What is customer journey mapping – and how can it help your business grow?

As a business, you probably think you know your customers inside out. However, customers can be unpredictable and act in ways you wouldn’t expect.

If your customers have left you feeling clueless, one beneficial tool to implement is customer journey mapping.

What is a customer journey?

The customer journey is the path your customer takes; starting with them having a problem that needs solving and turning into one of your loyal customers.

It’s not always a linear process as some customers can enter the journey at different stages or may skip some of the checkpoints altogether. Each stage also represents very different customer needs, which is why thorough customer journey analysis is important.

What are the main parts of the customer journey?

Things will look different for every company and will depend on your typical customers and the products or services you provide.

However, generally, there are five stages to address:

  1. Awareness – Customers begin looking for a solution to a problem.
  2. Consideration – Customers know what will solve their problem but need to find a company to provide that product or service.
  3. Decision – Customers have chosen a company and are ready to purchase.
  4. Retention – Customers have now purchased and choose to stay with the company.
  5. Loyalty – Customers are loyal to one company and promote it to friends and family.

How to implement a customer journey mapping process

If you’re looking to reach out to customers at various touchpoints, customer journey mapping is an important exercise. It’s also vital for growing your business – as it brings you much closer to your customers and therefore, boosts both retention and new business wins.

The mapping process involves creating a visual representation of a customer’s interaction with your brand. From this, you will gain a good understanding of what stages your customers encounter, how well you meet customer needs at different points, any barriers that prevent customers from progressing along the journey, and opportunities to improve the customer experience.

The benefits of customer journey mapping

Breaking down the customer journey into sections is a beneficial task, regardless of the size or type of your business. Here’s why:

  • You can align your customer journey with business goals.
  • You can bring the focus of your company back to your customers.
  • You can increase your sales.
  • You can tailor your service offering depending on the customer.
  • You will be more proactive with customer service.
  • You can eliminate bottlenecks that can prevent sales.
  • Improve your customer retention rate.
  • You can better predict customer behaviour.
  • Creates a seamless experience for customers, regardless of where they are in the journey.

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