Keep in mind that customer journeys aren’t something that you manage. Your customers are the ones that do that. Does this surprise you? If it does, or even if it doesn’t, ask yourself in all honesty what a customer journey is in the first place anyway?
A customer journey is a combination of all things a customer does when he or she meets your brand. It’s their actions and interactions when dealing with your brand, and it happens at the many touchpoints they use to address any requirements they have.
This happens in your stores, your call center, and even through your website or mobile app. The behaviors and needs of your customers are going to be based on the decisions they make that you can’t actually manage. However, you can understand them.
Keep in mind that managing the journey of your customers is not your job. Instead, you should focus more on letting every one of your customers move smoothly from one interaction to the next, while you make sure that proper value is provided to them every step of the way. Alongside this post from Harnham, read the content below for ideas.
1) Take a walk in the shoes of your customers
It’s all about them; it’s not about you. Don’t let your customer journey-mapping wind up following the paths you think it should take, biased by your own processes, systems, objectives, or expectations. This is one case where you can’t look inside-out, but rather you need to look outside-in, and see your business from their perspective and point of view.
You need to know who they are, what their needs are, and what expectations, goals, and context are bringing them to your business. You likely already have a number of sources of data covering things like this, but you need to compile it all into one single place.
Personas are often helpful tools that let you put such information together, and having this kind of viewpoint into your customers’ journeys in real time is critical to seeing your company as they do. You’ll truly understand why your customers do the things they do when they interact with your brand.
2) Keep it honest
Focus your efforts on actually understanding what’s true of how your customers actually behave. Insight into genuine customer journeys enables you to come up with relevant conversations that lead to addressing the real needs of your customers in the proper ways.
Mapping customer journeys typically assumes that their journeys are static, even a controllable process where people behave as they are expected to. In truth, it’s all theory, so the practice is much different. Your customers have many different journeys they can simultaneously take, and switching between them happens a lot.
3) Confirm that your customer journey perspective isn’t just theoretical
Your view of your customers’ journeys should be based on live data in real-time, based on what they really do and experience in their interactions across all your various channels.
Modern technology and software make it possible to see a customer’s journey in live actual time, regardless of their touchpoint or the channel they’ve chosen.
For instance, you shouldn’t ignore, hide, or run from drop-offs, as they can actually be quite a valuable teaching tool where you learn particular pain points that need fixing. When you find one, you’re already a step closer to being able to fix some problem that’s causing customers to drop away from you.
4) Turn journey insights into actionable items
The desired output of genuinely effective customer journey-mapping is actionable insights. You should have a good understanding of the pain points customers have as well as see any opportunities you have to change your relationship with them, or even build it up better.
It’s on your shoulders to make sure that any customer journey data or insights point toward real-time and live actions you can implement in proper response to various individual needs your customers obviously have.
Seeing a customer journey is only half the battle because you don’t actually win if you can’t apply what you’ve learned about any corrective measures that are needed.
5) Create a cohesive customer view
All of your customer data that are spread across many different systems should be compiled together into a single layer where all customer information and data can be analyzed altogether.
This is where your team can have a cohesive single view of your customers, across the entire company, with everyone having equal access and insight into the customer point of view.
6) It’s only useful if you use it
If you ever get frustrated with your customer journey-mapping, don’t toss it all away because it doesn’t seem to be working. Instead, find ways to use them alongside your actual and live customer journeys and behaviors. This is what lets you test your hypotheses and theories against the truth.
Your customer journey-map is your model and prism for understanding the actual journey of a customer. This shared view of your customer’s journey is a way that various departments and teams can come together to focus collectively on the customer.