The path to purchase or conversion is no longer linear, with customers often using a variety of devices and channels.
For marketers, creating a consistent customer experience in this context is a big challenge.
As a result, ‘customer journey mapping’ – which is a visual representation of every interaction a customer has with a business – can be a valuable tool. In fact, according to Econsultancy’s ‘The Business Case for Customer Journey Mapping’ report, in association with Salesforce, companies who embed mapping in their culture are twice as likely to exceed their top business goals than their competitors.
So, why is this the case? Subscribers can read the report for a full run-down of the topic, but in the meantime, here are just four benefits of customer mapping to consider.
To enhance personalisation
Econsultancy’s report suggests that ‘journey mapping is a cheat code for better customer experience’. This is quite a broad statement, but essentially, it means that by understanding how a customer interacts throughout their entire journey, marketers are therefore in a much better position to improve it.
Personalisation is one proven way to elevate CX. With the insights generated from customer journey mapping, marketers are able to provide consumers with more contextually relevant and valuable interactions at every important stage. For instance, recognising when a customer transitions from ‘awareness’ to ‘research and consideration’, the marketer will be able to guide the customer towards the point of decision-making, by delivering the right message at the right time.
Marketers have reported hugely positive results from delivering personalised customer journeys, including improved retention rates and increased lifetime value.
To uncover inconsistencies
One of the most valuable results of customer journey mapping is in uncovering the gaps between what a customer wants and the experience that they actually receive. Indeed, 42% of client-side respondents to Econsultancy’s survey agree that mapping helps them identify these types of inconsistencies.
These issues can often be related to service or communication, meaning they can also easily be addressed. One example is to identify customers who are left waiting for a response on social media, or customers who are being sent irrelevant emails.
In this context, customer journey mapping can help businesses to align strategy and execution, eradicating poor mistakes within the customer journey that can damage the overall perception of a brand.
To identify pain points
Another benefit of customer journey mapping is that it can help marketers to make the path to purchase much more seamless, reducing the amount of time and effort customers have to put in in order to get what they want.
By identifying pain points, such as having to fill in forms or going through multiple steps to check out, marketers can then work to reduce these unnecessary steps or barriers. In turn, customer advocacy and loyalty can increase, as satisfied customers are more likely to shout about a positive and seamless experience online or to friends or family.
However, while customer journey maps allow businesses to make their processes efficient and easy for customers to use, it is also just as important to monitor the post-purchase part of the journey. This is particularly the case within industries like travel, where the customer experience extends far beyond the point of purchase (and can make or break whether or not the customer returns).
To achieve strategic goals
Finally, while customer mapping can help to improve the customer journey, it can also help businesses to achieve wider and more over-arching strategic goals.
Interestingly, 43% of survey respondents said they are not only using insights to improve the customer journey but also their product or services. Similarly, three-quarters of respondents say they have used mapping insights to assist in developing their marketing strategy, and half of advanced brands are using mapping to gather valuable insights to help with storytelling.
Overall, customer journey mapping can be a highly effective way to become more customer-centric, enabling marketers to turn insight into action.
Subscribers can download the full report, Walking in their Footsteps: The Business Case for Customer Journey Mapping.