What does journey mapping have to do with building your business’s brand image? The answer is everything.
Businesses believe that they can shape their brand image by creating logos, professional websites and by stressing on great content marketing. But your brand’s final image rests on something that’s not so easy to control: your customers’ emotions.
Your brand image is decided by how customers think and feel about you. And every interaction with your business affects how they perceive your brand. Your visual elements and brand messages help, but it’s the customer’s journey that matters.
To ensure a successful journey, you need to have a solid map in place. A customer journey map visually plots all the touch points where customers interact with you. It lets you build a comprehensive view of their experiences across their journey so that you can manage them effectively. You’ll get rich and actionable insights that create meaningful change and long-lasting customer relationships.
Of course, the benefits that come from a journey map will only appear if you’ve done it correctly. There are several common mistakes businesses make that can lead to inaccurate journey maps.
What are these mistakes? Let’s find out. When you know what not to do, you’ll take steps that lead to real change that grows your organization.
Using a business perspective
An easy-to-miss error that most businesses make is to create a journey map from their point of view. Businesses often assume they know what customers want, so when they chart a journey map, they’re relying on their perceptions.
A company will have an operational view of the customer’s journey, and it will use language that reflects the business’s, not customers’, experience. A map made without the customer’s viewpoint will provide inaccurate and unhelpful information that serves no purpose. Failing to use your customers’ perspectives when creating a journey map points to the next key mistake – not informing the journey map with actual customer input.
Not getting customer input
When you try to create a journey map without customer feedback, you’ll be likely to make mistakes. This is because you won’t know what you don’t know. A customer journey map needs to be fed with rich and real feedback directly from your customers.
The key is to make collecting feedback an automatic part of all important experiences, e.g., triggering a survey when leaving a website, after purchasing a product or after a customer support interaction.
It’s important to use form tools, surveys, and other means to collect information. The most valuable type of feedback you can get is through an interview, where customers share personal and rich information. You’ll get deeper insights into how people are interacting with your business. You’ll also find pain points you’ve missed as well as new business opportunities.
Aside from using survey tools and asking for feedback, you can also carry out user tests to understand what the user is feeling and thinking as they work with your product.
Another unconventional but effective way to stimulate your customers’ experience is to go on the journey yourself. Pretend you’re your own customer and go to your website to buy a product or get help from support. Do the same thing with a competitor’s product or site. When you ‘experience’ what your customers do then your journey map will be built on real information.
No practical application
Creating a journey map isn’t an end unto itself. Journey maps are actionable guides that drive change at every level of the organization starting from the top-down. One of the mistakes that a business can make is to create their journey map but not use it to make changes.
Your customer journey map will inform you about touchpoints where experiences are positive or negative. When you have such information, you’ll be able to leverage the operations that create these positive outcomes and apply it to other places in your work. Or if you have negative experiences at specific touchpoints, it’s essential to understand what isn’t working and to make the right changes.
A successful journey mapping initiative focuses on finding and solving problems, which means involving your entire business.
Maintaining silos in the company
Effective customer experience management cannot come from isolated teams and silos in your business. You need the input and effort of your organization as a whole in not only shaping the journey map but also in implementing it.
Silos in your business can mean miscommunication and slower problem solving for your customers. For example, even though Accounting may not directly deal with customers, they will have an impact on customer satisfaction when it comes to refunds and other issues.
There are several ways that involving your entire business matter:
- You’ll get different insights and input from team members across the business that gives new perspectives
- You can use your map to understand how different teams and functions can collaborate to make the customer experience more meaningful.
- Involve members of your organization from different levels in the process to know their role in boosting customer experience
- Make customers more ‘real’ to employees who don’t deal with customers face to face. A journey map makes the customer a clear and defined element. Which will lead to your whole organization understanding customer needs and improving their services
Overlooking pain points
When focusing on touchpoints, it’s also important to include pain points. Any kind of interaction that frustrates your users needs to be immediately handled.
Pain points can indicate deeper concerns within your organization. You’ll be able to identify communication gaps and other misalignments at work. In this way, a customer journey map with the right insights will improve your business’s functioning overall.
Creating a one-size-fits-all map
The key to great customer experience is to offer personalized interactions. In fact, the lack of personalization is a significant pain point and will lead to customers unsubscribing from email lists or leaving negative feedback. A study featuring personalization found that 74% of people hate being shown irrelevant and non-personal content.
When it comes to journey mapping, it means that using a single customer persona will create an inaccurate map. You’re likely to help some customers and not others. Consider building maps for different profiles or segments. You’ll need to have a comprehensive understanding of who your customers are, how they interact with your brand, and what their preferences are.
It’s vital to create your customer persona before you start mapping. At the very least, try to build maps for your most important customer profiles. You won’t be able to create journey maps for each unique customer, but reflecting different customers in your map will serve you better.
Not adapting your journey map
A journey map isn’t a one-time activity after which your map lies forgotten on a shelf. Consider it a working map, where you add new features and information as you come across them.
As you apply your insights from your map into your business operations, you’ll come across mistakes or missing information. Keep updating the customer journey map to reflect the latest and best knowledge you have.
Doing so will help you evolve your relationships with customers to greater levels with better services.
Your map to customer success
A smart business leader knows that customers make the business. This makes it crucial to create a journey map to know what makes customers happy.
The key lies in using accurate information and keeping your journey map updated. We’ve looked at several helpful points to remember when mapping your customer’s journey with your organization.
Remember the tips mentioned here and you’ll be sure to build an actionable customer journey map that boosts customer relationships.