Customer Journey Mapping Software: Spark Engagement at Critical Points of the Journey
Ira Brooker October 5th, 2022
The first step toward improving your organization’s customer experience is getting a better understanding of exactly how customers interact with your business. Taking stock of how customers discover your organization, how they navigate your processes, what challenges they encounter while doing business with you, and other key steps in their customer journey. Let’s take a closer look at what these customer journeys mean to your organization, and how an automated customer journey mapping solution can help to attract and retain those potential customers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Introduction to the Customer Journey Map
- Why Does Customer Journey Mapping Make Sense for Enterprise Organizations?
- How to Create a Customer Journey Map
- Automating the Customer Journey Map
- Adjusting Tactics Based on Customer Journey Mapping
- What Are the Benefits of Using Customer Journey Mapping Software?
- Map Your Customers’ Journeys with MHC
Introduction to the Customer Journey Map
Maps direct individuals to their destination, identify turns, warn users if they go off-track, and help them get back on task when they do. Many organizations charter extensive projects to map their customer journey, identify critical touchpoints in that journey, and learn how to improve their overall customer experience. But simply developing a big, colorful map isn’t sufficient to achieve those goals. Once a company has completed the customer journey mapping exercise, execution becomes the challenge.
According to the Aberdeen Group, proper execution of a journey map leads to substantial returns in many different areas, such as improved employee engagement, higher customer referrals, more positive mentions on social media, reduced customer service costs, and many more. With so many benefits to be gained from the mapping exercise, overcoming the execution challenge is crucial.
Why Does Customer Journey Mapping Make Sense for Enterprise Organizations?
A customer journey map is a visual representation of your customer’s interactions with your brand. That provides deep insights into both the current state and future state of your organization’s business practices. For enterprise organizations dealing with a high volume of customers, having all of that information laid out in easily understandable visual shorthand is an excellent way to understand and address some of the biggest challenges that come with serving your customers, including:
- CONSOLIDATING DATA FROM MULTIPLE CHANNELS – The channel that brings a customer to your business may not be the one that leads them to make a purchase. In the modern era customer touchpoints might include mobile apps, websites, social media advertisements, third-party referrals, and a variety of other outlets. An automated customer journey mapping solution makes it simpler to track the touchpoints that outdated customer data tracking methods can easily miss.
- TRACKING DATA FOR A VARIETY OF CUSTOMER PERSONAS – Not every customer comes to your business for the same reasons, and they don’t all behave the same way once they’ve found you. Customer journey mapping software makes it easier to conduct research by putting data on every key buyer persona and their activities all in the same place. That provides deeper insights into specific pain points, paths to purchase, and other factors that impact your overall conversions.
- UNDERSTANDING WHY CUSTOMERS END THEIR JOURNEY – Part of understanding how customers feel about their journey is assessing why it ends. Customer journey maps provide unprecedented insights into when, where, and why your customers abandon a transaction. That data can impact everything from your customer support practices to your UX design to your price points, ultimately helping you to understand the customer on a level that might not otherwise be possible.
How To Create a Customer Journey Map
Beyond simply identifying your customer’s pain points, you need to understand the motivation behind the customer journey. Tracking, recording, and examining customer behavior provides valuable insight into how clients are interacting (or not interacting) with your brand. Creating a customer journey map helps you visualize the customer experience and make changes that increase sales and positive interactions. Here’s how to make a quality customer journey map.
The First Draft
Most journey maps start out as spreadsheets listing the steps a customer goes through when interacting with your brand. Line items include things like:
- Buyer persona
- Customer goals and pain points
- Buyer motivation
- Key events in the buying process
- Roadblocks and touchpoints
The more your customer journey map includes, the better. You can always eliminate certain line items later on, but when first drafting your map, include as much information as possible.
Set specific goals and objectives. Ask yourself why you’re creating a roadmap and what you hope to learn from it.
This information is then used to create a visual diagram of the customer journey – also known as the map.
