Have your returns decreased? Are your customer reviews not as positive as you would like them to be? Was there a major shift in your market and you're not sure how your customers will react? Or do you just have an interest in improving your customer experience, because you heard it can improve customer loyalty and advocacy?
One of the greatest, tangible tools to help with all the above is a Customer Journey Map. According to a recent report by a leading intent-based marketing company that collects and analyzes data on buyer behavior across 200+ B2B sectors, “companies that do journey maps right, drive truly eye-popping ROI, including 200 percent more employee engagement, 350 percent more revenue from customer referrals, and more.”
A Customer Journey Map is a diagram that shows every different stage your customer goes through when interacting with your company, from pre-sales, considering your product and company, to the actual purchase with you, to retention and customer advocacy. Now, all of these stages can vary across industries, but you get the drift. Along with mapping out the specific stages your target customer goes through, are the associated actions they must take through each, the feelings they have during each stage and ultimately uncovering ‘gaps’ or opportunities within each stage of the process.
Aside from uncovering fruitful opportunities, is an additional benefit when conducting a customer journey map, like increasing employee engagement. If you have different teams- let’s say, a sales team and a marketing department, this exercise often helps break down any barriers or ‘silos’ between the teams. This creates transparency and unity and thus increases productivity. Both the company and the customer benefit greatly from this. Sometimes sales feels marketing doesn’t really understand the customer or vice versa, and going through the mapping process will help alleviate those concerns and more importantly show both parties opportunities to improve the customer’s interactions with the business.
It can also help you ensure your business processes are efficient by uncovering any points or ‘opportunities’ in the process that may take too long or are un-intuitive. Increased efficiencies can bring about cost savings. These opportunistic points will typically show up as points in the journey map that create a negative emotional response or worse- where a customer may action or decide to go with a competitor.
So, you're thinking, this all sounds great, but how do I get the buy-in from leadership to spend the time and money on journey mapping? It is true, I usually find that these are the two main push backs- too time consuming and expensive. There are options and companies out there that take days, and lots of research and are therefore, wildly expensive.
The point is, there ARE options! You can do a simple journey map in half a day or less, using the knowledge you and your team already have about your customer. You can go one step further even by pulling together a small sample of customer reviews and sentiment (provided you are gathering this info regularly) or finally, by pulling together a small sample of willing customers, virtually. Bottom line, this exercise does not have to be long and agonizing or expensive, but it WILL BE incredibly insightful.
So, are you ready to get started? Map out your specific opportunities and optimize your customer experience? All you will need is to schedule a half-day with your key employees (it works best if every department is represented) and a few flip boards.
Intandem Digital Consulting works with small to mid-size companies to refine their customer experience programs by conducting Customer Journey Mapping sessions. We will assist with everything from coordinating participants, providing invite templates, structuring and format for the workshop and finally, providing your team with the Journey Map and Opportunities Report.
For more information on our Customer Experience Strategy services, Social Media Management and Website Design, feel free to drop us a line HERE.