Customer Journey Maps to Improve Customer Experience

October 22, 2020 at 5:00 AM
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It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The same principle can be applied to a customers’ journey as well. From the first contact, to purchase and beyond, your customers witness numerous moments of truth for which they would want to leave their feedback. Each website visit, each survey filled, each customer support experience influences the customers’ behavior, shapes their feedback, and determines their brand loyalty.

This is where a tiny window of opportunity opens up to steer your customers down a path of success. In order to channel that power, you should have a deeper understanding of their needs, motivations, and behavior at each stage. Companies that propitiously thrive to understand the customer journey have improved customer satisfaction rates, reduced customer churn, and increased revenues. For example, Apple uses NPS surveys to generate over $25 million in additional revenue. At Amazon, an analyst estimated that one piece of customer feedback increased sales in the media products category by over 20%.

Customer journey mapping coupled with content leads to growth.

If you place customer data at the center of marketing and manage that data in real-time, the current customer journey --which seems complex and arbitrary-- can be unraveled beautifully. While the overall notion of customer experience is aligned towards better understanding and service to the customer, there are some captivating differences in how companies are evolving, investing in customer experience, and putting data to work.

In a world where instant, responsive service is the standard, it is often that the process itself is the product. Below are the four variables to measure while optimizing customer journey:

  • Actions: Analyze what the customer is doing at each stage and what actions are being taken to move on to the next stage.
  • Motivations: Understand why the customer is motivated to keep going to the next stage and what emotions are being felt towards the product.
  • Questions: Research the uncertainties, jargon, or other issues preventing the customer from moving to the next stage.
  • Barriers: Study the process, cost, implementation, or other barriers that stand in the way of moving on to the next stage.

For instance, let’s say you own an eCommerce store and you have a customer named Brittany who has shopped twice from your brand. After going through her visitor data, you notice that she had one customer support interaction with an agent that was not resolved and it is only after that interaction that she stopped purchasing from your site. What does this say? Likely, that it was a bad customer support experience, but you cannot say it with certainty until you interact with the customer again and collect her feedback.

In Brittany’s case, you understand that she loves your collection and that is why she was a recurring customer-- her motivations are justified. However, there wasn’t ample information on the questions and barriers she faced resulting in an inability to escalate and resolve the issue in real time: scenarios like this happen all the time that result in a loss of recurring customers. By mapping out customer expectations and obstacles at each stage, you are able to see what is working and what is not from the customer’s point of view.

Once you’ve chosen which type of customer to map, you should determine what their end-goal is. Although this part may seem effortless, it is important to take the time to really consider the specifics, especially if your business caters to more than one type of customer. The more specific goal you determine in the context of their customer persona, the better.

Map the reality, not how you perceive it

Here’s where your customer journey map magically turns into a tool. Assess each stage of the customer journey map, and determine to what extent customers are achieving their goal.Quantitative data can show you where on your map customers are falling through the cracks and the qualitative data can tell you why.

Knowing what the customer needs and expects at each stage of your company’s customer journey is something that you can only be determined by asking customers directly. With customer feedback, you’ll have a clear picture of your customer’s experience at each stage and you can learn what you need to improve that experience. Understanding a customer means understanding their context; if you can see the world through their eyes you can predict and serve their needs.

By strategically gathering customer feedback, you can enhance the customer’s journey and systematically close any gaps recognized in your map. Using DropThought, you automate survey distribution to get continuous feedback in real-time. Collect feedback through channels you already use with your customers or embed them directly into emails and web pages for better response rates. Measure the customer experience holistically across the customer journey map, and easily gain valuable, actionable insights.

At DropThought we help you focus on experience measurement, particularly on the importance of listening effectively. Use of a feedback management system is the starting point of adapting to this ‘new normal’. From start to finish, we’re dedicated to your success. For further queries regarding our crisis preparedness, Speak to a Dropthought Experience Consultant!

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