Increasing customer satisfaction is one of the main goals of most businesses in the next couple of years. If you think that product features are the only unique selling proposition in the market today, you are wrong. Customer experience is the new battlefield in the business landscape.
88% of companies prioritize customer experience in their contact centers. In fact, the top priority of businesses in the next five years isn’t pricing and products; it’s customer experience. Custom experience statistics show that 86% of buyers are likely to pay more for a better overall experience.
Customer Experience, being such a significant factor in business is crucial to be taken care of to enhance Customer Satisfaction. But how can you do it? A proven way to do so would be through defining your customer journey map. In this article, you will learn what a customer journey map is and why it’s important if you want to increase customer satisfaction.
What Is A Customer Journey Map?
A customer journey map is a diagram or a visual representation of your customer's journey when transacting with your business. This can start from researching your product or service to buying something from you.
This visual representation should cover every stage of the customer journey with your business. This initiative allows you to be in the place of your customer. It makes you experience and see what they go through when interacting with your services.
An example of a customer journey map would look like this:
In the example above, you can see how the customer journey map started with the customer's motivation of wanting to buy a gift. Then it goes on to every stage that a customer goes through to achieve that goal. It showed how the customer searched for websites, navigated the brands’ store, evaluated the products, and paid for the item.
Notice how the example also included the customer's feelings as he/she goes through the process of finding an item. It even showed the customer’s expectations for every stage that he/she is in.
This particular activity is fun yet very beneficial for your company. If this is your first time making a customer journey map, don’t worry, we got you covered.
Below are the essential parts of a customer journey map that you should integrate into your diagram. These can act as pillars to your map and you can add other things that you see are important to your customer’s experience.
Creating Your Own Customer Journey Map
Remember that there is no single template for a customer journey map. Your competitors’ map could be far different from yours and other businesses in your niche. The reason for this is that no two customer journeys are the same.
However, the five parts below of a customer journey map must be included to consider it effective. Use these parts and add your own spice to it when you’ve taken note of everything.
1. Buyer persona
The first step to increasing customer satisfaction through your customer journey map is to really understand who your customers are. A buyer persona can be a fictional representation of your customers in real life. You can include the customer's name, background, demography, social platforms used, motivations, and frustrations when defining this.
When creating a buyer persona, understand that one persona isn’t enough. Different types of customers transact with your business, so it’s wise to have a more number of customer persona.
2. Stages of a customer’s journey
This part of your customer journey map is a significant one because it is where you determine the different touchpoints that a customer goes through when transacting with your business.
This part should clearly depict the awareness stage to buying or to the renewal of services stage. Take note that the more specific you are with your stages, the better it is because you get to understand all the times that your customer interacts with your business.
General customer journey stages would look like this:
Awareness → Consideration → Decision → Retention → Advocacy
However, you could be more specific than that. You could dive deeper into what happens to every stage above. For example, to understand the steps your customers take when interacting with your brand you schedule social media posts to kick start your customer journey. The Awareness stage could be broken down to customers looking for an item, seeing your social media post, or other marketing materials. For consideration, it can be that the customer navigates your website, reads product reviews, and watches product demonstrations. The same thing is applied for every stage you add.
Remember that when you go deeper and specify each stage, you have the chance to make each stage efficient to increase your customer's satisfaction at every touchpoint they have with your business. This ultimately helps in creating an overall excellent customer experience.
3. Identify customer pain points
In every stage of your customer journey, there will always be pain points that your customers will encounter. If this isn’t the case, then every business out there will have 100% customer satisfaction, but as you know, this is far from the truth.
So identify the challenges your customers face when they go through with your business. We are trying to completely eradicate this element to make their journey as smooth as possible.
A pain point in the Decision stage would be customers' anxiety when they’re trying to decide whether you’re a legitimate business to transact with. While a pain point in the buying stage could be the shipping fees and other unexpected fees when they’re at the checkout page.
Identifying customer pain points shouldn’t end there; a solution should come from your side to eliminate these factors. The solutions can be different for each business. What’s important is that you solve these issues as effectively as possible.
An example would be how Axonify knows how difficult it is to use a new learning system when doing frontline staff training. So to lessen the burden and also pitch their product to their audience, they added a demo video to showcase how easy it is to use their product.
4. Touchpoints and channels
Touchpoints refer to the instances that your customers come in contact with your business. Channels are the platforms and strategies you use to interact and share your marketing materials with your customers.
These elements are important because this is how your customers find and contact your business. If you notice a bit of disconnect with your touchpoints and channels in the customer journey map, it’s best to resolve that quickly.
