With so many businesses having to re-engineer their processes to deliver services in a Covid based environment, we question whether the customer journey has been left behind.

First of all though, what is a customer journey?

According to the Harvard Business Review, it is the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company, whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination

The key word in this definition is engagement. It’s about the customers view point, each time they interact with your brand. From the moment they become aware you exist, through to any sale and beyond. The key stages of this journey are; awareness, showing interest, consideration, sale, post sales and hopefully re-sales.

During each of these stages, many things will go right but they can also go wrong. A customer journey looks to map these highs and lows in the journey in order to identify what is working well and what needs improvement.

By better understanding your customers, you can better deliver on their expectations. Creating and using a customer journey map to improve the customer journey will mean better customer experience and successful business outcomes.

How to create a customer journey map

Before physically creating a visual map, its important to consider a few key elements that will shape the entire process. In order to understand your customer needs, its important to understand your customers in depth.

Customer Personas

If you don’t have customer personas or haven’t updated them in a while, now is the time to do so. Creating a well defined, clear persona will enable you to understand who your customers are in more detail and what they are looking for, value, pain points and importantly what they potentially need or want.

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Whilst writing your personas, its important to define their needs. Rather than a purely internal view on customers, think about running a survey or focus groups to get detail information. This can provide valuable insight about each stage of the journey and what you may or may not be providing them.

·        Companies who exceed lead and revenue goals are twice as likely to create personas than companies who miss these goals.

·        71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas.

Time & Data

If you are a start-up this will be a little challenging, but most businesses hold a large amount of historical data that can be used to help create the customer journey. This data can be used to create typical or average journey a customer experiences from that very first contact through to when they leave. This will really enable you to see those touchpoints and how they are performing with real data.

Use data from the sales process, average sales cycle and customer experience to build richness.

Touchpoints

A touchpoint is all of the moments a customer directly interacts with you. Each of these touchpoints will be placed on your map and assessed for their effectiveness. Think about this purely from the perspective of the persona starting at that initial awareness, through first contact, gaining literature or materials, making enquiries, sales, servicing, and exit.

Each of these touchpoints will form a key component of your map.

Consider moments of truth. While its incredibly valuable to understand the journey as a whole, there are likely to critical moments that result in a make or break decision for your customers. In other words, a moment that can lead to a customer purchasing something from you, staying with you or leaving.

Bringing it all together

Google customer journeys and you will see a vast array of examples, all of which can make the process seem somewhat daunting.

Its important to start with the end in mind and keep a focus on whose journey you are mapping and why. Customer journeys shouldn’t be created for them to collect dust on a shelf, they should be a living breathing document that serves a purpose…. So be clear about why you are creating it.

Below are some of our favourite examples of customer journey maps.

Map goals, touchpoints, experience and business goals

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Map customer moments of truth, perceptions, risks and opportunities 

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Map the digital customer journey with activity, touchpoints, and interfaces

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So has the journey been forgotten?

With the rapid re-engineering required to adjust businesses to a Covid based world, it’s likely that many are yet to revisit their customer journeys and the impact Covid has had on them.

Has your business understood whether their customers personas have changed and therefore you customers wants, needs and painpoints are the same or different?

This is a short snapshot of customer journeys, the insight and value they can bring.

If you want to know more then please get in touch or you can download our customer journey template for free by signing up to our newsletter.

You can also follow us on LinkedIn to see our future whitepapers on the End of Life Process and Investor Journeys.

www.simplifyconsulting.co.uk

References: https://www.stephenzoeller.com/buyer-persona-research-insight/