The Value of Customer Journey Mapping
Toby Hawkes is the principal of retail and consumer goods at North Highland
Michael Baum is the director of Sparks Grove, a division of North Highland
Customer journey mapping will help you accomplish the following:
- understand where there are friction points in the purchase path that increase the likelihood of an abandoned cart;
- understand where customers may consult with your competitors, resulting in lost opportunities;
- identify and remedy the dissatisfiers in the purchase path, resulting in increased loyalty and repeat purchases; and
- provide another method of segmenting customers by their behavior to enable more relevant marketing.
To start, select a representative sample of customers and channels. Talk to your customers about their most recent purchases and work backwards as this helps the customer to more accurately recall each step. Don't forget abandoned journeys!
The key points to "map" are those touchpoints where the customer has some other kind of interactivity with people and/or information within the experience being mapped (e.g., shopping, returning merchandise, etc.). In your interviews, seek to understand how customers felt during and at the end of the interaction within each touchpoint. This is how you understand whether that touchpoint is great, just ok or needs attention.
As always, developing understanding makes you wiser, but it only makes you richer when you use that understanding to positively impact the customer experience.
For example, one omnichannel retailer used customer journey mapping to identify and improve a portion of the customer experience, which it didn't realize was problematic. After conducting 85 individual customer interviews, the retailer became aware of specific touchpoints which were causing customers to re-evaluate their potential purchase. The company's next step was to lay the 85 journey maps together to identify patterns. It grouped similar journeys and created segments, and then developed personas for each of the segments to create deeper empathy for the customer and their respective journey.
From this effort, the retailer discovered that there were portions of the current experience which were negatively impacting their customers. The company was able to address those pain points and adjust its internal operations. It not only achieved differentiation, but was also able to remediate friction points.