Getting customers for your products or services can be tough and staying in your target audience’s mind can be an even bigger challenge. However, the rewards are greater as well. You WANT to be the first business they think of when they’re looking for a product or service. Establishing a positive Customer Experience is a major differentiator that can help you occupy customer mind space, and mapping customer journeys can help provide the best possible experience to customers at every touchpoint.
What are Customer Journeys?
A customer journey is every interaction a potential customer has with your brand at each touchpoint. It starts right from the process of learning about your brand and its offerings to after the sale is made.
Mapping Customer Journeys help organizations keep a track of customer sentiment – for both prospective and existing customers. By arming themselves with customer-related insights, businesses can craft better customer experiences and make more informed decisions about their portfolio.
Technology is constantly evolving, and with it, customer journeys are evolving as well. Which is why conducting customer experience surveys regularly will help businesses better understand customer pain points. It also helps one understand if customer interaction with your brand is positive.
Why should you track customer journeys?
Do you wish for your brand to occupy your target audience’s mind space, or for your product to define its category? If your answer is yes, then you need to track customer experience and journeys.
Tracking customer journeys can help you get insights to:
Helps focus company resources
Conducting customer experience surveys at every touchpoint will help you better understand customer pain points, their expectations from future hardware, software or services from your brand.
You can then choose to act on these insights whenever possible. Proactively responding to customer issues helps establish an emotional connection with your brand, which in turn breeds loyalty and advocacy.
Create new customer bases
Mapping customer journeys can grant you a whole host of information about your customer’s behavior. This does not need to be limited to addressing concerns of your existing customers. By surveying prospective customers who eventually decided to go in another direction, you can learn where your offerings are lacking.
You can then choose to release another product that caters to this niche or incorporate customer feedback into current offerings.
Bridge the gap between online and offline customer interactions
For businesses that have both an online and physical presence, it’s possible to have two vastly differing sets of customer experiences. What has been working for your retail presence may not hold any relevance online.
If your data and insights are siloed, it can make it difficult to identify successful product strategies.
For example – Company A makes mobile phones. Their phones sell great via online channels, but brick and mortar outlets are struggling to perform as well, even in areas which are traditionally better suited to physical stores. Conducting customer experience surveys at touchpoints along both these channels can help identify what’s going wrong in physical stores, and help Company A effect changes which bring customer journeys at retail stores in line with their online counterparts.
Mapping the Customer Journey
To effectively track customer experience and journeys, companies need to embed CX professionals in their organization. You can have a department dedicated to improving CX, or embed CX professionals in other teams to help track customer experience and influence changes starting from the design phase itself.
However, one needs to be cognizant of certain factors while tracking journeys:
Customer emotions need to be taken into account
Any customer journey is that of a person, and people are emotional. Their buying habits are dictated by emotions to varying extents. These emotional characteristics can have a huge role in customer loyalty and brand advocacy.
Which is why customer experience surveys need to ask respondents on how they feel about different aspects of your business.
Taking customer emotions into account can also give insights which businesses can use to create more personalized marketing campaigns.
Journeys need to reflect customer truth, not what stakeholders want to hear
Although data doesn’t lie, there’s always a way to present data in a manner which suits an agenda. CX professionals tracking customer journeys with a business cannot afford to do anything of the sort.
Customer feedback can be unkind, but there’s always value in it. Gleaning insights from unbiased feedback can help guide business decisions which breed customer loyalty over time and can help turn detractors into promoters.
This article was originally published on the author’s blog and reprinted with permission.