Mapping multichannel customer journeys customer journeys

Mapping multichannel customer journeys

Customer Journey Mapping Guide

The Voxco Guide To Customer Journey Mapping is a powerful tool that empowers businesses to develop a foolproof plan to enhance CX


Table of Contents

With the growing internet world, customers have access to multiple touch points or areas through which they can engage and have access to information related to companies and their products. This is how modern-day customers make their choice of brand and gather additional information to make informed buying decisions. For customers, these touch points represent a source of information, however, for marketers it represents a complex set of areas to keep track of in order to understand where the customer goes before, during and after sales.

Mapping customer journeys are a method of understanding customer objectives, identifying touchpoints and modifying services to ensure a smooth customer experience. 

Understanding where the customer goes and the length of their journey can make companies look at ways to integrate their services so that the customer gets what they are looking for in a tailor made fashion. Identifying road blocks to effective customer interactions and promptly fixing it enhances customer satisfaction and leads to faster conversion.

Customer Journey Mapping

What is customer journey mapping?

Marcy Strauss Axelrod, a management strategist described in a Forbes interview:

Customer journeys are, fundamentally, our experience with brands. They reveal how we engage with and live through our interactions with vendors to accomplish our goals. 

Mapping customer journeys is basically creating a framework that outlines how the customers reach out to the brand and what kind of goals do they wish to accomplish at these specific touch points. The presence of multiple social media and offline interaction channels of communication offers the customer both, choice and confusion. Customers may visit certain touch points without any prior knowledge of the options available at these areas. This may not be in sync with what the customer wishes to achieve, and so it leads to an ineffective interaction that unnecessarily increases the length of the customer journey and may leave them dissatisfied. 

As a company, it the overall customer engagement that matters. Eliminating these unnecessary steps is very important to reducing customer effort and increasing effectiveness. Customers should find it easy to navigate through interactions and find what they are looking for. 

In addition to optimising buyer experience, mapping customer journeys gives companies insights into customer mindset. This allows companies build a long term relationships that go beyond the purchase experience.

The three phases of customer journeys

Customers look at touchpoints differently depending upon which phase they are in. Needs and objectives of communicating with the brand changes as the customer becomes more familiar.

The pre-purchase phase: This phase starts with the creation of a need. This could be buying an earbud or looking for a good car washing service around you. This is the information acquiring stage where the brand surfs the net and contacts the customer service to familiarize themselves with the products offered, pricing , offers and incentives and any other relevant information that helps the customer make the best possible decision.

This phase answers questions such as :

  • What are the available products in  the market that satisfies a customer’s peculiar need?
  • What are the brands that market such products?
  • What are the available price ranges and deals ?
  • Is it better to purchase online or offline?
  • Is it better to purchase now or should the customer wait some time before?

Purchase phase: This is the point where the customer has more clarity about what they want and which company has the ability to satisfy their need better than others. Here, the customer seeks assistance of sales persons and online customer review websites to make a final purchase decision. The focus of such interactions should be on nudging the customer in the right direction by offering clarifying each and every aspect of the product. Ensuring maximum transparency is the key to gaining customer trust and establishing good rapport.

For example: A customer using the Amazon app to compare the metrics of a badminton racket from Yonex, Carlton and Li-ning can be counted as purchase phase. 

Post-purchase : This happens after the customer made a purchase and reaches out to the brand to register a complaint, avail warranty or book appointment for any installation procedure that may have been guaranteed by the company. The company needs to study if the customer uses an online or offline mode of interaction for such services. In addition, the focus should be on prompt response. Keeping the customer waiting for long periods can lead to dissatisfaction and reduce future engagement from the customer leading to low retention rates.

In all these phases, the notable thing for brands is finding out:

  • Which all touch points did the customer visit before moving on to the next phase?
  • What was the objective of visiting a particular touch point?
  • Was the customer successful in finding what they were looking for?
  • Did the customer face any problems in their customer journey?
  • Was there any unnecessary step involved in the journey that did not have any value addition?
Mapping multichannel customer journeys customer journeys

Keeping the ultimate goal in mind

Each customer interaction is not an isolated point in itself. A customer may visit only your website or may go through as many as 15 touch point before they decide to go ahead with your product. 

Companies need to study each level of interaction in terms of how it impacts their ulterior goal. This goal could be increasing brand awareness or maximizing conversion rates. Judging the efficacy of each touch point is possible only when seen in context of how it progresses your company towards an end point. Key actions of customers on every touchpoint should be highlighted in every customer mapping procedure to decide strategies that focus on keeping, eliminating or changing a part of the journey. 

Studying journeys from an isolated stand eliminates any reference point that might help assess the significance of the customer interaction. 

For example: A company that is mapping customer journey to look at brand awareness may use questions like :

  • Where did the customer get to know about the brand and it’s products from?
  • what did the customer learn about the brand from a touchpoint?
  • Did a website visit include customers reading about the brand’s vision and mission, journey and blogs published?

Analysing these and many other similar questions helps the company gain perspective about the degree of familiarity that the customer has and how it progressed as they moved along their journey. It further assists in bifurcating channels that were effective in increasing knowledge and pushing the customer in the right direction as against the channels that consumed customer time without making any difference to the existing information that the customer had.

Improve Customer Retention

Analyse your customer journey

Mapping multichannel customer journeys customer journeys

Mapping customer journey is pointless if you don’t summarize it in a way that supports better understanding of how your customers operate in the current scenario. Companies should use data analysis tools to segment their customers and understand each segment individually. 

Customer journey mapping is not only about reading which sites or mediums customers use to get in touch with you. It’s about how you can use your present knowledge of the customer experience as part of their journey, to make informed decisions about how you can improve their journey to create a seamless experience that increases satisfaction. 

Customers are on a constant lookout for brands that can personalize their services to suit their requirements and mapping customer journey can do just that if evaluated properly to formulate strategies.

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