The Value And 8 Guidelines For Mapping Customer Journey

The Value And 8 Guidelines For Mapping Customer Journey

This recent MarTech presentation by David Edelman of McKinsey and his HBR piece on customer journeys inspired me to revisit this post on customer journey mappingand its value to marketers.

An Association of National Advertisers survey found top performers understood the entire customer journey much better than their peers (20 percent versus 6 percent) and had much better processes for capturing insights about customers and feeding them back into their marketing programs to improve performance (30 percent versus 11 percent)

A customer journey maps is a process that allows you to walk in your customer’s shoes as they interact with your company and brand. When based on solid research, a customer journey map offers a precise outside-in view of your customer’s needs, desires and interaction time frames from his perspective.journey lightbulb 042016

The map will show you:

  • Your customers’ needs and desires during each interaction
  • Your strengths and weaknesses in addressing them
  • Your competitive threats in interacting and fulfilling customers’ needs and desires
  • Your opportunities for improvement
  • Your loyalists, ambassadors, advocates and influencers

Here are 8 steps you should consider for mapping your customer journey:

  1. Have clarity on your goals — these maps are valuable in showing the gaps between customer expectations and perceptions of your brand experience at important points of the journey. They also will help you discover improvement opportunities within your team across roles, responsibilities across cross-functional teams.
  2. Understand the specific journey to be mapped — the map’s value is effectively showing the journey of a customer toward achieving their needs and desires. You will benefit from seeing your brand and its customer interactions through the eyes of a single customer — defined precisely by a driven research-based customer persona that depicts the broader segment’s unique desires, needs and goals. In this context, the map can truly represents your customer relationships.
  3. Have customer conversations — with an outside perspective on what is and isn’t important, and what does and doesn’t work, your journey map will have an accurate view of the customer. This will help your team make decisions based on accurate and complete information.
  4. Enlist your entire team — build an in-house perspective of the relationship. Organize a cross-functional, customer-facing group to create their perceived map of the journey, including touchpoints, opportunities, exchanges, and issues. Such internal maps eventually can help drive the customer relationship and are critical for identifying key interactions, inputs, and outputs.
  5. Use the essentials — begin with knowing and understanding your unique customer relationship life cycle as customer interactions. You will want to learn what they desire and need from each interaction while moving through the journey. For instance, how do they travel from one stage (e.g. awareness) to another (e.g. education)?  You must describe what customers think and feel and communicate about their expectations at each step, and especially and how well you are (or aren’t) fulfilling them.
  6. Create a useful path –a map must be a widely shared tool. There are many approaches based on your goals, your brand, the depth of data displayed, and the extent of the mapped journey. It should look and feel valuable and powerful for your organization. Use words and terms that are simple, descriptive and easy for the people who will use it.
  7. Be sure everyone knows and uses it — maps need to be effectively shared throughout your organization. This means creating simple and understandable maps involving and advising key stakeholders at the start and consistently through its use. That should involve showing the good, the bad and the ugly because you will want to close performance gaps and identify those best-practice areas breeding successes.
  8. Get ready to activate map usage — maps aren’t just for show and tell. This mapping might find quick fixes, including opportunities to enhance enjoyment and the journey itself. Most brands see that the journey process helps catalyze broader customer experience improvements as customer needs and desires are learned and fulfilled.

When all these steps are completed, don’t fixate on analysis. Remember, this is only a tool that needs to be used and revised to meet ongoing lessons. So, get mapping and get perspectives that will produce results.

Here are some other insightful and powerful posts on customer journey mapping including great how to advice.

How are you mapping your customer journey with your brand?  

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