Steps to map Customer Journey

Customer journey mapping helps you to map the ways your customers experience your organization. This article will show you steps to build your customer journey, then you use it as a tool to pinpoint problems or build on successes in your customers' experience and so can improve customer retention.

1. Define your objectives

First of all, work out exactly what you want to achieve. This will help you to decide which interaction or touchpoints you need to map.

If you have a broad objective, such as " you want to increase customer satisfaction levels by improving company-wide customer service processes" then possibly mapping out the entire customer experience from the start to finish is what you will do.

However, if your objective is " reduce complaints of customers about late deliveries by half", then you need to focus on some specific areas in your organization, such as warehouse, delivery department, customer service department.

2. Gather information

Find answers to these questions: the reason why customers want to engage with your organization? how do they interact with your organization?, when do they do? and for how long?

To do so, you need to gather information about your customers and their behavior. This might include market research, focus groups, surveys and analytics. Develop personas for your customers. This will help you to understand exactly what customers want, how you can satisfy their needs the most, how to empathize with them.

Doing research within your organization is also important. Talk to the people that interact with customers directly. You might form a cross-functional team that includes frontline customer service staff, marketers and social media managers, for example.

This enables you to gain a deep understanding of the routes that customers take to engage with your organization, and the level of service they receive when they do engagement.

3. Identify your customer "touchpoint"

Customers interact with your organization using a diversity of " touchpoints". These might include in-store activities, online search, telephone calls, blogs, help desks, email campaigns, online chat service, conferences, sale calls, product demonstrations.

Once you have identified your customer touchpoints, think about how they affect your customers, for example who they contact if there is a problem, where they can find information about delivery, or is it easy for them to get your organization contact details?

You might have an excellent customer service team, but if your website or sale team are giving out misleading or conflicting information, then the customer experience would be the one of confusion rather than of great service.

4. Outline the key stages of your customer experience

With the information gained from previous steps, identify sequence of events that customers experience when the interact with your organization. These events may vary significantly by customer, product line or service, so you may need to describe more than one journey.

Below is example of common customer journey from end to end:

You can also use customer journey mapping to take a closer look at particular stages of the whole process.

5. Start Mapping

There are many different ways to create your customer journey map, a good method is to use swim lane diagram. You can use this to map your customers' journey from the initial stage of interaction to the support that they receive after purchasing your product or service. You will then easily pinpoint places where the service or information that you deliver is not consistent or correct.

Below image shows an example of what a customer journey map might look like. Besides, you can include other factors such as customers' questions and perceptions, operational performance metrics, and organizational weaknesses.

Your map doesn't have to look like this one. There are many great ways to present them: yours could be a simple timeline, a circular representation of the journey, an affinity diagram, or a whiteboard sketch. It could even be a video or an interactive chart.

6. Validate Your Results

You'll need to validate your map, to be sure that it is as accurate as possible. You can do this by asking for feedback from a focus group, a customer forum, other departments in your organization, or your team members.

7. Analyze Your Map

To analyze customer journey map, refer back to objectives that you want to achieve set in step 1. Listed below are some common issues that might help you with your analysis. You can supplement these with more specific questions related to your business and its objectives.

  • Are you bombarding the customer with too much information, or providing too little?

  • Think about whether your customers have access to the right information at the right time, and know who to contact to get help or information they need. For example, can they easily get acknowledgment of orders, complaints, and so on?

  • Look at the touchpoints in your company. They should work as you intend them to work, and flow in a way that's logical and easy to follow. If they don't, think about how you can change them to deliver the quality of user experience you want.

  • Your internal organization must be clear and effective. It should not confuse customers by involving too many people or departments, for example. Make sure that you have clear objectives regarding the level of service that you provide, and that your team members know how to meet them.

8. Treat Your Map as a Living Document

It's good to revisit and update your customer journey map, especially if your organization implement changes- adding or removing a touchpoint, for instance.

By: VSHR Digital Media

Source: 1. ,June 30,2020


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