There are so many touchpoints where your customers can come in contact with your company. If you don’t already know what they are, and if there isn’t a strategy in place linking them all, not only is it possible that you will lose (potential) clients along the way, but you may be sending diverse messages to them. This could become confusing for them. Below, we will explain what is journey mapping, how they vary and why it is so important to invest time on yours.
What is Journey Mapping?
Some of you may wonder what is journey mapping. If that is your case, this article will be particularly important for you to understand why you need to look into it, before you waste opportunities to gain clients, or simply lose some. When you create a journey map, you will be able to visualize your customers journey and his experience with your brand. On it, you will position all touchpoints where they come in contact with your company. This will include your website, as well as social media, emails, live chats and any other channel that they may use, in order to get in touch with one of your representative.
By doing so, what you are looking for, is making sure that no customer will be unanswered, no matter what their question or query is. Customers falling out of the grid are not only lost, they can also become bad publicity if they start mentioning that they didn’t get any service from your company, when they called upon you. It will also make you aware of the weaknesses along that route, which will help you strengthen their course by optimizing each touchpoint. By looking in depth at the journey map, it will also be possible to personalize the communication for individual customers.
The Different Types of Journey Maps
CURRENT VS FUTURE EXPERIENCE
There are two types of journey maps that can be used: One that will define the current customer experience and another that will be used to plan a future one. It is always good to start with the first one. It will enable management to visualize what the current customer journey looks like. This should not be done to congratulate ourselves on “what a good job we have done,” but more to look for the issues that customers are finding along the way. This could illustrate why some of them are angry and decide not to do business with your company (anymore). Most importantly, it will help you understand where you can solve your customers pain points and optimize the course.
The second one is to prepare the path for a product or a service that doesn’t exist yet, or for changes to come. It helps to draw the smoothest path possible from entry to exit. It is also useful in terms of visual design, so that you can ensure that the image you send out to your customers is cohesive and always identical.
ASSUMPTION VS RESEARCH
Once again, it is good to build a journey map as we imagine it to be. It is helpful, because it is theoretically the vision of the experience journey you have in mind for your customers. Therefore, when you get to the researched one, you can actually identify the differences between the two, which will give you a good idea of what you need to work on, in order to finally provide the original vision you had, for your customers. However, you can never only rely on an assumption journey map. It would be the equivalent of driving a car with both eyes closed. The only way to fully comprehend what your customers are going through, trying to get in touch with your people, is by doing a thorough analysis of all the parts of the paths. As we mentioned before, this will go from e-mails to social media and every touchpoint in between.
Why is Journey Mapping so Important?
If you want to understand what your customers need, and provide it to them, you need to comprehend how they interact with your company. To do so, you need a strategic approach, and that is what journey mapping is. Once you have the map in front of your eyes, you will then be able to optimize your customers experience in relation to its capacity to communicate with you.
While you are doing this, you will need to keep two things in mind. The first one is that customers today are looking for an omnichannel approach to customer service. A phone number or an email simply won’t do the trick. They need to be able to reach you whenever they want, using any channel they like. Secondly, personalization has become the key to a successful communication with customers. If you talk to them as if you were addressing yourself to a large number of people at once, they will feel dehumanized and chances are they will go elsewhere to buy the product or service that you sell.