Customer journey mapping is the fundamental component of any web development strategy, and at the core of UX design. The reason? It maximizes website usability to ensure your customers are doing exactly what you want whether that’s clicking, reading, or buying.
More money for you, less problems for them.
Today’s customers are cross-channel in their interactions with companies as they follow non-linear courses across physical and digital touch points on their customer journey to purchase. That’s why it’s important for decision-makers to be able to follow the customer journey to identify and remove any points of friction encountered and to be able to deliver seamless experiences.
Companies such as Amazon, Apple, and The Ritz-Carlton spend millions of dollars to understand their customers, taking steps to remove any obstacles that may impinge on the customer journey. This could be things like slow loading times, clunky content, or hidden CTAs. Your website should be directing the user to a goal, as if you are holding their hand and leading them toward the cash register.
Research has shown that companies delivering consistent customer experiences tend to have higher levels of loyalty and long-term customer lifetime value. Well, duh. But now we’ve seen these customer service experiences reach new heights with the introduction of social media platforms. Now customers can interact with companies directly on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Periscope, and YouTube.
For customer journey mapping, the first step is to understand WHO are your customers. Sometimes these are referred to as user personas.
Who are they?
What do they care about?
What do they want from your website?
What devices do they use? What social media platforms? When are they most active online?
Personas were informally developed by Alan Cooper in the early ’80s as a way to empathize with and internalize the mindset of people who would eventually use the software he was designing. Designing a website, product, or content with user personas in mind gives your target audience exactly what they want.
This is why we see tools like CRMs or analytics software being used to understand the behaviour of site users to measure if they correspond to initial user persona mapping.
For instance, an automotive customer who is visiting a dealer’s website to find out about oil change services can immediately be provided a pop-up offer to schedule an appointment. This type of proactive gesture can simplify the appointment process for the customer.
But to simplify this conversion process you need to know what your customers want.
By identifying a customer’s current digital behaviours coupled with the customer’s historical transaction, demographic, and psychographic data, customer experience practitioners can be better positioned to anticipate and act on a customer’s needs.
An electronics retailer using an analytics-led customer journey mapping tool can see that a loyal customer is visiting its website to view laptops, including pages that are created for college-bound students. The tool can then help to identify the best response to provide the customer, including a customized offer that draws from the customer’s purchase history along with an offer for a particular laptop that customers with similar traits have purchased.
This customer journey mapping strategy ensures website success based on your company goals because you are giving people what they want quickly.
Is your site lacking interaction and sales?
Well ask yourself, does your website have an effective customer journey mapping strategy integrated?