Taking the perspective of the customer is essential to understanding his experience with a brand. For this reason, many companies are using customer journey mapping to study the user experience and learn where improvements can be made. Through an analysis of quantitative data and anecdotes from both customers and employees, brands may develop comprehensive maps that reflect the customer’s motivations and sentiments along the journey from potential to loyal customer. Here are five key benefits of customer journey mapping.
As a customer moves from one touchpoint to another, a map may indicate how easily he is able to do so. For example, is the customer able to connect to an agent quickly through an IVR menu? Can he switch from social media to the voice channel with ease? What is his satisfaction score post contact? The answers to such questions reveal how the customer feels about every step along the journey and can help brands improve practices that cause frustration or confusion. Brands may also learn which aspects truly satisfy their customers and may then devote more attention to further optimizing successful practices.
Customer journey maps also reveal where gaps may exist in customer service. For example, one channel may prove to be understaffed and thus a cause of frustration for customers who prefer that channel. Similarly, a switch from a desktop to a mobile device might not work well if the mobile version is not optimized. Problems in communication among employees may also be revealed if agents are unable to obtain timely support from peers during service interactions. Such maps are therefore ideal for understanding the gaps that need to be addressed along the customer journey.
Brands that use customer journey maps also reduce costs. According to research by the Aberdeen Group, such brands experience more than ten times improvement in the cost of customer service. In addition, brands that manage customer journeys experience 21% year over year growth, while brands that don’t actually experience a decline at -2.2%. Lastly, an increase in positive word of mouth and a decrease in customer churn reduce the costs of acquiring new customers.
The same study reveals tremendous potential for increased sales. Such brands enjoy an average sales cycle that is 18 times faster, with 56% more revenue from upselling and cross-selling efforts. Marketing practices are also rewarded, as these brands experience a 54% greater return on marketing investment. The numbers show that investing in customer journey maps is essential to optimizing both sales and marketing practices.
As customers are given the experiences they want, satisfaction naturally increases. Indeed, Aberdeen also cites that there is a 24% increase in positive social media comments when brands use these maps. Similarly, as problems within the company are fixed and communications are improved, employee confidence increases as well. Having a better understanding of a company’s goals and practices and receiving extra support helps employees perform their roles with greater efficiency. Customer journey maps enable brands to connect with their customers on an emotional level and provide optimum experiences in a proactive manner.
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