The business environment today no longer resembles the one we were taught about in traditional marketing books because the overall landscape in which companies function has fundamentally changed. The internet and the digitization of products and processes are largely responsible for this. This digital transformation has created an unprecedented number of customer touchpoints, channels, and opportunities for customers to explore, interact, and connect with business. In this context, it becomes indispensable for companies to reformulate their strategy at a new customer-driven market following best CX practices and keeping up with increasing expectations and innovation.
The first step to develop a successful customer experience strategy is getting to know your customers’ journey. Customer journeys are a set of experiences delivered by a brand to its clients during interactions along their lifecycle. Every business has at least one journey, which can be experienced multiple times, providing different perceptions to each one of their customers.
First and foremost, you have to know your customers and understand what their experience with the brand looks and feels like. The key to this is the journey map, which provides a clear and practical view of all interactions experienced by a customer with the brand, product, or service over time. The effectiveness of a journey map is inherently related to a customer-centric mindset, which provides a portrait of the customer’s point of view in the foreground while maintaining a realistic and empirically anchored perspective.
In addition to the digital transformation context, journey mappings are even more relevant when omnichannel experiences are part of a company’s strategy. The first step is to develop a holistic view of the customer experiences and their connections with all the company’s channels. Journey mapping helps demonstrate the whole experience throughout a sequence of touchpoints, making it possible to understand how customers feel when the results are related to the company’s data, processes, systems, and stakeholders.
An effective journey map should also present an accurate view of the current processes (what we call the “as-is” journey), and a bold and innovative proposal for an ideal future state (the “to-be” journey), as the best possible experience. The gap between them makes it possible to understand changes needed to accomplish the desired outcomes.
To design an effective journey map, you have to be aware of some potential pitfalls. Here are three tips on how to avoid biased and inaccurate work:
- Be specific when you define the journey. It is important to know what exactly you are analyzing, based on the work’s purpose.
- Focus on what the customer really sees and feels, avoid wishful thinking and be careful with your own personal perceptions. Listen to the customer and gather data from customer feedback.
- List all touchpoints and channels where the customer can access your services. All possible tracks should be mapped.
The benefits of journey mapping go beyond the simple identification of opportunities for improvement. If you understand your customer journey, you can effectively lead and prioritize digital transformation projects, including automation platforms, DMP/CDPs, websites/app renewal. Moreover, identifying all the key customer moments enables you to develop assertive communication, with the right message to the right customer at the right time.
When it comes to business strategy, the end-to-end approach based on the customer journey is a powerful way to analyze, connect, and boost relevant business KPIs, such as conversion, repurchasing, and loyalty. In this sense, journey mapping helps to establish relevant and accurate health metrics, based on customer satisfaction, effort, emotional value, and promotion (such as NPS, CSAT and CES*), which can make business strategies more connected to real customer experiences. Customer journeys are dynamic and alive, requiring consistent effort from all business areas to track metrics. Understanding how CX metrics can impact your business results is the key to developing a customer-centric mindset and keeping up with the latest trends in the business and consumer world.
If you want to know more about journey mapping, speak with our experts to find out more about our Connected Marketing ecosystem approach and its offerings.
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(*) NPS: Net Promoter Score; CSAT: Customer Satisfaction Score; CES: Customer Effort Score.
This blog is jointly authored by –
Hadassa Bastos Amaral Edueta – Connected Marketing Senior Manager – Practice Lead
Gustavo Henrique Marques – Connected Marketing Coordinator