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The Importance of Mapping the Customer’s Journey

Traci Flitcraft | March 26, 2021 

The average customer is now using 10 channels to communicate with businesses. That’s a lot! With the many ways customers can engage, their journeys have become less defined and increasingly complex, making it more difficult to ensure a great customer experience. The best way to make sure you’re optimizing customer experiences is the process of customer journey mapping.

What Is a Customer Journey Map?

A journey map is a visual representation of a customer’s journey to make a purchase or convert, from when they first learn about a business all the way to receiving their product or service. The visual helps you understand customer experiences with your brand across all channels and touchpoints. Seeing how your customers interact with you through email, text, social media, and other channels helps make sure none of your customers will slip through communication cracks. 

What Is Customer Journey Mapping?

Journey mapping is creating a journey map for every buying persona in your target audience. To create a map, all the possible customer touchpoints and channels are mapped out, for example, website, social media channels, interactions with sales representatives, etc. Then, typical user journeys for each of your buying persons are created using the various channels. 

Let’s say one of your buying personas is a Gen Z’er; that person may become aware of your product through Instagram or TikTok, then research your product through a Google search or from the mobile version of your website, then make a purchase from the website or a site like Amazon. The customer’s experience at each touchpoint, or specifically how the customer engages with your business, the actions they have to take, and how your business responds, is included in the journey map. 

A customer journey isn’t very linear in today’s market, which means the “sales funnel” isn’t a good visual representation anymore. With a journey map, you can draw lines and arrows back and forth to different touchpoints, identifying the different journeys personas are taking as they move back and forth from one end to the other. 

Why Is It Important?

Simply put, it’s a strategic way to better understand your customers and their expectations, which is crucial for improving their experiences with your business. Once the information is mapped out, you’ll be able to identify where there might be weak spots in communication, snags in functionality or ease of use, or pain points for your customer. 

80% of customers consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products (Salesforce), which means a weak spot in the customer journey could cost you customers. Additionally, 84% of consumers feel being treated like a human rather than a number is important in business (Salesforce). Customer journey mapping allows you to create personalized, more human experiences at every touchpoint and across all channels. 

Once you get a look at your customers’ journeys, you may realize you need a way to personalize some of their interactions with you. You might see missed opportunities to link them to customer service through other channels. And, you might see ways you can retarget your advertising, such as targeting a website visitor with a social media ad later. 

Once you see these needs, you’ll be on your way to figuring out what resources and Salesforces tools you need to enable you to optimize your customer journeys and increase their customer lifetime value. Identifying and implementing the right resources, as well as mapping customer journeys, are tasks our Engagers at ListEngage regularly do for our partners. Contact us for some guidance in optimizing your customer journeys.

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Traci Flitcraft | Strategic Consultant

Traci is a Strategic Consultant based in Portland, Oregon. She has been working within Salesforce Marketing Cloud ecosystem since 2012 and within email marketing since 2008. She has provided consultation for many different clients across several industries including Gap, Hulu, Ikea, Volkswagen, Kimberly-Clark and NGO's across the world. In her spare time, Traci is a mother to both a human and many animals, a rugby coach, volunteer and construction worker.