Today's customer is a complex creature. As social media and mobile phone use continue to increase, brands see the need to make their presence more felt across a myriad of platforms. This strategy also has the effect of increasing and complicating the interaction between companies and their customers. As such, the customer journey of today is vastly different from what it was just a few years ago.
While such an evolution is positive — discerning customers can easily translate into larger profits and increased brand loyalty, and service providers are driven to innovate and improve.
The downside comes when many companies fail to capitalize on these new interaction opportunities and limit themselves to the traditional and outdated approach to creating customer experiences.
We can see the negative effects this has on a company's bottom line thanks to a recent study done on consumer behavior. The study indicated that on average, close to 75% of consumers become frustrated with an impersonal experience, while 44% of customers also said that a more personalized experience would likely make them more receptive of a known brand’s service or product.
Plainly said; customers who feel neglected or unimportant at your company will not hesitate to approach your competition if they see the opportunity for better customer experience.
We all want to keep customers happy and make them stay (or better yet, create voluntary brand ambassadors). This is where creating a customer journey map comes in.
Make Operations More Relatable
The idea of the customer journey map is simple: create a diagram detailing customer engagement with a company. Brands that offer more complex services and/or products will naturally have a more complex map.
Customer journey maps make a brand’s operations more relatable to the provider. This allows the brand to better relate and communicate with its customers, leading to improved customer journeys and experiences.
By illustrating customer interactions, we get a better understanding of the operation, both in detail and as a whole. It also shows where the system needs improvement.
Troubleshooting Problematic Areas
It’s not enough for a company to admit that “we have a problem.” Effectively fixing issues requires answering more complex questions, like whats, whys and whens. Mapping out the customer journey enables a company to pinpoint specific areas within the customer experience that need improvement.
Let's say a brand is known for delivering high-quality and durable products. However, it also has the reputation for having poor after-sales service.
A good customer journey map can identify the part of the after-sales service where the company loses touch with the customer. It helps companies answer questions such as:
Are agents knowledgeable enough to assist customers?
Are wait or holding times too long?
Are automated responses and prompts too confusing and frustrating?
How often are customer issues successfully resolved?
How long does it take for customer problems to be addressed?
By answering these kinds of questions, a customer journey map will enable the brand to fix problem areas and develop strategies to improve the customer journey.
Developing Targeted Campaigns and Strategies
Customer journey mapping helps companies define and understand their customers better. As such, it will allow a brand to see which kind of customers — orpersonas— contribute the most to its bottom line.
Customer journey maps help solidify how a company should approach all its customers. And for the customer of today, consistency is key. Using the insights from customer mapping allows companies to develop targeted strategies that have the potential to boost their growth, maximize their profits, and increase loyalty.
Creating a customer journey map that is supported by solid research has the potential to prompt significant positive change in a company. As customer preferences continue to change, customer journey maps keep companies abreast of current trends and needs.
More informed customers mean that service/product providers also need to step up their game, or lose their footing in a highly competitive business environment. If utilized well, customer journey maps are a win-win scenario for the brand and the customers it serves.