For every customer you serve, you want their journeys to always end with you: on your website, in your story, or with your sales rep. To ensure their journey always ends with your company, you must deliver an optimized customer experience.

Customer journey maps help you create that ideal customer experience. But they can also help to set the price for your product based on the experience you can now deliver. The price becomes less important if customers feel the end-to-end experience can justify it.

Customer Experience Mapping

There are a number of ways to approach mapping this ideal customer experience:

  • Take the customer view: Map the journey of the customer experience from their eyes rather than from a business point of view. Even though it’s tempting, don’t start with your business processes and systems to map the customer experience. Instead, become the customer and start from where they begin the journey. Better yet, watch them research what can solve their problem and go from there. Observe the actual shopping, purchase, and follow-up aspects of the journey. You need to know how they think in order to understand how you can provide a great experience. But you also need to determine how they feel at various stages in the journey. Consider making customer journey maps for different segments, as many people in different demographics may prioritize some touchpoints over others and respond more on an emotional level to certain parts of the experience.
  • Make the journey as actionable as possible: Every map should focused on goals and needs, with actions that get you from Point A to Point B in the best way possible. This means looking for those areas where you can help your customers get where they want, how they want. While some may see their ideal experience as fast and efficient, others may want to linger and enjoy a meal or a visit. Determine what actions you can put into place to make those experiences happen. It could involve technology, people, or a combination of both. To gather the information on goals and needs requires taking existing operational data or gathering new experience data and modifying your processes based on the feedback.
  • Generate a map with multiple touchpoints: Not every customer will take the same journey each time. Sometimes, they may do it online while others could be in-person or through their mobile device. That means having a customer journey map marked for various potential journeys. It’s about being prepared for the fact that the customer will change and also fluctuate in their level of expectations based on the touchpoint they are using.
  • Ask about value: Following real customers on the journey allows them to help you value the journey. At each important touch point, ask them if they would be willing to pay more, the same, or less for the experience.

Journey Maps Inform Pricing

Once you understand the customer journey from a customers’ point of view, decide on the actions necessary to serve them, and map the various customer journeys, you will be able to set the price. You will know how much it will cost on your end to supply the ideal end-to-end experience. And you will know what customers are willing to pay based on your research.
With a good return on investment from matching the experience to the needs and expectations, you’ll be able to build a sustainable revenue stream from this planning.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the payments company Due.