Consumer expectations have evolved significantly over the past few decades, with much of the evolution taking part in the last ten years. Once upon a time, businesses could differentiate themselves on product and pricing, and often did. However, that is a thing of the past.
Nowadays, consumers are looking for an amazing experience, and many are willing to pay more for it. At the core of developing a delightful experience for your customers lies understanding. The more you understand and learn about your customers, the better able you will be to creates experiences that delights them.
Learning what your customers want and need is a matter of gathering as much data as possible. The problem is that this data is completely useless if there is no context to it.
Without understanding how, when, and where customers interact with your company, all the data in the world won’t make much sense. To turn customer data into meaningful contextual conversations, customer journey mapping is what your business should apply.
How does customer journey mapping give you the edge in proactively understanding customers and delivering tailored experiences?
Let’s explore its benefits!
1. Gain True Insight into Your Customers
According to McKinsey & Company, over 56% of customer interactions occur during a journey that spans multiple events and multiple channels. Without understanding this journey, it will be impossible to understand customers behavior.
Creating a customer journey map allows you to walk a mile in the shoes of your customers. It gives you the opportunity to analyze your brand’s experience from the most important perspective, which is the customer’s.
You will be able to see how each customer’s interactions differ, including the path they take from entry to exit. Once you can see and experience what your customers go through at every touchpoint, you will know exactly what you are doing right, but also what needs to change to meet and exceed their expectations.
2. Identify Customer Problems and Solve Them
According to Salesforce, 56% of companies stated that a decline in customer satisfaction was most often tied to their experience with that brand being inconsistent.
A customer journey map can help a brand identify where the inconsistencies arise and find ways to solve them before they become major issues.
Without knowing how and where your customers interact with your brand, you cannot identify loopholes along the experience. However, with a customer journey map in hand, you will be able to strategically analyze the entire experience, and take data-driven decisions to optimize performance and ensure a consistently excellent experience across the board.
3. Reduce Costs and Identify Internal Issues
Brands can reduce their service costs by 20% when the transformations they implement are based on the customer journey. In other words, boding customer centricity with customer experience seamlessly has a direct impact on costs.
Customer journey mapping gives you insights on your company and not just on customers. You will be able to discover the inefficiencies that are damaging your business and costing you money.
In other words, you will be able to identify the processes that are weighing down on time and other resources and on top of that, do not produce tangible benefits at scale. You can then eliminate these inefficiencies to free up resources that can be allocated to more effective aspects of the customer experience.
4. Create an Effective Omni-channel Experience
According to Gartner, by 2020 customers will be managing 85 percent of their relationship with a brand without having contact with a human.
So, to make sure customers are happy, brands need to build experiences that link different channels seamlessly throughout the journey. And as the amount of human-to-human interactions are declining, creating such experiences will be a challenge. Which is why it’s essential for companies to track customer conversations across multiple touchpoints, in order to create the most relevant journeys.
5. Demolish Silos and Get Everyone Working Together
An organization that works on a siloed approach will find it virtually impossible to deliver a consistent, seamless, and delightful customer experience. When your company is fragmented, and those fragments have a tendency of battling each other for supremacy, it will translate into the customer’s experience. Hence, you end up with fragmented experiences that will alienate customers.
Customer journey maps assist in eliminating silos and bringing all your departments together. The map itself is a flowchart showing how all your departments can work in tandem to deliver great experiences, not just your sales team or customer service department.
Once employees can see they are all involved in the success of the company, it’s easier to win over their commitment. The idea is to change mindsets – getting different departments to work towards the common goal of customer delight.
Employee engagement can increase as much as 30% when transformations are based on the customer journey, according to McKinsey & Company.
6. Personalize the Customer Experience
Great customer experiences are often personalized to fit with a customer’s needs. Not every customer takes the same path, so you need to understand their journey to be able to offer this superlative experience.
When building a customer journey map, you can glean a wide range of important insights, including how their journey varies often based not just on their actions, but also on what they want and need.
Building out a customer journey map can be made easy. At first, you just have to sit down and work out what the process usually looks like at the moment. Then you need to work out what you need to do to create a better, more effective process for your customers.
Keep in mind that the whole purpose of customer journey mapping is to get to know your customers better so you can deliver outstanding experiences consistently. If done right, you can eliminate silos, reduce costs, do away with inefficiencies, and in turn increase retention rates and lower customer acquisition costs and churn.