In today’s markets, a business is not judged only for the product it sells, but also for the associated experience. With globalization and technological advancement, the modern consumer is empowered with a number of choices for the same business. In such a competitive environment, how does a business stand out? To win in a sustainable way, businesses need to create a differentiated value in the customer’s mind. If the customer sees you as different and valued, competitive pressures decrease and price elasticity increases.
Therefore, it becomes imperative to understand the customer and his experience with the brand. Recent studies by American Express found that 60% of consumers are prepared to pay more for a better experience. Similarly, research by Temkin group found that companies can increase their revenue by 70 percent in 3 years by investing in customer experience. And the logic behind it can’t be any clearer!
Hence there is a need to understand and develop a customer journey, which essentially means taking a walk in your customer’s shoes.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer.
Typically, the customer journey is subdivided into 5 steps: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Loyalty.
For example, to understand the customer journey on an online platform like Amazon, marketers would need to analyze:
- How did the customer become aware of Amazon? What was his first response to the brand?
- How were his experience and emotions associated with the usability of the website? For example, creating an account, logging in, browsing the website, etc?
- How did he experience the purchase process? His ease of experience using the search bar, selecting a product, saving to the cart or ordering right away?
- How did the post-purchase experience go? Did he repeat the order and referred to his friends?
When each of these steps is carefully studied from the viewpoint of the consumer, you will know what attracts and what frustrates him. Overall this journey and each of its steps decide the experience your consumer will have after using your service.
MAPPING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
To understand the customer’s journey, we need to build a Customer Journey Map which documents insights derived from the buyer’s mind as they go through the process of using your service. The valuable insights help you pinpoint customer’s pain points and build empathy for the customers by understanding what they want and how they feel. Follow these steps to create a comprehensive customer journey map.
1. Learn about the buyer’s persona – To understand your customers, you need to really get into their shoes and understand what they want and how they want it. This includes likes and dislikes, financial profile, interactions with your business, etc. Always keep in mind that there will be multiple personas for your typical buyer. People behave differently at different buying stages. A person just starting to research the market will behave differently compared to someone who has already been researching for weeks’ worth of time. Your buyer’s personas should encompass all such possibilities.
2. Understand your buyer’s goals – Now is the time to dig deep and understand what each buyer hopes to achieve through this journey. The ultimate goals of a buyer should be well etched in your mind before you take further steps. These can be –
- Paying a fair price
- Knowing everything they need to know
- Assurance of the quality of the product
- Enough market research to compare all available options.
You can understand these goals by taking surveys, feedbacks and analyzing your online platform data.
3. Identifying the touchpoints- Touchpoint refers to any time a customer encounters your brand. It can be before, during or after a purchase, and includes events that happen online as well as offline. Some touchpoints affect the brand more than others. Once you have listed all the touchpoints, you need to club them into phases such as awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and loyalty.
4. Identifying customer pain points – Now that you have identified all the touchpoints and clubbed them in phases, you can map them to your buyers’ journey. Through this, you can identify customer pain points and work on them to improve your overall customer experience.
Different ways of presenting Customer Journey PowerPoint Templates
In this section, we will discuss various ways to map your customer journey. Visually presenting this information is as important as conducting the analysis.
Below are some ways in which you can showcase your customer journey impactfully.
The above map presents a funnel model for the customer journey. It divides the analysis into different phases and maps both the current experience and the desired one for the customer. Hence is great to showcase gap analysis in customer experience
The above two maps focus on different touchpoints and associated emotions customer goes through each touchpoint giving an insight into the customer’s mind.
The above examples represent what customer thinks, feels and experiences at each touchpoint with the brand.
The above two maps visually represent different phases of a patient’s journey and the key aspects related to the Patient’s experience at each touchpoint, in a visually engaging manner. You can also highlight your key learnings and next steps coming out of your patient analysis.
Check out more creative ways of showing your customer journey
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CUSTOMER’s JOURNEY
Improving your customer’s experience requires a lot of deliberate decisions, keeping in mind long term plan for your company. Here are some of the things that can help you improve your customer’s experience:
Have a clear vision – The first thing you need to do is create a clear vision about the customer experience you want to provide and communicate it clearly within your organization.
Create an emotional connection with your customer – Building an emotional connection with the consumer can boost customer loyalty by a huge amount. This can be done through personalized suggestions, special service or offers, chat supports and individual attention to each consumer.
Ask for Real-time Customer Feedback – You cannot know how good an experience you are delivering, without directly asking your consumer. Ask customers to rate their experience and what they think you can improve on. Send follow up emails, and if possible, try outbound calls.
Act upon Feedback – Gather continuous customer feedback, on what they think about the company and how they think improvements can be done in the business.
Mapping Customer Journey is an indispensable tool for modern businesses, which helps them keep track of their consumer’s needs and expectations from the business. Constantly evaluating your business w.r.t your customer satisfaction will ensure you always keep your customer happy and that not only your customer returns to your business, but also brings along more business for you.
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