Today most of the companies see customer lifecycle as viewed from the brand’s perspective. What steps does the customer take in relation to the company?
Also, the customer experience stages are completely disjointed, and the really forward-thinking companies are trying to connect all stages of customer experience together. In other words, we can call it a Single View of Customer. A customer journey map is mapping segments of that whole life cycle, but from the customer’s perspective, and is broken into various segments of what people often do — from unaware potential customer to initial purchase. That could be one segment of the overall life cycle or journey.
Through customer journey mapping, you are able to walk in the customer shoes, from their perspective, and understand the hurdles they face. You want to be able to answer questions like; What challenges do they face? Where are points where they feel great? What emotions do they feel as they through different stages of the journey? This will allow companies to see the journey from the customer’s view and give companies the ability to respond appropriately.
Gartner has found that 89% of companies plan to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience in 2016. We have found that the best way to visualize a customer experience is through mapping their overall journey and not just the touch points that most companies do now.
“Companies have long emphasized touchpoints...But the narrow focus on maximizing satisfaction at those moments can create a distorted picture, suggesting customers are happier with the company than they actually are. It also diverts attention from the bigger picture the customer’s end-to-end journey.”
-The Truth about Customer Experience, Harvard Business Review
A customer journey map is a designed visualization of a customer’s experiences and interactions from the time the customer interacts with the brand and the steps that follow after to keep them as advocates of the brand.
The Customer Journey Map is easy for every employee to understand without additional explanation, and they have actionable criteria that can be designed and developed around. They act as a catalyst for all activities.
Understanding this and responding to the customer at each stage with the right information and value is key to the business’ success and can track where the failures are happening.
See an example in figure 1, the typical business stages in which the customer will travel throughout their journey and the feelings and thoughts they may have in each stage.
Figure 1: Souce Adaptive Path
In order to build a customer journey map for your brand, there are a few key elements to keep in mind.
Following the above points will give you a more in-depth relationship with your customers and a sense of where they are and how they feel in their journey. This allows you to better relate to the customer and keep healthy relationships for your company and provide the best value to the customer.
Below is a sample customer journey mapping tool for you to download and fill out so you can start your customer journey mapping today. You need to tweak the map based on your brand and what you are providing to the customer.
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