Improve the overall customer experience across all touchpoints
Customer journey mappings provide valuable input
Sometimes customers invest a lot of time in research before they decide on your company’s product (or service), or they encounter it spontaneously and by chance. Even after the purchase, some of your customers are in contact with you during the initial or entire usage phase. Ideally, they will even buy your products again and again and recommend them to friends and acquaintances.
The process that your customers go through before, during, and after purchasing your products is always characterized by touchpoints with your company that have a significant influence on the customer experience. Knowing these touchpoints and knowing what needs, expectations, and problems exist at each stage of the buying process is of the utmost importance for marketing, in addition to the product itself.
With the help of customer journey mapping, we can map this buying process from the customer’s perspective, identify current problem areas and jointly develop ideas for optimizing the customer experience.
The process for creating the Customer Journey Map with you and your customers looks like this:
1. Defining the question
The first step is to define overarching questions for the map. On the one hand, this makes it possible to first obtain an overview of all the possible touchpoints. On the other hand, the number of touchpoints and possible directions of investigation is immeasurably high, so it is important to specify the goal of the map. Questions could be these, for example: What motivates the customer to buy? What does the long-term customer relationship look like? Which touchpoints trigger enthusiasm, and where do they lead to disappointment?
2. Stakeholder Workshop (optional)
It is also a good idea to hold a workshop with employees from different departments in your company. The workshop serves to create a comprehensive touchpoint map that captures the existing knowledge or the assessment from the perspective of the employees who put themselves in the customers‘ shoes, or to define initial assumptions. As a result, it is frequently possible to identify elements of the customer journey map that need to be focused on or examined in greater detail.
3. Conducting a customer study
Now we turn our attention to the consumers. In qualitative individual interviews or group discussions, we design the customer journey step by step with the different types of customers. Two approaches are possible here:
We create a completely new journey map by working with customers through their personal customer journey.
Or we present the customer with the journey map from the company’s point of view, play it through step by step, adapt it and expand it.
4. Map creation
To create the map, we use digital tools such as the Miro whiteboard. This allows us to further develop the journey map in the long term and adapt it dynamically. During the workshop, we can develop a first version of the journey map together with Miro and present it as a basis for discussion during the subsequent interviews. In addition, observers of the interviews have the opportunity to work on the Customer Journey Map live behind the scenes.
The contents of a journey map are individual and are defined together in advance. However, there are typical elements that give the map a structure. As shown in the exemplary figure, the columns show typical phases of the buying process. The rows represent which topics we examine in more detail in each phase of the buying process.
5. Evaluation of the customer journey
In the classic version of customer journey mapping, all interviews are conducted, evaluated, and aggregated journey maps are displayed. If different, predefined personas are to be examined, a separate map is created for each persona.
Alternatively, we can also develop the journey map dynamically. This means that we concretize the journey map after each interview and then present the further developed map to the next participant. With this approach, it is advisable to conduct a short wrap-up session with the interview observers after the interviews have been conducted in order to work out a common understanding for the adaptation of the map. In addition, we can collaborate in a results workshop to develop initial ideas for optimization based on the findings and determine the next steps.
6. Next steps
Our experience shows that it often does not stop at the one-time creation of the customer journey maps. During the analysis, elements can often be identified which we then iteratively deepen in further studies. Depending on the question, qualitative and quantitative surveys as well as (mobile) ethnographic approaches that accompany the entire buying process are suitable for this purpose. In addition, it can be useful to conduct mystery shopping at certain touchpoints with the SKOPOS NEXT team or to develop innovations in workshops together with the SKOPOS NOVA consultants.
You have questions? We are happy to advise you!