Tips and tools for effective customer journey mapping

Customer journey maps are a popular tool to improve customer experience. Here’s how to get the most from them alongside techniques such as customer journey analytics.

Understanding customer priorities isn’t new. But customer experience is increasingly seen as a key business opportunity, beating data-driven marketing and social engagement in Adobe’s latest Digital Trends report.

Customer surveys are ubiquitous, but capture a tiny fraction of interactions — if customers bother to fill them in at all. Worse, they tell you nothing about potential customers lost along the way: Up to 84 percent of potential online retail purchases are abandoned before checkout. You can’t rely on what customers say; what matters is what they do.

Mapping customer and user journeys is a good way to rectify that. By analyzing each stage customers and users go through when interacting with your organization, you can get a better sense of what your customers are doing, what they’re trying to achieve, what they might expect and whether you deliver that, as well as what obstacles they might encounter and whether they’re likely to have a positive or negative experience in that interaction.

Moreover, a customer journey map makes it easier to see whether your existing strategy matches the customer journey or if you’re wasting time and money on the wrong initiatives. While only a third of companies have a formal process for it, doing journey maps well can drive faster sales cycles, reduce customer service costs, improve referral revenue, and provide higher returns on marketing investment and better employee engagement. And with customer experience a top issue for CIOs these days, IT plays a key role in establishing and making the most of customer journey maps.

Anatomy of a customer journey map

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