The process of mapping the customer journey via journey maps is increasingly popular. In a recent Forrester Study, 81% of customer experience professionals have indicated that they are mapping experiences from their customer perspective.
This means that if you haven’t been paying attention to the entire customer end-to-end journey that your customers are on, then chances are your B2B and NFP counterparts have and are. The risk is that the overall experience and impact that your competitors are having is better than yours.
What is the customer journey?
The customer journey marks the interactive process and roadmap that your prospects and clients have with your brand. Perhaps the most applicable word here is experience. Each touch-point along the road of their journey contributes to an overall experience and perception of your brand, products and services. For marketers and those in the game of customer experience, focusing on improving brand perception, wait-times, sales processes and complaint handling proves invaluable, particularly as many in the B2B space walk further down the path towards digital transformation.
Customer Journey Mapping
Customer Journey Mapping involves defining your audience’s buying journey towards a commercial goal. Empathy and data become friends as you try and get yourself into the mindset of your customer and attempt to identify some of the real life pain points they experience.
Mapping then takes this valuable data and carefully plots all the information your audience needs to facilitate their buying decisions; taking them on a psychological journey where they will then be receptive to your sales messages to purchase your product or engage with your brand.
The customer journey map itself is a visual representation of every experience your customers have with your brand. It can be used to forecast and design for new experiences, and/or optimise and repair a chink in the current journey chain that is not currently working. There are 2 primary types of mapping:
Proactive journey mapping – acts as a wake up call for an organisation to promote new products or design for the best interactions from the outset. It is best used to reinvent and perceive entirely new experiences and is further used to:
- Create new offerings and envision the future
- Fix broken experiences
- Capitalise on an opportunity
Reactive journey mapping – is utilised as ‘response’ mapping to changes in the market or internal business. Also it is used to:
- Continuously deliver the best experiences, differentiating from competitors
- Move beyond repairing experience to elevating it overall
While most organisations have cottoned onto the importance of journey mapping, only 21% of – primarily B2B companies – have expanded this to include the full eco-system of business operations including people, process and technologies that deliver the journey.
Stick with this series as we continue to explore the organisational benefits of mapping the customer journey. Contact the MIH team if you would like to discuss how journey mapping could work within your business.