They say that life is a journey, but it might be more accurate to say it’s a collection of different ones that we take depending on the various roles we play. Raising children is certainly an adventure, just like marriage and our careers, but we can also see our experiences as customers as an important journey that shapes the decisions we make in the future.

Customer journey mapping is an invaluable tool for understanding how customers think and informing business plans. Maps illustrate the total experience that service users have and identify areas for improvement. Although it’s the latest in a long line of fashionable business terms, customer journey mapping is a very simple idea. Imagine a diagram that plots every time a customer contacts your business, whether online, over the phone or face to face. The more touch points you have, the more colourful and interesting your map will become.

So, if you’ve decided the time has come for you to make your first customer journey map, here’s how:

  • Select your buyer persona

Consider who your ideal customer would be. Think about their age, income, tastes and shopping patterns and ask yourself what motivates them to buy from you. A buyer persona is a representation and can be fictional, but it’s always best to use real data and research to create it.

  • Think about why they’re here

Once you’ve created your buyer persona, consider what they want to achieve from their interactions with your company. You can do this by conducting real-life customer surveys, conducting interviews or asking for online feedback about products and services. This is a key part of the process, because if you’re not meeting your perfect customer’s aims you can’t expect them to stick around.

  • Plot all the touchpoints

Every time a customer contacts you, even if they don’t buy anything, that’s a touchpoint. For the best results you’ll need to take every single touchpoint into account, which might seem like an arduous task. To make it easier to pin them down, ask yourself some questions like “How does my customer find me?”  “How do they make a purchase”, “What do they do if something is wrong?” “How do they give me feedback?”.

  • Think about the bigger picture

When you’ve identified all the touchpoints you need to look at the bigger picture. Once you can visualise their whole experience with your company, you can identify any pain points and have a clearer understanding of why you might be losing customers.

The more detail you have about your buyers, the more effective your map will be. To find out more about customer journey mapping and improving service, contact Ethos today.

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