List Touchpoints And Motivation
To get a clear picture of the entire customer journey, you need to include every touchpoint on your website. These are all the areas customers can interact and engage with your brand. Examining touchpoints helps you better understand and track the actions of your customers.
You also need to consider the motivation and emotions behind these actions. Reports show that 95% of customer decisions are made based on emotion. A customer journey map shows you how and when to target customers during each part of the buying process.
Focus On One Customer At a Time
Chances are, you have several customer personas interacting with your brand at any given time. Trying to track and understand them all at once is both exhausting and ineffective.
To start, focus on your most common customer persona and follow their route when engaging with your brand. The great thing about customer journey maps is that you can make as many as you want, as often as you want. To see the best results, start with your largest customer base.
Tap Into Current Customers
The best way to gain insight into the customer journey is to survey current customers. Ask telling questions that help you better understand the buying process.
Here are a few examples of good questions to ask:
- What were your first impressions of the brand and website?
- How long did you stay on the website? Was it easy to navigate?
- What problem are you hoping our company can solve?
- Have you ever made a purchase with us? If not, why?
- What can we do to make the process easier?
Choose a Type Of Customer Journey Map
There are a few types of customer journey maps to choose from. The map you choose is based on the current obstacles your brand faces. You can also utilize different types of journey maps for different reasons.
- CURRENT STATE – The most popular type of customer journey map, this diagram outlines the emotions, thoughts, and actions of customers currently interacting with your company.
- FUTURE STATE – This type of customer journey map helps your brand look ahead toward the future of the company. It helps you visualize and predict the future emotions, actions, and thoughts of customers.
- SERVICE BLUEPRINT – If you’re looking for a simplified version of these common roadmaps, a service blueprint might serve you well. This outline focuses more on the people, processes, and technologies that impact the customer experience.
- DAY IN THE LIFE OF – This is a unique type of customer journey map that takes into account all of your customer’s actions, emotions, and thoughts – even those that don’t include their interactions with your company. Understanding the daily life of customers means gaining better insight into their needs and what motivates their buying decisions.
Automating the Customer Journey Map
Customer Journey Mapping is one module of MHC’s industry-leading customer experience automation platform, designed for implementation by itself, or in tandem with others to automate a company’s entire customer experience. Journey maps are easily entered into the software with an intuitive drag-and-drop user interface. MHC solution then generates and delivers personalized customer communications at defined milestones, and presents management with actionable data in easy to understand, configurable dashboards.
Input customer maps into our software with a simple, intuitive graphic interface based on drag and drop capabilities. Automate activities, including contextually-relevant, personalized communications, at any point during the customer journey. Accelerate interactions with customers and increase collaboration with all parties while improving visibility into those interactions. Leverage MHC’s customer journey tracking software to map both long-term journeys and short-term interactions.
Customer Dashboard and Analytics
Leverage MHC’s software to measure the success of a new customer journey map with executive dashboards containing standard and customized analytic tools. Identify trends in both the customer base and the broader market, and react as needed. Assess the performance of specific campaigns and individual communications to improve effectiveness. Calibrate communications and tactics for optimum impact.
Physical & Digital Touchpoints
Incorporate both non-digital and electronic interactions into the customer journey with MHC’s software. Track and manage phone calls, branch visits and in-store purchases, in addition to electronic communications, interactions and social media activity. Easily integrate the customer journey to any system to include activities recorded within them. Capture and monitor the complete customer journey.
Automate mail, email, text messages and other communications at desired points in the journey with MHC’s customer journey mapping software. Personalize communications on flexible criteria such as purchase history, spend, account age, account activity, demographics and more. Include relevant, individualized data and analytics specific to each recipient. Humanize communications while reaching audiences both large and small.
Improve the overall customer experience by monitoring the progress of both individuals and the entire customer base through both long-term journeys and short-term activities. Identify points of friction in the journey, correct them, and iterate to test new ideas and build true customer engagement. Leverage customer journey mapping software to earn customer loyalty by establishing customer-centric business processes.
