Customer journey mapping enables interactions with a company to be visualized, sequentially, along a mapped timeline. This shows the journey from brand discovery to buying and beyond.
The above journey map demonstrates a customer’s experience of going to the movie theater, but a lot of journeys nowadays will be based online.
Compared to other business software, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and business process management software, customer journey mapping is perhaps not as essential. However, there are many advantages to using timelines to represent this information.
At their core, these timelines help to improve the customer experience and enable businesses to visualize the customer journey. The business can make changes based on its perceived smoothness, with the aim being to make the process as straightforward as possible to reduce friction and encourage sales.
Creating such maps can be a time-consuming process, but luckily, there is dedicated software available to simplify this.
Here are five strategies to help you get the most out of customer journey mapping software.
1. Economize on details
All customers are different, but grouping them for the sake of journey map creation can have its advantages.
You can separate customers who have distinct qualities into groups. This is called “customer segmentation”. Rather than creating multiple journey maps for different customers, pick out common attributes.
This allows you to save on time and resources when entering data. Using this method, you create a fictional customer with a made-up name and attribute various characteristics to them.
If this is the first time you’ve used customer segmentation, it can have other benefits too. It allows you to personalize the customer experience, providing a journey that’s more specific to the individual.
In a survey of 1,000 consumers in the US, it was found that 80 percent of people are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized services.
2. Find out how to make customers click
Customer journey mapping software can also help you to find out what attracts customers. Many software options have this ability. The inbuilt artificial intelligence can run an analysis on the journey map. The software can then provide information on what makes people click and why.
Finding out about this is very important, but it’s not something you can guess. The chart below, from 2018, shows how widely motivations can vary when customers buy online.
Using this software can help you to find out which customer types click in different situations. This may be aided by a link-building plan targeted at particular customers.
You may wonder, what is link building? It involves placing hyperlinks on other websites to improve search engine rankings. You can use targeting by choosing specific websites to gain click-throughs from those likely to have a particular interest in both the site for publication and your domain.
3. Integrate real-time data
Customer journey mapping software is capable of real-time data integration. This allows you to connect a constantly changing data source, such as a CRM, to the software.
The benefits of real-time data integration are clear. As soon as customer interaction data is created, it’s already old. This is because the customer journey is constantly evolving and progressing. Using the latest information gives you an edge over your competitors.
Data-driven decisions are very important. They allow you to make the best choices possible as they’re based on up-to-date facts.
Cultural changes and changes in customer behavior are frequent in today’s society, meaning it’s important to have your finger on the pulse.
Being able to make decisions immediately can be helpful in a PR crisis. These decisions should use the most timely data so brands can better mitigate difficult situations.
4. Collaborate across departments
Collaboration is an important part of an effective work environment, yet it has become increasingly difficult due to the pandemic, which has meant more people are working from home. The below chart shows “difficulty collaborating” is one of the biggest struggles of working remotely.
As the pandemic comes to an end, many companies are maintaining their working from home schemes, so this strain on collaboration will continue. Luckily, customer journey mapping software can help. That’s because it enables various departments to work together on the journey mapping project.
This software improves your employees’ ability to collaborate. In a 2018 study, 70 percent of employees said collaboration was enhanced by digital technologies.
5. Give employees data-driven autonomy
All businesses know how important it is to invest in people and business culture. The journey map can help inform the customer service team about different customers and what they want. This helps them in their work as they understand how they can provide a better service.
The journey map created is useful for employee motivation too. This is because it provides a common goal. Employees know exactly who their customers are. All departments can unite on something that connects them.
With this map, employees can identify exactly where they fit into the company’s operations. This promotes a feeling of empowerment and inclusion, boosting morale.
The limitations of mapping software
These five strategies will help you make the most of customer journey mapping software, yet there’s more to the journey that can’t be accounted for. This is because customer journey mapping only shows the customer’s journey.
Don’t forget the story on the other side too. For example, business processing is important. This is the sequence of events from the moment a customer interacts with you through to the procurement of the product for them. In this way, it’s the customer journey but from the company’s point of view.
Though customer journey mapping is very useful for a business, don’t forget to take into account this limitation and look at things from every angle to improve your processes overall.