As a digital strategist and email marketing expert for eCommerce, you might think my focus is fairly narrow; email is, after all, just one piece of the digital marketing puzzle. However, what people often fail to recognize is that in order to implement a successful email marketing strategy, you must first understand what the entire picture needs to look like; AKA a complete understanding of your customer journey map.
So, why is this so important?
Firstly, by stepping back and looking at the entirety of your customer’s journey, you are instinctively taking a ‘customer first’ approach, prioritizing the experience your customer will have, rather than simply focusing on the result you want. Given that in 2021, customer experience is one of the key considerations when choosing a product or service, this is the smart entrepreneur’s best bet!
Your customer journey map is a visual representation of every experience your customers have with your business, which may consist of one or many diagrams, depicting every step, from the very first touch point, to where you want them to end up. By understanding and empathizing with your customer’s mindset and experience at each stage, you’re able to better anticipate their needs, optimizing every single touch point or interaction they have with your business.
Another serious benefit is that by understanding each significant moment in the journey you want your customer to go on, you can begin to capture and track the all-important data and metrics at each stage. This will begin to paint a picture of where your customers most commonly drop out of the process, lose interest or aren’t having their expectations met. In turn, you can use this information to fix those issues, by adding extra support or touch points at those stages, or by simplifying your systems to remove any friction in the buying process.
Your customer journey map is also a fantastic way to improve teamwork and collaboration because it involves every function within your business. By clearly identifying every stage in the customer journey, you can pinpoint where each role comes into play, finding new and innovative ways to work cross-function to create an overall better customer experience. Plus, by acknowledging every single element that contributes to an eventual sale, a deeper respect and understanding for each other’s roles in the business is made possible: It’s not just the customer-facing members of your team that impact your customer’s experience!
Finally, having a clear customer journey map is also a serious act of service, as by understanding where and when your customers are likely to come up against objections and obstacles, you can help them circumnavigate those issues with the right information, stories and prompts, using your in-depth knowledge of your customer journey to anticipate their needs. After all, if you truly believe that your product or service can help your customer to achieve their goals - and I know you do - it’s your responsibility to ensure they find their way to it as painlessly as possible, right?
So, let’s recap the top 5 benefits of having a clear and data-driven customer journey map:
- It allows your business to understand and empathize with customers, so you can build meaningful connections and ensure each interaction reaps more rewards.
- Understand if and wherein the sales process your customers are losing interest, getting distracted or not having the expectations met, and course correct.
- You can optimize every stage of the customer journey, ensuring your customer’s experience is an overwhelmingly positive one.
- Create a culture of teamwork, mutual respect and collaboration within your business, by understanding the important role each team member plays in creating the overall customer experience.
- You can anticipate and overcome objections in advance by understanding when your customer is likely to meet hurdles on their way to achieving their goals.
Now it’s time to start mapping out your own customer journey map, outlining each touch point your customer experiences on their path to purchase!