Try our Customer Journey Mapping Platform
Adjusting Tactics Based on Customer Journey Mapping
The journey to customer advocacy involves knowing customer needs as they stand, but also tracking them as they change. With customer journey mapping software, businesses can easily take what they know about each customer and develop their engagement strategy accordingly. After mapping out the customer journey, companies can use the resulting data to adapt to the customer’s real-time journey.
Use a Journey Map to Better Understand Customers
Finding the customer’s ideal communication style quickly is extremely important because the end goal is to keep them engaged and inspire them to make a purchase. The process of constant “act-and-react” should not be mistaken for constant “trial-and-error” (although there will be some error), because businesses get a limited amount of tries. So how can brands get a good read on what a customer wants?
The right approach to customer journey mapping analytics is to accumulate knowledge over time using a CXA platform to get a clear picture of who the customer is. Predicting their needs does not have to be a guessing game.
A comprehensive view of past interactions with individuals or segments of customers provides essential information about their general and individual needs. Instead of looking at which touchpoint was effective and which was not, customer journey mapping software points out how it was effective or not, looking at big-picture patterns of behavior. With these tools in place, the future could very well be a reflection of the past.
Action and Reaction in the Customer Journey
Customer engagement is a process of constant action and reaction. Customers need engaging material to respond to, something which also needs to be considered when mapping out the initial journey. Sometimes, businesses might have a customer figured out, but this is not always the case.
Customer journey mapping software allows companies to see how the journey map plays out once put into effect. It relays how customers react to brand communications. Based on this, features like style, tone, and delivery time can be adapted accordingly until the ideal version is identified. The customer journey is not merely a look at data, but a study of customer motivations based on who they are, where they are, how they relate to the company, and other factors.
The customer journey map can be viewed broadly from beginning to end, or the customer’s behavior can be analyzed at each touchpoint – not only the ones that were mapped out, but the ones created by the customers themselves. Customers may request support, subscribe to newsletters, and request quotes, all without prompt, and all of these moments are documented in the journey.
Customer journey analytics relay how a customer responds to a call to action, and in some cases, even assess contextual information about the interaction: exactly how pleased or displeased was the customer with the timing/content of the last message? How excited are they to move forward?
Use the Information to Drive a Profit
Using customer journey mapping software, businesses can develop detailed portraits of their customers, which improve their chances to meet customer needs. Taking the time to understand what customers want generates more opportunities for brands to engage them effectively.
Communication is now more important than ever to business strategy, and ongoing correspondence should be viewed directly in line with customer retention. Sparking customer engagement at the right time in the customer journey increases the time they spend experiencing your service, which ultimately translates to higher profits.
What Are the Benefits of Using Customer Journey Mapping Software?
Positive customer experience is the best thing a business can invest in. Customers are the lifeline of any business’ profit margins, and making the most of every customer interaction with your brand is crucial. Strategic customer journey mapping helps businesses analyze these interactions and adapt them to optimize customer transactions. Leverage MHC EngageCX to design and develop a customer journey map to ensure each part of a transaction is processed in the most efficient way. Using customer journey mapping software allows your organization to:
1. USE ANALYTIC DATA TO MAKE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTS
In addition to increased productivity, customer journey mapping software is a constant source of ideas for improvement based on the customers’ current experience. It provides businesses with extensive analytic data generated by multiple customer interactions with the brand, collected over a preset period of time.
The data enables companies to analyze and measure the success of their overall customer experience strategies. It relays both the high points and the failures that customers encounter across the journey. Performing a regular audit of the customer journey map helps businesses improve the customer experience in the long run and ensure those customer transactions are truly optimized.
2. DEVELOP LONG-TERM CONSUMER LOYALTY
The top priority of customer journey mapping is the customers. When customers interact with a brand, they want to feel that their time is highly valued. In this regard, an optimized customer journey map with well-established focus points and no lags will stand out and it will make a difference to your audience.
The latest customer service statistics indicate that as many as 64% of buyers consider customer experience to be more important than price. When customers appreciate their experience with a brand, they become loyal to that business. Customer loyalty is an invaluable asset in the long run because satisfied customers become brand advocates that bring in new customers all on their own.