The last thing you want to happen is to lose a customer due to poor service which could’ve been easily fixed. Your channels could be:
- Social media posts
- Social media promoted ads
- Franchise businesses review websites
- Services review websites
- Product review websites
- Radio ads
- Tv ads
- Video marketing material
- Blog posts
5. Understand the customer’s emotion
This is an element of a customer’s journey map that is often overlooked by most businesses. They tend to forget that customers are human beings with emotions too – and that is where the most significant opportunities can be found.
If you’re able to keep the customer’s emotion positive on every stage they go through with your business, you can turn a prospect into a customer and eventually into a loyal advocate.
Given this importance, make sure to also include your customers' emotions on your map. This will make you and your team see what the customers feel when they are at certain stages in their journey.
For example, now that you know that their anxiety and doubt are at their peak when on the checkout page, you can place the number of reviews that the product has got to lower those feelings or even completely eliminate them. You can even publish customer video testimonials on your website to make all of this appear more authentic.
Take a look at how Impossible displayed the number of reviews that the product has received to make customers feel more confident about buying it. One thing that’s worth noting is that the reviews could also be read on the same product page. This makes it easier for buyers to read and check the products.
Benefits Of Customer Journey Mapping
Creating a customer journey map is no walk in the park. It’s not an easy task to do, and it may require you some of your time. But no one ever mentioned that increasing customer satisfaction is easy. So to push you to really do this activity, below are the top benefits of customer journey mapping that you can enjoy once you do it.
I. Better understanding of your customers
Building a business can only succeed if you truly understand your customers. Since you’re trying to map out every stage your customers go through, you also get to see and understand their perspectives. You now have a better knowledge of their pain points and challenges. You can leverage this information and tailor your marketing materials to address those issues. The data taken here can also be used to improve your team’s customer service.
II. Improved conversion rate
One of the benefits of customer journey mapping is increasing the business's conversion rate. The customer journey map can show how to optimize campaigns and have better lead generation strategies since it also includes the perspective, emotions, and thought process of customers.
Having a better understanding of your customers can make you tailor your every move to address their issues and get their attention. You have the data to effectively create campaigns that they can relate to and would want to see on their feeds.
A higher conversion rate would lessen cart abandonment emails and decrease win-back campaigns, but will significantly improve customer advocacy and loyalty.
III. Identify key issues
If you identify key issues in this particular aspect of your business, you’re already one step ahead of your competitors who often overlook this. If you can present solutions to issues that customers in your niche continuously deal with, they might choose you over other brands. This can be achieved just by creating a well-thought-out customer journey map.
IV. Increased customer satisfaction
One main reason you’re doing customer journey mapping is to increase customer satisfaction. You want your customers to be satisfied with everything you give from start to finish. From the time they see your brand to them buying a product or service, you want them to be happy and more than satisfied.
Having a goal like this will always put the business on a path to grow in its industry. This is how you can convert prospects to customers and customers to loyal shoppers. Understanding each stage they go through and learning their challenges along the way can produce better business processes and marketing materials.
V. Higher sales
Once you’ve efficiently done everything about it, it’s only natural that your sales increase and be higher than the previous period. If you can empathize with your customers and find solutions to their problems, it will only make them purchase more of your products and services. This will then have a positive effect on the figures of your sales and revenue.
Best Practices In Creating A Customer Journey Map
Since you know the important elements of a customer journey map and you’re familiar with its significant benefits, it’s time to understand the best practices when doing this initiative. Doing the things below will increase the chances of you finding success in this action.
Best Practices #1: Define your goal
Like any business endeavor, you need to define your goal. You need to have the end in mind so you can perform well. Defining your goal will allow you and your team to create strategies around it.
So before starting, make sure to know what you want to accomplish. Do you want to pinpoint the weak points in the customer journey? Are you looking for touchpoints that you want to optimize? Are you looking for the biggest challenge that your customers face?
Whatever it is, define it before you start this endeavor.
Best Practices #2: Implement necessary changes
You can’t do everything perfectly in one go. There would always be errors in your processes that you need to fix. Sometimes, when you’ve implemented a new system or strategy, it might not turn out how you wanted it. This will cause you to change the whole thing again, which is perfectly normal.
Constantly implementing changes is a good thing because it shows that you’re not settling for something mediocre. You want a process that’s efficient and really works. So don’t get discouraged if you always change things, make sure that you’re implementing the necessary changes that can make your customer journey a smooth and excellent one.
Best Practices #3: Go through the customer journey yourself
Once you’ve laid everything out, it’s time to go through the journey yourself. This will allow you to understand your customers' perspectives when they find and interact with your business.
As you do this, make sure to take notes along the way. Take note of what you like and what you find that’s challenging and a hindrance to improving your customer experience.
The journey to high customer satisfaction won’t be an easy one. In fact, it might take months to years to achieve this vision of yours for your business. But fortunately, what’s great about this journey is that when you achieve your goal, it will definitely help your business grow and have a more loyal set of customers.