The customer experience is complex, and mapping the customer journey is a great way to gain more insight into customer interactions. The mapping process involves exploring your typical customer's persona as he interacts with your brand, from his first thoughts and perceptions to his feelings and memories after the experience. Take time to explore the details of these interactions to gain the following insights.
1. Discover What's Relevant
As you put yourself in the shoes of your customers and relive their interactions with your company, you start to get a picture of what is relevant to each customer persona. For example, speed might be very relevant to customers who stop to make a purchase while hurrying home from work. Friendliness might be more relevant to a retiree who enjoys engaging in social interactions while shopping. Reliving the customer journey helps you discover relevant points for shaping business practices and focusing advertising campaigns.
2. Find Your Weaknesses
Mapping the customer journey quickly lets you see areas of weakness in your business. What is the first impression that the customer has of your product or service? How easy is it for the customer to learn more? During which portions of the journey is the customer likely to experience frustration or to decide not to continue the process? What does the customer do after the interaction is over? The answers to these questions give a good picture of both your strengths and your weaknesses. Work on improving the weak areas for a better overall retail experience for your customers.
3. Focus on Emotions
The customer journey involves more than just actions. It also involves emotions. Does any part of the customers' experience make them sad or angry? Do your customers feel anxiety, fear or panic at any point during their interaction with your brand? Remember to get feedback from customers to map their journey most accurately. Create a visual story board showing each point of the customer journey, and list the emotions associated with each point. Rethink processes that create negative emotions.
4. Fuel Further Research
After your initial mapping, it’s time to dig a little deeper. First, focus on your company's strengths. Survey customers to learn more about why your strong areas work well. Then, try to use those insights to improve your weaker areas. Getting a good picture of the customer journey can also help improve customer engagement. The more engaged your customers are, the more information you can collect to understand their retail experience better. Let evolving customer needs drive positive changes in your business.
Analyzing the customer journey is an ongoing process. Get in the habit of thinking about your customers and their journeys regularly. The more time you spend in your customers' shoes, the better you'll be able to fine tune your business practices to meet your customers' needs.
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