If there’s one question that comes up again and again in my line of work it’s: why should I bother doing a customer journey map? What’s in it for me and my business?
First, the reason you should create a customer journey map is your customer. Your customer decides whether your brilliant business idea actually has value and is worth their time and/or money. Your customer ultimately dictates whether your value proposition is indispensable in their life. Therefore, your customer deserves a unique and memorable experience. The journey map is the assured way for you to create that memorable experience.
Secondly, journey maps are the gateway to increased revenue, increased brand visibility, reduced costs and stronger customer engagement. You read that right. All of the above are within your grasp just by making journey maps an integral part of your process.
So let’s countdown the top 5 key sources of ROI that result from the use of Customer Journey Maps.
#5 Channel Optimization
Every journey map starts with a customer persona. Journey maps allow you to visualize the many interactions and touchpoints that a given persona has with your product or service. By analyzing this map you gain a better understanding of the channels (email, print catalog, brick and mortar store, etc.) through which each persona interacts with your brand. This understanding is ultimately very powerful because it gives you the ability to optimize each of these touchpoints to best benefit the needs of each persona. This means that your efforts are much more effective and excess costs are reduced because you stop focusing on touchpoints that don’t bring much benefit to a given persona.
#4 Removal of Ineffective Touchpoints
Even with the best of intentions, many of us will still implement customer experiences that can be very costly in terms of time and effort for both the business and customers. With the use of customer journey maps, you not only zoom into the details of a particular touchpoint, but you also zoom out to see all the other touchpoints and their resulting interactions. The micro and macro view afforded by customer journey maps means you can streamline each touchpoint, and even eliminate entire touchpoints that don’t add value to customers. The resulting effect here is reduction of costs for your business, and a much more efficient and engaging experience for your customers.
#3 Designing for Word of Mouth (WOM)
The word-of-mouth effect is what all of our business dreams are made of. We can hire shrewd growth marketers, brilliant content marketers or astute social media strategists that are aware of the next big social media platform before it’s even developed. However, none of these people can quite replicate the results that old fashioned word-of mouth can. As humans we’re very skeptical of “marketing” and prefer to get recommendations from others we know and trust. So, this means that as a business you should be putting all your efforts into designing a customer journey that will truly address the needs of your customers. By addressing their needs, your product or service becomes relevant and even, indispensable. This ultimately leads to them trusting you and recommending you to others. And just like that your word-of-mouth effect takes on a life of its own, generating more new customers and increased revenue. All of that without you having to invest a ton of money and time in “classic marketing”.
#2 Emotional Segmentation across business lines and personas
As you work with your journey maps, you start to know your customers and your processes better. You’ll also start to notice trends in the types of emotions and behaviors each segment gravitates toward. This eventually leads to the emotional segmentation of your customers. Getting your emotional segmentation right is incredibly useful because you don’t want to be sending weekly email reminders to customers who find that frustrating, for example. Or you don’t want to send an offer for an online sale to a customer who’s shown a history of always requiring the human interaction offered only in-store. Effective emotional segmentation will result in the ability to put up emotional guardrails to protect the customer in all stages of their journey. Sound expensive? Rest assured that there will be patterns that allow you to scale this across business lines once the discipline is built, resulting in reduced complaints and increased loyalty.
#1 Organizational Alignment
A customer journey that is valuable and in alignment with the needs of a customer can only be created by a team or organization that is aligned across all departments. This is the single greatest opportunity a journey map will provide an organization. If you’re tired of hearing about silos and throwing orders over the wall to the next department…journey mapping may be the only thing employees will agree on. A customer journey map will teach them to put themselves in the customer’s shoes, and see their product or service from their customer’s viewpoint. By getting the entire organization aligned on the same vision of a future-state and by giving employees line of sight to their impact, the collaborative work of designing the right type of journey for the right type of customer can begin. This process ultimately engages employees to be part of the solution, ready to start bulldozing silos. Enjoy this source of ROI as one that has the trifecta effect: increased revenue, decreased costs, and happier employees who are more efficiently aligned.
As you can see, creating a customer journey map that will deliver strong results requires taking into account varying (and sometimes, competing) business factors. It’s also a very collaborative effort. With Touchpoint Dashboard’s online journey management platform, you can take full control of your journey mapping. You get the peace of mind that comes with having a centralized repository within which to organize your maps. You can also share your maps with your team members at any time, allowing them to provide their feedback and help you in the process of designing the best journey possible for your customers. By working with an online platform you can iterate and test out ideas as often as necessary to make sure that not only are customers satisfied, but that you’re also getting the best ROI on your efforts.