3. IMPROVE EMPLOYEE WORKFLOW
Customer journey mapping provides essential data about customers, which also highlights unnecessary tasks performed by employees, which can be eliminated. Not only does this save time for the employees, but it also makes them feel appreciated and respected.
Employees don’t want to work in a nonproductive environment. Instead, they want to contribute real meaning in the workplace.
They can do this by having more time to focus on genuine customer engagement. Make the most of the employees’ time on the job with a customer journey map that reduces their stress and adds value to the workplace.
4. INSPIRE POSITIVE FEEDBACK
The more engaged customers are, the more willingly they will provide feedback on their experience. Mapping the customer journey provides businesses with the opportunity to track their decision-making process.
Was the right content shared at the right time in their path? Were the customers ready for that phone call?
Journey maps enable brands to observe these interactions in real time and over a specific period of time. Once customer preferences have been observed in greater detail, businesses can readily fulfill their exact wishes.
5. ENHANCE THE COMPANY’S MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Customer journey mapping software is an essential asset to the marketing team. Mapping helps pinpoint the ideal areas in the customer experience where marketing content can be useful. For example, after a customer finishes a transaction is a good moment to prompt them to share their experience on social media.
The map also relays problematic areas in the customer journey where customer engagement decreases up to the point where they leave. With the help of a customer experience automation platform, these issues can be identified and resolved.
Any marketing input in problem areas might not have the desired effect, so efforts must be focused on parts of the journey that have the potential to convert.
6. ENGAGE CUSTOMERS BY UNIFYING THE BRAND
It’s important to provide a consistent customer experience across the board. Customers don’t want to shift gears every time they open a letter or an email from a brand.
Enterprises must instill confidence in the brand and keep customers engaged the whole way between departments, whether the conversation is financial, promotional, or something else entirely.
An underlying goal of customer journey mapping should always be to establish these separate communications as a unit. The customer relationship can be observed from beginning to end as one holistic transformation with different checkpoints. This means that the brand experience can be represented as a unit, with clear points of customer feedback.
7. SEND OUT COHESIVE COMMUNICATIONS
Accounting sends invoices, marketing sends out promotions, and customer service sends out newsletters. Unless these communications are streamlined across the customer journey, they are not efficient. In fact, they might even lead to a negative experience.
When communications are not cohesive, it presents the customer with a disjointed experience of the brand. Customer communications are all about unification.
Businesses should present a perfectly unified front to customers, to make it easier for them to connect with the brand. That is the goal of every customer journey.
So, enterprises should adjust their processes accordingly: bringing people in from outside your business requires a company to bring employees together and streamline operations internally.
8. STREAMLINE DOCUMENT DELIVERY TO MEET CUSTOMER NEEDS
Unifying document deliveries along a customer journey map can help businesses see the customer relationship from different vantage points. This can give the entire organization a firm, collective grasp on who they are speaking to, and what needs have to be met.
Take advantage of the complementary nature of company departments by letting each customer need inform others, across the organization.
Customer journey mapping enables businesses to predict customer needs, based on customer profiles over time.
Then, they can optimize the customer experience based on what they have learned from both active customer feedback, and their activity in the journey. Identify engagement touchpoints and the areas where customers lose interest and use this information to adapt.
9. SAVE TIME TO SAVE MONEY
Customer journey mapping software provides a significant boost in productivity. By eliminating unnecessary tasks, customers will move through their transactions with seamless efficiency. Moreover, businesses can save time on operational tasks. Employees will be able to focus on the essential factors related to processing customer transactions. They will have more time to prioritize business goals.
Map Your Customers’ Journeys with MHC
The bottom line is that an organization that lacks insight into how customers make their way to your product or service will be poorly equipped to give them the services they need and expect. By automatically mapping your customer journeys with MHC software solutions, you can generate the insights and data you need to build on existing customer relationships and create fruitful new ones. Contact us today for a free demonstration of the many ways MHC automation can bring you closer to your customers.