Customer Journey Mapping: How to Get Started

Mapping your customer journey can be as simple or as complex as you desire, depending on the number of touchpoints and context you identify as pivotal to providing an exceptional customer experience that drives business growth and insights.

Easy, right?

Your customer has myriad choices when it comes to engaging with your brand or engaging with the public about your brand.  How do you know what touchpoints are most important to the journey?

Consider the big picture and work cross-functionally in your organization to gather the insights you will need.  Start from the point your customers are just becoming aware of your product, follow them through their research and purchase, walk with them as they have their first hands-on experience and while they continue to use your product, listen in as they share their experience, and be present for the moment of truth as they decide to stay with you or perhaps move on to a competitor. To really unlock all of the opportunities you have to engage with customers and influence the customer journey, you need to build a process centered around the customer experience.

Reflect.  Before jumping into action mode, arm yourself with the information that will empower you to effectively influence your customer journey.

  • Know your company. How does your company value customers? How important is the customer experience? Your company’s philosophy can have a real impact on the customer journey.
  • Know your resources. Be realistic about how your internal teams work together.  This will help you focus on areas of the customer journey where you can make a real impact.
  • Know your customers. Creating a culture of engagement is not about offering the most contact channels, having the most social media buzz, or blasting your customers with more “stuff.”  Think about how to create seamless engagement opportunities that enhance the brand experience for your customer.

Optimize.  Make the most of what you are already doing by doing it well. Look for areas to improve how you already engage with customers.  Ask yourself if your touchpoints are efficient and appropriately reflect your mission.

Create.  Identify areas in the customer journey where engagement is scarce or lackluster and create a solution that fills that gap.  Collaborate with internal teams so that your solutions are seamless and add value.  Make sure the solution is meaningful and valuable to your consumer. Avoid creating things just because.

Refine.  Realize that you are never done.  Take the journey with your customers and look for ways to keep the customer experience relevant.  Have you ever been driving somewhere new when all of the sudden your GPS has no clue where you are?  Nothing is worse than being on a journey with an outdated map!

Customer experience is becoming increasingly important and a key competitive differentiator in today’s market. Putting some methodology into practice will keep you oriented and focused on the customer experience. You can influence the customer experience by driving meaningful engagement and ultimately move customers through the journey you want them to have.

 

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