Forward-thinking CEOs and CMOs have used customer journey maps as a crucial mechanism to inform and define all aspects of the customer experience: product development, in-store experiences, website development, and marketing efforts.
Customer journey maps define every touchpoint of the customers' experience from the very first interaction with the brand. Companies deploy them in order to gain a better understanding of where customers are experiencing pain points and making decisions to abandon the process, as well as identify opportunities for additional revenue. Most mapping activities start with soliciting feedback via customer surveys, employee feedback, and other C-suite ideas, then delve into different hypotheses. For example, retail stores deploy "retail shoppers' whose goal is to anonymously review the experience. Once that is in place, hypotheses are formed about how to remove those pain points, and then the process starts again. Every change requires constant iteration.
One problem: for some, they're not effective.
Poor research practices often lead to confirming what leadership already believes or the strategy that has already been discussed. Without a rigorous examination and scientifically validated process, bias and unvalidated inferences creep in.
Why Your Customer Journey Map Needs More than One Customer Group
The truth is that every company should have multiple customer journey maps aligned to multiple "personas," or archetypes of their different customers organized by motivation.
Why have multiple personas? Consider this: a utilities "prosumer" or highly educated energy consumer wants to see every data point on the energy they are using and wants a utility company app to provide that information. A small business owner, on the other hand, is only focused on what can help them save more money. The data points may be of interest-- but only if they get him or her closer to their end goal of a lower utility bill.
You may think your customers are the same, or that you just need to market to your high-value customers. Customer journey mapping with all types of customers will reveal that there is some revenue left on the table with the smaller fish. Word to the wise: don't go in with your personas already ironed out in your head. Let the researcher perform the exercise and identify the consumer personas objectively. They may find that how you are grouping and defining your customers does not align with reality.
Consider how you group your customers, but then put yourself in the shoes of yourself as a customer. How are your motivations different when visiting your favorite retail store vs. someone else your same age or gender? For example, a male in their mid-50s may visit their retail store primarily to fill prescriptions for their ailing health, and just want to get in and get out. A different retail pharmacy customer may want specific recommendations to lose weight, and wants to spend more time speaking with someone who can help them plan out their meals and grocery shop. A third type of customer may be a caretaker; coming to the pharmacist for them means that they need to make sure they can repeat and remember that information for someone else, as well as an experience that will support them in a stressful position. Those are three types of customers with three different motivations and needs from their pharmacist.
Tools of the Data-Driven Customer Journey Mapping Trade
User researchers’ tactics include:
The end goal is a compelling and data-driven story about your consumers. Once there, the research team can compile the data that you have and identify some ROI estimates. For example, let's say during the busiest hour, five of the twenty customers perusing an Asian grocer's deli will abandon their purchase because the line is too long. If the average deli purchase is $11.50, implementing a more efficient layout, ordering process or a new POS system to capture those customers would generate an additional $57.50 in revenue per day, or $20,930 per year— without even factoring in the efficiency increases to decrease costs operations side.
Want to learn more about making a data-driven customer experience strategy? Download our latest report on how to use ROI to inform your business case.
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