Published: April 26, 2014
Every year, companies spend billions of dollars on efforts aimed at attracting, engaging and retaining customers. From new stores and dealerships to reimagined products to fresh websites and mobile apps, everything is strategically accomplished to add up to one cohesive and valuable customer experience.
But when it comes to the shiny new technology or the trendy product displays, efforts are worthless if it doesn’t benefit the customer and in some way help them navigate through their buying process.
According to HubSpot, “A customer journey map is a visual representation of the process a customer or prospect goes through to achieve a goal with your company. With the help of a customer journey map, you can get a sense of your customers’ motivations — their needs and pain points.”
From a business lens, the activity of mapping builds knowledge and consensus across teams and stakeholders, and the map as artifact allows you to create and support better customer experiences, reduce customer service costs, and more quickly move potential customers from research to consideration to purchase. In short, experience mapping is a journey that can involve and impact your entire organization.
How To Map Your Customer Experience
- Start by fully understanding who your customer is and where to find them. Uncover the truth about your customers’ behavior.
- Determine and document their customer decision journey. Knowing how people come to make a purchase is key to mapping your experience. Generally, customers first consider an initial set of brands, then evaluate information to expand and then narrow choices, buy a product based on a final decision, and finally either advocate for (or militate against) the product or service based on their experience.
- Chart your company or product’s value and your story against the identified customer decision journey. Tell the story. Visualize a compelling narrative that creates empathy and understanding.
- Go! Use your map to help plan your strategy and create content, use technology, and create a customer experience that helps people discover (on their own) that your product or service is the one that will scratch their itch.
This visualization of the journey helps focus conversations on where to spend money, where the opportunities are, what sorts of people and processes are needed, and where you’re weak and your competitors strong. The insights can be revealing.
This is not just about having a friendly and informed sales person, an efficient call center or a great site. It’s about having all of those things working together like a relay team handing off the customer from one touchpoint to the next in a smooth way. If you are not thinking about that complete journey, it is hard to understand your customer.
Ready to map your course to more sales and happier customers? Let’s chat!