Mapping the Customer Journey
One of the most important parts of any successful retail business is a thorough understanding of the buyer journey that your customers take from initial interest and product prospecting to post-sale support and everything in the middle. To get a high-level overview of all the major customer interactions before, during, and after a sale, it is recommended to create a buyer journey map. On a conceptual level, a map is essential for getting into your customers' shoes; which is especially important given the growth of so many new mediums of communication.
Regardless of how your customer comes into contact with your brand, it is important to keep in mind the four C’s of customer experience: creating, curating, connecting, and culture.
Additionally, having a thorough customer journey map will not only ensure that you offer the right products and/or support at every stage of the journey, but also supports any omnichannel marketing efforts you may be pursuing. However, this can only be achieved through accurate and thorough collection and analysis of data from every part of your business. An ERP is great way to do this as it not only collects all this information but also uses it to make smart decisions based on what it has learned from data gathered from your business.
In this post, we will look at why mapping customer journey can be beneficial for retailers, plus a few best practices to help you get started.
Why Do I Need A Customer Journey Map?
Did you know that most customers have an average of five touch points before they end up completing their purchase? As these points could be in different locations, it is necessary to have an understanding of how they flow together and ultimately create a consistent and positive experience for your buyer.
How can a customer journey map help to improve your customer experience?
- It helps you spot and eliminate any barriers to use that your customers encounter at any point
- It allows you to make more informed decisions about marketing and customer service
- When coupled properly with an ERP, it can make your operational processes more accurate and efficient from cumulative data and decisions based on it
Remember, a customer journey map is only as good as the data that supports it, so be sure that you are collecting and organizing your data accurately and qualitatively.
To effectively create and utilize your customer journey map, we recommend the following:
- Utilize an ERP that allows for clear and accurate data collection in order to ensure that the ‘map’ you are creating contains the right information to help you ‘guide’ your audience
- Use the map to help build the best omnichannel experience possible based on data surrounding important ‘touch points’ across your digital and physical locations
- Make sure the journey that you’re mapping leaves ample opportunity for customization; be it in the form of bespoke emails or texts or by having a personalized portal in your mobile app
- Test your mapping efforts with mystery shoppers and surveys, and adjust accordingly.
- Make sure to involve your employees across all departments in the mapping process - they are the ones managing different ‘points’ and therefore will have the best understanding of how things really work.
- Remember that a consistent buying experience is key and that your customer map can help you to make sure that every single point can be clearly recognized as part of your brand.
Trying to create the right customer experience without having a clear journey guide is akin to exploring a new country without using a map. An ERP can facilitate with the map and create different ‘places’ in your customer journey through high quality information management. Be careful not to get hyper focused on any single part of the journey and do not be afraid to get help from outside agencies or vendors at any point if it seems like things just aren’t clicking.
Unsure if your current data management is going to allow you to map the best customer journey possible? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help getting started in your journey to modern customer and retail management today.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.