A customer journey map gives business owners a way to see the end-to-end experience their customers have. There are several reasons why it’s important to have a customer journey map available to you. One of the most important is that a customer journey map helps you understand your business from the customer’s perspective.
Can You Really Shop Your Own Store?
Retailers have long been encouraged to shop at their own stores, as if they were the customer. It’s a good best practice, for both brick and mortar and eCommerce retailers. Shopping your own store helps you assess the customer experience, identify any problems, and pinpoint areas for improvement. But there is one problem with shopping your own store: try as you might, your analysis and interpretation of the customer experience will be influenced by your perspective as the business owner.
Once upon a time, retailers were forced to rely on “Mystery Shoppers” – some professional and insightful, many not so much – to provide objective perspective on their store’s performance. While this information had value, it wasn’t capturing your true customer experience, because by and large, Mystery Shoppers were not your customer.
Today, we have data. The ability to record and analyze actual customer behavior from the first twinkle of interest through deeper levels of engagement to conversion or conclusion gives business owners the first real opportunity to understand what their customers’ experience is like. Recorded in a customer journey map, we see the reactions customers have at various touch points. It becomes clear what touch points are effective at driving the customer further into the sales funnel, and which ones drive the customer away.
The customer journey map also reveals that not all of your customers are alike. Shoppers discover your businesses in different ways, are compelled to take action by different pieces of content or advertising, arrive on your website in differing locations, and navigate the content there in any number of ways. Customer journey maps can articulate the many different possibilities, information you can use to identify the largest, most profitable trends in your customer base.
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It’s important to understand that customer journey maps are dynamic, ever-evolving documents. As customers continue to do business with you, and you make alterations to your content and messaging, the customer journey map makes it possible to understand which efforts are resonating and which ones still need a little work.