When starting a company of any kind, you probably know that one of the first things that need doing is creating a workflow. A precise sequence of every stage and process that occurs in the company is vital to get things going. It makes for a well-oiled machine and a seamless experience for your customers.
Unfortunately, merely having a workflow doesn’t necessarily mean it is functioning to the letter. Even worse, customers know when things aren’t working the way they should: service becomes slower, mistakes happen more often, and the overall experience is less than perfect.
So it’s not just about having a workflow; it’s also about implementing it correctly. And for that to happen, you need to understand your processes from the other side, thus seeing how every step directly affects your customers. And the best way to do that is through a customer journey map.
What Is a Customer Journey Map?
According to the Harvard Business Review, a customer journey map is “a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company.” This can be as varied as your company; it can mean products, services or even online experiences.
Creating a customer journey map (and a workflow one, at that) requires knowledge of who you’re selling to, and of the processes involved in your final product. This chart, in particular, will help you understand how your customer’s goals align with the way you’re presenting your company through advertising, branding, and processes.
Of course, the customer journey map will be as simple or as complex as your actual business. It should include details such as customer motivation, triggers, emotions, challenges and the best possible outcomes. The map will have to include:
- Customer profiles
- Customer goals
- Points of contact
- Workflows (based on touchpoints above)
The points above can make you understand a few things better, such as:
- The different roles in the process and what each they entail
- Which specific tasks need doing
- The resources used to complete each task
- Desired outcomes
- The various decision-making processes involved
- The difficulties and threats to the completion of each task
What Does a Customer Journey Map Look Like?
The design is up to whatever is most comfortable to you and your team, but the idea is that it looks like an infographic. It’s supposed to be easy on the eyes, as opposed to the more strict workflow map. You want your customer journey map to be a visual aid, first and foremost. It should teach your team members how to understand how their customers think and what makes them happy.
See this link for a complete breakdown: https://www.brightvessel.com/customer-journey-map-2018/
The Bright Vessel customer journey map looks like this:
Compare it to our own (and subway-themed) Digital Marketing workflow map:
How To Research Your Customer Journey Map
A customer journey map isn’t a very difficult or necessarily super technical tool to have at your disposal, but it does take a little bit of work to create. The first thing you’ll need to do is research into your audience, and it’s something you should take time to do right. There are two ways to go about researching.
Analytical research will come from any metrics tool you have at your disposal; Google Analytics is the most common one. The best of these tools will give you an insight into vital details that could be corrected, such as a particular point when you began receiving more negative feedback.
You can use the different indicators provided by your trustworthy metrics software to find gaps in your workflows. Little by little, it can help your customer journey map take form.
The human component of what those metrics are saying. You can obtain information straight from the source by engaging with your customers through interviews, questionnaires, and surveys. That way you can hear what they have to say regarding their experience with your company.
The common points in stories of success and failure will help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t. What drives them to you instead of your competitors? Why aren’t they buying from you anymore? These are the type of questions you’ll get from these instruments.
Another factor you can take into account: staff members in your organization. Each team sees a particular process up close, and they have the best intel about what can be done to make things run smoothly. The entire staff, separately, can help you put together a single, cohesive picture of how everything is going.
Tips for Building Your Customer Journey Map
Once you feel you have enough data from different sources, it’s time to build the customer journey map. There are various tools to create yours, as it’s so dependent on visuals.
Some of the things you’ll want to depict:
- Imprint your customer profile
- Identify where you can customize further
- If necessary, gather more data about your customers
- Identify what drives your customers and what their goals are
- Turn your customers’ goals into tasks
At this point, you can map out the workflows for all different areas, considering your customers’ profiles.
While this might seem like the new and hip tool, you should tackle your customer journey map before workflows. This is the best way to attune your customers’ desires with your processes and see if what you’re doing meets expectations.
Both tools combined will create an excellent experience for your customer that leaves them satisfied with every step of the journey. That should translate into a strong and growing client base; one that tells everyone about you.
Bright Vessel specializes in creating effective marketing strategies, aimed at making businesses of all types thrive. Contact us and find out how Bright Vessel can help your brand.