to change it up. Data tells you a lot about who your customers are and what they want. Make sure you are making the most of these insights by creating compelling content and placing engagement points when your customers need them most.

 

Create actionable customer journeys

The whole point of a customer journey map is to define actions and reactions to both demographic and behavioral data. Your journey should include every action and reaction, positive, negative and neutral. A well-planned and cohesive customer journey map travels across multiple departments, with distinct and seamless hand-off points. Where one action ends, another begins.

From awareness to onboarding and customer retention efforts, each stage is part of an overarching journey with your organization. Highlight milestones in your journey showcasing the progression of your lead or client to the next stages.

Whether they are moving from marketing to sales or customer service, this transition should be apparent, smooth, and of course, the customer should feel positive and accomplished as they move through your journey.

When you are establishing your journey, think about the milestones a person can hit that can change the course of their path either emotionally or with the future engagement and interaction.

This article is designed to get you thinking from a customer’s point of view. The best experiences are those that make people happy and this is true in business as well. Just like climbing a peak, you want your contact to feel accomplished, well equipped, and most importantly, satisfied.

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