Customers are treated to a seamless online/offline experience from the moment they associate with one of the aforementioned famous brands, regardless of whether the engagement starts in a retail store location or on the company’s website. Thus, the question remains: how can bootstrapped entrepreneurs and smaller businesses that do not sell expensive goods or services learn to build these holistic, omnichannel consumer experiences? You might be asking yourself, “Where do I begin?”
As a digital agency that specializes in raising startup products, we took an opportunity to tell you the details of a customer journey app. So, sit back, relax and let’s roll into the article.
What is a customer journey map?
A consumer journey map is a visual representation of how your customer interacts with your company and its product. It serves as an assistant that allows visualizing customers as traditional flow charts, but you can add layers of information with this one.
Customer journey mapping does not have to be a complex technological process. It can be as straightforward as making an order at your favorite pizzeria. The critical point here is to get the data out of your team’s heads and visualize it.
When should you implement a customer journey map?
In a nutshell, as soon as possible. The sooner you will determine your offering, and who your potential customers are, the better it is for your business as you can already start working on it immediately.
Consider creating your first startup customer journey map as part of the concept validation process. It’s an opportunity to visualize how your concept would work before investing time and money in its growth. It lays the groundwork for more effective, reliable, and deliberate product creation. Often modern startups are sticking to the instinct “create first, ask questions later”. However, pausing early on to ask the right questions will save you and your team a lot of grief. Additionally, a well-designed startup customer journey map is an excellent opportunity for getting you and your team to ask the right questions.
With this in mind, don’t be surprised if your startup customer journey map may look significantly different at launch than it did six months ago. As our relationships with consumers are not static, neither should our approaches stay the same way. A consumer journey map should be a living, breathing document, something you can change.
What’s the point of a customer journey map?
It brings the team together
When you work together daily, it’s natural to believe that everyone understands what you’re constructing and how the pieces fit together. Once you’ve created a customer journey map, you’ll immediately know if you’re on the same page with your team because the page will be right in front of you. You want everyone to have the same understanding of the process and intent and to avoid misunderstandings. A well-designed consumer journey map enables you to accomplish precisely that.
It assists you in identifying issues
It’s simple to detect when something isn’t working correctly in your company. Your team is under pressure, your customer service line is exploding, or your sales have plateaued. What’s more difficult is determining the source of all the commotion. A company is like a human body, it is a complex organism. And, as the body begins to ache in one location, the cause may lie in some damaged organ in another area.
A customer journey map is similar to an MRI of your company. It enables you to see past the symptoms and determine what is broken. Is your sign-up page lacking a prominent call to action? Are consumers having difficulty upgrading their accounts? Are they fleeing because there is nowhere else to go? A well-designed startup consumer journey map will assist you in identifying these and other issues.
It compels you to examine your preconceptions.
One of the essential functions of a startup customer journey map is to help you see beyond your preconceived notions about your product and customers.
You must be acutely conscious of your prejudices and obsessive in your pursuit of feedback. The greatest danger to the consumer experience is making decisions solely based on visible metrics: clicks, sales, or whatever the metrics are. By definition, a customer journey map is an antidote to this myopic view of data since it contextualizes all.
Steps involved in creating a customer journey map?
Regardless of the number of divisions or goods or services offered by your brand, you must have an excellent customer journey map if you wish to influence the customer experience. Thus, how do you even begin, or where should you start from to create a customer journey map?
Customer Tasks and Activities
To begin creating the customer journey map, you must observe your customer’s journey by asking questions and using their input to direct your mapping. You’ll want to investigate the customers’ actions and track their experience. This phase can include the use of personas, interviews, observation, and surveying. It is accomplished by consumer interviews or market analysis with individuals who suit your target demographic and customer profile but have not yet purchased from you.
If you are unable to perform interviews due to various factors, you can arrange a meeting with your customer service and sales staff to see if they can fill in any of the holes with their current expertise. Bear in mind that this is a cross-functional collaborative process that aims to fully map the diverse paths that your customer’s journey can take.
Another thing is that you must determine which activities or tasks your customers attempt during their interaction with your product or service. If we take a retail store example, a customer might have their first encounter with your store simply by walking past it. This is where you analyze and gain a comprehensive understanding of all experiences or touchpoints your consumers have with your brand through all channels.
