When organizations want to improve their brand image, increase revenue, improve delivery cycles or develop a better support network they can utilize customer journey mapping. It’s a research methodology that brings in real customer experiences, behavioral stages, touch-points for interaction, cross-team resourcing, sentiment and emotions. Journey mapping removes the ambiguity of what motivates customers. Uncover the moments that help customers succeed or those moments when they choose to walk away. This paints a clear picture of what needs to be done to create truly great experiences that build loyalty.
A customer journey map is a framework that enables you to improve your customer’s experience. It documents the customer experience through their perspective; helping you to better understand how customers are interacting with you now and helps you to identify areas for improvement in the future. Great customer journey maps are rooted in qualitative research, and visually represent the different phases your customers experience; based on a variety of dimensions such as sentiment, goals, touch-points, and more.
Unlike traditional marketing research, customer journey maps are not linear. A customer can jump from one phase to another based on a number of factors. They will interact with some touch-points and miss others entirely. The Pinpoint researcher’s job is to understand the different moments of impact a customer could have when engaging with your brand and products. We guide our clients to set those customers up to succeed through education, communication, and discovery.
This approach to customer research is helping businesses to better see the world through their customer’s eyes. At Pinpoint, we think this customer-centric approach to business is at the heart of reciprocal loyalty.
A customer journey map is rooted in research and provides you the freedom to explore new “truths” about your customers. Since there is no “template” they have to fit into, they provide a great deal of freedom for us to explore. A customer journey map ultimately exists to improve the customer experience; and these days that requires creativity. A company needs to revisit what they think they know, and really understand every touch-point a customer has with their brand. This is at the heart of creating a better customer experience. But that’s not all customer journey maps are good for, here are a few others:
Customer journey maps help develop the best product roadmap.
One of the biggest challenges a company can face is deciding what to build next. Most companies have lists of feature requests, bugs, new product ideas, new service opportunities, and more. Where do you invest? What gets bumped to the top?
When you map out how your customers explore your products, it becomes very evident where they are hung up and what they are missing. You literally start to see what they see, and from there you see the holes. It’s these “ah-ha” moments that enable you to steer your product roadmaps. To succeed in the future, you need to make educated next moves, and mapping the journey like this can help take out the guesswork.
Customer journey maps help prioritize competing deliverables.
Similarly, these maps can help a company decide what should be the main business goal – right now. Maybe it’s product enhancements? Maybe it’s improving your customer service team? Maybe it’s doubling down on documentation and education material? It’s through the mapping exercise that you can most clearly see the points of friction that customers face.
Rather than relying solely on your business intuition, you can navigate these tough prioritization decisions with real customer testimonials and feedback. It’s not unusual for different company departments to have competing priorities. Often these priorities are set without even hearing from the customer. When you take the time to map out your customers’ hurdles, you can easily communicate across multiple teams about what the business needs to be focusing on.
Customer journey maps help you plan for hiring and team expansion.
This is a great additional benefit that many companies miss. Once you know where your main points of friction are, and you’ve prioritized the projects that will have the greatest impact, you can hire and expand teams accordingly. Too many organizations let resource bottlenecks alone determine what positions to open up, but what if you are investing in the wrong area? What if your limited resources are going to the wrong team?
A great customer journey map requires a great deal of investigation into what is working, what isn’t working and what needs to happen to keep your customers engaged and invested in your brand. What better information than this to help steer you on how to grow your company to best serve them?
Customer journey maps help bring different teams together for a common goal: the customer experience.
Every company has been there, caught up in the day to day. Every team has their own team goals (e.g. increase unit counts, hit predetermined metrics, drive margins, etc.). With the customer journey map the entire company has something to point to as the beacon of the customer experience conversation.
The journey map documents are the nucleus not of just one team, but the entire organization. They are as important and cross-team relevant as your company revenue goals and your customer personas. Everyone should be well-versed on what your customer is asking, what they need, how they feel at different points of the journey, and most importantly, what the company can be doing to deliver an exceptional experience. Putting these documents at the heart of the conversation helps every team work toward a common goal.
If you would like to discuss how Journey Mapping can help you, please email Dwayne King.