4 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Journey Maps
I was surprised to see a recent headline claiming that “customer journey mapping is dead.” This statement was made even while acknowledging that Salesforce’s 2016 State of Marketing Research Report shows that 73% of organizations believe developing a customer journey map is good for their business.
So, the headline may have been written more for shock value and attention-getting (and hey, it worked. I clicked through), but thanks to the several excellent points highlighted in the article, such as the importance of real-time customer context, it did get me thinking toward this ultimate conclusion: customer journey mapping is not dead; it’s difficult. More importantly, it’s increasing difficult.
The days of defining linear customer journeys are pretty much over. Now, with so many variable paths to your marketing and content pieces, not to mention your products and services, it’s harder than ever to put yourself in the shoes of a customer and imagine how they might make their approaches.
The proliferation of mobile phones, tablets, wearables, and the IofT, creates new challenges in journey mapping. Since many of today’s technologies didn’t even exist a few years ago, I think we need to not be too hard on ourselves if we don’t perfect our journey maps on the first try and see an immediate spike in CX scores once we implement them. But that doesn’t mean we stop trying. Keep experimenting! To improve in today’s multi-screen environment means understanding our customers’ motivations and challenges more than ever. In a positive light, we have an unprecedented opportunity to engage and satisfy customers in a multi-channel capacity.
Here are four tips to help rejuvenate your journey maps:
- COLLECT REAL-TIME FEEDBACK. Hopefully, this is a no-brainer! But, it still needs to be articulated because journey maps need to be driven by an outside-in perspective, not by anecdotal input of how you think it works or worse, how it’s “supposed” to work. You need actual customer comments, insights, and contextual data points to inform your team’s idea of the path(s). Make your life easier by utilizing an enterprise feedback platform that makes it easy to create new surveys and forms, and automate responses to them.
- ASK QUESTIONS THAT SCARE YOU. The survey questions that you might not want the answers to are the ones that really need to be asked. If you’re a tech company, for example, and you know that 50% of your free trial downloads are abandoned before completion, you need to launch an automated survey at that point to ask why (even if the answers require a lot of work to fix). Similarly, if you’re a retail company with high online shopping cart abandonment, you’ll need to craft targeted survey questions that very specifically address why that purchase was not successful. Again, ask it immediately via an automatically triggered survey to capture the feedback while the transaction is fresh in their mind. Don’t avoid hearing negative feedback about areas of your business that you know to be weak. Remember, as painful as it may be, identifying the biggest stumbling blocks along the journeys will make the largest impact on overall customer experience.
- LET TECHNOLOGY WORK FOR YOU. Take advantage of technology to handle all of the technologies your customers use to communicate. Yes, fight fire with fire! If you can integrate your feedback program with Salesforce (or other CRM) and leverage a massive reporting engine, go for it. Maximize how you automate and analyze to drive get to the data points you need to make scientific discoveries about what’s really happening along your customer’s journey.
- PUT FEEDBACK INTO ACTION. All three previous tips lead us directly to number four: what do you do with what you discover? The only really meaningful feedback data is actionable. To develop or design more accurate, effective journey maps, you need first the functionality to collect the data (Tip 1), a brave, authentic, and strategic approach to getting insights where they’re most needed (Tip 2), the technology to analyze it (Tip 3), but ultimately, the ability to act on it to affect positive change in your organization (Tip 4). The end-goal of your journey mapping exercises should be to rectify those issues that damage the customer experience. For more on putting Feedback into Action, click here to check out this recent post.