Perhaps you discover that not all consumers interact with your online store at first. Maybe some customers learn about your company after receiving your “New Store Opening” snail mail flyer, an email, or even a magazine advertisement. You’re interested in knowing this stuff, and you’ll want to capture and record it in your customer’s journey log.
Customer Thoughts and Feelings
After you’ve completed the initial framework of a customer journey map, you’re able to begin associating emotions with it. This is referred to as the “thinking and feeling” process. It might seem odd for you to consider this feely section to make educated guesses about your customers’ thinking or feeling. However, keep in mind that you should have surfaced and maintained their feelings or reactions during initial surveys or interviews.
Therefore, let us not underestimate the value of asking questions during customer interviews that elicit any of these emotions. You can discover a simple, cost-effective method for managing your customers’ expectations and ultimate satisfaction with your brand simply by identifying one or two common gripes or objections shared by the majority of your customers.
Tell a couple of customer stories or re-invite your customer support or sales representatives to a meeting and ask them to express different feelings and opinions about your customers’ sales processes or journeys. The most effective method of capturing this information is to document the data from your interviews and surveys in collaboration with your customer service departments. Additionally, going through this phase will provide you with the direction you should approach or interact with your future or new customers.
Notice that your customers are confused or concerned about taking the next step toward buying during one of the sales to funnel phases. Your reply tone should be reassuring, and your explanation should focus on the features and benefits of purchasing your product.
Along the conversion route, touchpoints are connections points between your potential customers and your brand, goods, or services. These encounters occur at specific points in the customer’s path (which happens more often in the digital world) and are motivated by the meaning of the interaction.
Typically, the step purpose is to help your potential customer fulfill a particular need that your product, service, or brand might, can, or should satisfy. If your brand conducts all business online, you will typically set up an attribution model to credit marketing touchpoints along the conversion paths for purchases and conversions.
Whatever touchpoints you discover, ensure that you find a way to strengthen them. If your startup is attempting to sign users up for a free demo or trial, take a look at the process; may you reduce the number of fields needed to complete your forms or reduce the number of steps required for them to begin using it?
During this step, you can notice that common issues emerge and standard terms or phrases used by customers to characterize experiences. All of these comments and opinions should be documented in your customer service chart. These recurring topics can provide significant insights into how to eliminate bottlenecks and improve the efficiency of your customer acquisition funnels.
Customer Journey Segmentation
This last step is ideal for taking action and taking a nice, long look at the entire customer journey. What are your observations? Continuing with the narrative analogy, you’re likely to notice several chapters at the beginning, middle, and end. This is a natural segue into the next phase in the journey process – segmentation.
Like chapters in a good book, this exercise assists you in better charting the customer experience so that you can identify which phases need the most focus in terms of progress and improved customer service processes. Consider if any stages are failing to convert prospects to the next funnel level.
You may categorize these troubled areas as opportunities and observations and give brief suggestions or solutions to test each one. This move transforms the customer journey map into something more than an experience; it changes the entire process into a strategic sales tool.
Your startup customer journey map begins when your clients engage with your product or service for the first time. The experience mapping process documents the customer’s journey through touchpoints and describes their actions, thoughts, and feelings. Through the prism of your customer, your organization can find several previously unknown or missed opportunities and strengthens a customer-centric approach within your organization. But let’s suppose that you have collected enough to start your company and prepare to build your product, but here’s a thing: you don’t understand how to effectively use it to gain the most productive result both for your customer journey map and the product you want to achieve. More than that, you’re entirely new to it, and you require assistance, then what?
In that case, we can provide a direct specificity of your product development and customer journey mapping processes. Over the past 10+ years, we have been involved in numerous startups and entrepreneurs that have been actively engaged in developing unique digital products. All of them have been successfully raised to a solid stage when they can efficiently labor productive results. How did they accomplish that with us? Everything has begun with our technological flow or, more precisely, with the Product Development Strategy Session. It is an accessible business consulting service where our experts will produce a general plan covering the future product development and the action plan with high-level features. Already got interested? Leave your project details below, and we will contact you in under 24 hours!