When you’re looking to improve sales and build your brand, it’s important to think like your customer: to understand and be mindful of them at every step of their journey with you. Here’s how to get a better understanding with customer journey mapping
A customer journey takes in all the customer touchpoints a potential customer has before, during and after their purchase.
They include those aspects of the journey directly influenced by your organisation as well as those influenced or controlled by third parties. This is an important distinction as, while you may not be responsible for a particular part of the journey, it still affects the experience your customer has.
Identifying your customer touchpoints
Before- how did they find out about you? Your customer may find out about you through adverts, billboards, social media, online reviews or good old-fashioned word of mouth.
During – which channels and what did they do? This is your point of sale (POS). It could be your website, branch, store or delivery. Customers may interact with sales assistants and call centres.
After – what happens after the sale? These include invoicing, queries, returns, product support, product or service lifetime, newsletters and customer feedback surveys
Once you understand and map every touchpoint in your customer journey and collect feedback from each, you will be able to spot ‘pain points’ along the way or areas that need improving.
How it works
Let’s take an example here – a customer looking to take out a mortgage. The customer touchpoints in our example below are highlighted in bold.
Your customer has seen an advert for an attractive interest rate and their brother recommended your mortgage.
Your online mortgage calculator said the repayments were affordable, so the customer had a helpful face to face meeting in a branch, and went home to fill out the online application form.
They instantly received an email with a decision in principle, telling them it had been accepted, inviting them to complete the full application.
The customer takes a few days to fill in and received an ‘application received’ message.
Some of the information was missing, so a contact centre agent calls them to explain what information they need to provide.
Finally, the mortgage is agreed and the customer receives a letter with a binding mortgage offer, including
Once the customer has then gone through the house buying process, had their surveys carried out and confirmed their exchange date, they receive final confirmation of the mortgage including direct debit details, terms and conditions etc. The process is now complete.
So that’s a total of 11 touchpoints – and for many home buyers there will be much more back and forth too – up to the point of purchase.
Following completion, there may be more too like annual or monthly statements or interactions with the customer if they want to increase or decrease how much they pay each month.
What to fix, and where?
But how many other customers started the application form, gave up filling it in because it was too complicated and went to another provider? Or received a mortgage in principle only for the full application to be rejected?
This is where journey mapping is essential. By gathering feedback at each touchpoint, you can start to understand how each one contributes to the overall experience. Was there a stage that was particularly difficult? Where did the service they receive fail to match up to their expectations?
Being able to pinpoint specific pain points along the customer journey means that you can step in and make improvements at the moments that matter.
Using customer experience data and mapping it back to specific touchpoints is how you start to understand the key moments that influence customer behaviour. By analysing this feedback side by side with your core CX metrics, you’re able to identify the improvements that will have the biggest impact on your customers and their overall experience as well as the impact on organisation metrics like win rates, sales and customer lifetime value.