Customer journey mapping is necessary because the pandemic has changed what consumers want as well as how they act. An increase in subscription services, eco-anxiety, smartphone usage, and movement into the metaverse are just a few of the changes the pandemic has encouraged.
These changes as well as the dynamic environment make customer journey mapping more valuable than ever. U.S. advertising is forecast to rise by seven percent this year, which is the highest year-over-year growth in ten years. Customer journey research is essential to spending those ad dollars wisely.
A customer journey map is exactly what it sounds like – a representation of all the steps a person makes with your brand, from first learning about your brand to post-purchase and delivery.
One of the biggest mistakes I see even savvy marketers make is to create a customer journey map based on assumptions rather than facts. It’s incredibly easy to assume you know the buyer journey people make with your brand, and be wrong about those assumptions.
Instead, ground your customer journey map in qualitative data (i.e., customer interviews, secret shopping, observation, and usability testing) as well as quantitative data (i.e., customer surveys, digital analytics, customer feedback, and customer loyalty or satisfaction scores.)
Despite our best intentions, we tend to look at our marketing, sales and operations through rose-colored glasses. An accurate, recent customer journey map grounded in customer journey research can help you avoid making decisions based on assumptions and can help ground your marketing strategy in facts.
Let your research inform your understanding of what customers experience with your brand at every step. This includes:
A customer journey map reveals what your company is doing right at every point of the buyer journey as well as opportunities for improvement.
Customer journey mapping tools can help you uncover additional sales opportunities and even make plain new product or service opportunities to pursue, as long as you use them. While it sounds simple, but many people go through all the work of creating a customer journey map only to let it collect digital dust on a shelf.
Don’t waste your hard-earned customer insight. Rather, spend time analyzing your findings to turn them into practical steps you can put into action to improve and optimize the customer experience with your brand.
Ask yourself these questions as you look at your customer journey map:
Those are all steps you can take immediately to improve the buyer journey in the present. But, you should also think about what you want your customer journey to be one, three or five years from now.
Identify product and service design changes or creations you can begin now to meet your customers’ future needs. For instance, as I wrote about recently, the metaverse will soon become the marketplace of the future. Brands need to begin thinking now about how they will engage their customers in it.
Customer journey mapping is an essential ingredient to effective marketing strategy. If you aren’t already, make 2022 the year you invest in customer journey research. Then, use it to inform your marketing strategy. You’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve.
If you need help creating a customer journey map, connect with me today. My agency has helped Fortune 500 brands and top CMOs ground their marketing efforts in research and develop customer journey maps that deliver results.