Why Customer Journey Mapping Is Essential for Marketers
Understanding your customer journey mapping is the first place to begin improving the ROI on advertising dollars and ultimately driving more conversions.
Have you ever wondered what’s going on in the customer journey that prompts more sales and positive social sharing? Customer mapping creates a visual representation of every experience your customers have with you, according to Salesforce. That visual representation forms a story of how your customer engages and experiences your brand in hopes of turning into a long-term relationship. And the payoffs can be huge. According to the white paper, Customer Journey Mapping: Lead the Way to Advocacy, customer mapping can lead to a 54 percent greater return on marketing investment.
However, it takes more than just jotting down some notes and turning your data into a story. It takes a strategy and careful data curation to create the customer journey that impacts your business’ bottom line. Here’s why you need customer journey mapping and how to get started.
Improve the buyer’s experience
When you focus on customer journey mapping, you clearly see the touch points that motivate a customer to act. For example, studying your data and seeing that your sales spike after an email marketing promotion followed by a flash sale could show that your customers are identifying with that communication touch point and incentive.
Next, focus on how you’re communicating with your customers and whether or not you’re meeting their needs. In order to enhance the buyer’s experience, you also need to offer them the channels they use most to communicate. A VoIP contact center software, for example, offers the customer the channel of their choice to communicate. It also seamlessly transfers client requests from the web or IVR interaction to an agent call back or chat session without breaking the chain in communication.
Grow your revenue
Some companies get so caught up in the customer journey that they lose sight of how it trickles down to their business. According to Bain & Company, companies that excel at the customer experience grow revenues 4 to 8 percent above their marketing. And it all points back to loyalty. A high-quality, superior experience earns stronger loyalty and turns customers into promoters with a lifetime value of six to 14 times that of the detractors.
It’s also important to track your data and revenue and how it correlates to your improved customer experience. As you push forward creating a superior customer experience, look for which areas from email marketing to an improved omnichannel experience enhances your revenue in comparison to last quarter.
Get more positive social mentions
As you map through the customer journey, pinpoint how and where your customers are sharing your business on social media. McorpCX reports that customer journey mapping can lead to 24 percent more positive social media mentions. Those positive mentions boost your company’s social influence and drive more engagement. And the results are impressive. McorpCX reports 20.7 percent year-over-year growth with customer journey management versus 16.7 percent without.
Gathering more social mentions is also a powerful way to showcase social testimonials on your website and drive more traffic to your channels.
Increase customer retention
Customer journey mapping is crucial to identifying and leveraging what makes your customer happy and focusing on customer retention. According to RightNow and Harris Interactive, the majority of consumers will stop doing business with a company if they’ve received poor customer service. In today’s competitive landscape, it’s more important than ever to take care of and retain the customers we have instead of reinventing the wheel and starting that customer journey all over again.
What Can You Do To Help Define Your Customer Journey?
You can start by using some free and powerful tools provided by Google.
After all, when it comes to online data, there’s no better place to turn than Google.
Google has recently released a new tool to help online retailers discover and define their customer Journey.
This tool draws data from multiple resources and data is actually contributed from all Google Analytics clients that authorized sharing with other Google products. Ecommerce and multi-channel funnel data comes from more than 36,000 Analytics customers across 11 industries in 7 countries.
This interactive tool lets you explore typical online buying behavior to see how different marketing interactions affect business success.
The data includes:
- Purchase paths based on interactions with a single ecommerce advertiser
- How different marketing channels help get your site visitors to convert better or faster
- How long it takes for customers to make a purchase online (in terms of visits and days)
- Benchmarks of various industries to help you compare your results to that within your industry.
Google Analytics can also provide some valuable insight into your customers journey to purchase.
You can also use Google to draw data from your own website to see how your actual customers are behaving.
Most small businesses use Google Analytics for simple traffic and conversion tracking. However, there are a couple reports that can provide really good insight about the customer journey, the first being the Users Flow report (which can be found under Audience in the menu on the left-hand side).
The second, Behavior Flow, is perhaps a more useful tool for insight into the user journey.
Behavior → Behavior Flow looks very similar to Users Flow, but it allows you to track the flow of users through your website with more granular tracking on individual events and web pages.
You can segment your data even further into different contexts — such as mobile vs desktop — or see how different landing pages affect conversions on your eCommerce website. Google Analytics can be intimidating, but it is by far the best free tool to get great granular detail about your website and customer paths.
You can see that by clicking the + Add Segment button at the top, many different options are revealed. Many of the ready-made segments are useful (such as mobile traffic), but you can easily create your own segments by clicking on the + Add Segment button.
Ultimately, this is all about conversions. Understanding the customer journey will allow you to better allocate advertising dollars, better your website for user experience and drive even more conversions.
Although customer journey mapping can feel intimidating at first glance, its foundation is based in traditional business building. When your customers feel taken care of and valued by your business, they’re more likely to stick around for the long haul.