The strongest marker of business success is sales conversions. What if we told you there’s a way to increase sales by being more strategic about customer experience?
It all starts with a customer journey map.
Once you know how customers interact with your company, you can start to improve the service they receive at each of these touch points. Happy customers mean more sales and more word-of-mouth recommendations.
Ready to get started on a customer journey map template? Read on!
Customer Journey Map Template and CX
For Customer Experience (CX) to truly be great, you need consistently high-level customer service at every touch point. A customer journey map is a strategic way to consistently achieve bang-on CX. It’s what tells you when, how and why customers interact with your company.
It’ll also tell you about common customer issues and drop-off points. If you do it right, it’ll highlight opportunities you’re not yet capitalising on. If you’re ready to get started with one, we’re ready to tell you how!
What Is It?
A customer journey map is a practical way to get one of your most important job done. Getting into the mind of your customer. The customer journey is the path a customer or potential customer takes with your business to solve their problems or achieve their goals.
As you might imagine, mapping a customers path from pain-point to curiosity and the final purchase is harder than ever before. Before the internet, there were only a handful of ways they’d have heard about it. The principal ways would have been word-of-mouth, print or TV advertising, and by walking past your physical store-front.
If customers wanted to know more about options, they might read about it in a magazine, or go to a store and you could answer their questions directly. Now, customers have often already done pretty extensive online research before they come near a physical store. They might have read reviews, online content, and ‘listicles’ comparing you to the competition.
Perhaps they already interacted with the chatbot on your website. Perhaps they did this several times. They might have gone to your online shop, put things in their trolley, removed them, put them back.
You’ll want to map all of these possibilities out on the customer journey diagram.
How Does It Work?
You can use the data you collect online to get some ideas on the ways customers regularly interact with your brand. There’s a better, more old-school way to do it though. Ask them!
Once you have a good amount of data, you start to draw it up into a diagram that shows you how people flow in and out of interactions with your business. The idea is that this diagram now becomes a resource for your staff. You can use it to check and refine your understanding of customer pain points – and set about solving them!
Imagine, for example, you notice a lot of potential customers fill their online shopping cart only to leave your page at the checkout. What’s happening? You could do some more analysis, where you might find this happens with rural, remote and overseas customers.
You might guess now, it’s about delivery times or delivery cost – something is turning them off their purchase at this point. To get some more information, you might now prompt a chatbot to appear anytime a rural post-code or overseas address is entered at checkout. This way you can answer questions and get feedback, checking your assumptions.
If this then confirms your assumptions, it’s time to work on solving this customer pain point. Can you make postage free and fast for orders over a certain amount? Perhaps you can offer in-store pick-up in case they plan on travelling to the city sometime soon.
The map is what helps you identify issues and make an intervention there to boost sales. See how powerful it can be to map out the customer journey?!
Why Does It Matter?
If you have a better understanding of your customers, you can get smarter at all sides of the business. Knowing better how your customers find you – and for what problem they want to solve – you can produce better inbound marketing. You can great social media posts and blog content that answers their questions in a more precise way.
We know that sometimes when businesses hear that they feel defensive. We already know our customers inside-out thank-you-very-much. Fight that urge, because the more open we are to feedback, the better we grow as people and companies.
Until the 1950s, customers wanted to buy more than producers could make. That meant producers had all the power to supply the colours, textures and models they wanted. Customers would buy them regardless.
From the 1950s to the 2000s, we passed through the marketers market, where customers bought things because adverts told them they needed to. More was more – we wanted quantity, not quality. In the last 20 or so years, so the retail evolution theory goes, we’ve entered a customer-driven market.
Our customers have more choice than ever before, and more power to voice problems and objections online. A small piece of bad publicity can be enough to take a company down. This is why CX is so critical.
Customers need to be at the centre of all that you do. You need to work with a mindset of solving their problems, not selling them stuff they probably don’t need. Customers are savvy these days, and if your sales approach is one of pushing stuff on them instead of helping them solve their issues, they’ll smell it and run a mile.
What Mapping Can Achieve
What can happen as part of the mapping process, is that you discover a whole new target customer base you’d not considered before.
Consider the department store that made a short bamboo step-stool for shorter people to reach high shelves. Social media shares revealed a market they’d never considered: thousands of parents wanted the step as it was a perfect seat-and-table for their toddlers!
If you sell a product that should need refills or replacements, are customers buying them? If not, the map can help you find out why not. It might be that there is a glitch at customer service, accounting, or even a lack of email reminders that it’s time to renew.
The mapping process can also help change the culture to one that focuses on the customer journey. When everyone thinks about their impact on the customer journey, CX stops being something that’s just left to the sales department. With your whole company thinking with the right mentality, you have insiders out there detecting new customer bases, potential pain-points, and their solutions.
Modern customers want less quantity, better quality. They want it to be authentic. If you can focus on some ethical or moral value underpinning your product, use it.
How to Get Started
The first step is collecting all the information about customer and prospect paths to your business. It can be a lengthy process, but it’s an investment in working smarter. If you do it right, it’ll pay for itself pretty soon in increased sales.
The steps to making it happen are:
- Set goals with the leadership team for what you want the map to achieve
- Profile you different avatars, their pain-points, desires and goals
- Look at all the touch points they have with your company
- Decide which of these elements you want to focus on, which to leave off
- Move through the map yourself to test it
- Refine it according to any changes you see when testing
When to Review It
Sensing a new customer pain-point? Launching a new sales page or communication channel? Time to review and potentially update your customer journey map.
Digital disruption means we all need to stay on our toes. Watch for shifting customer or industry trends and make necessary changes as quickly as you can. By not shifting with the tides, you run the risk of being the next Kodak or Blockbuster.
To keep ahead of changes, you might consider scheduling a 6-monthly or annually a review of customer journey maps. You could build a task-force from diverse areas of the business to reflect all the touch-points adequately.
Go Get Mapping!
There are so many ways that customers can arrive at, interact with and drop off the path during the purchase journey. It can be overwhelming trying to make sense of it. The best thing to do is to map the possible process in a visual representation using a customer journey map template.
It can be a bit of work getting it done. It is absolutely worth it since once you map the sticking points, you can set about fixing them. The easier you make purchasing (and repeat purchasing) for your customers, the better things go for everyone at your company!
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