Are You Ready to Create a Conversion-Powered Customer Journey Map?
Are you able to track your customers' journey with your brand from start to finish? If the answer is no, you likely have a major blindspot into your customers’ motivations and needs. And therefore, you probably aren’t providing a great customer experience.
Understanding the route your customers take to purchase means stepping into their shoes and getting to grips with their pain points, objections, and goals. Doing this will ensure you give them all the information they need, exactly when they need it.
The customer’s experience is everything for ecommerce brands. The sheer amount of competition means that if a customer isn’t happy with the service or can’t find what they’re looking for, there are plenty of other places for them to go. On the flip side, if you provide a stellar experience that’s smooth and enjoyable, there’s a good chance customers will come back and become loyal over time.
In fact, a study by XM found:
- 72% of customers who have an “okay” experience are likely to buy again
- 84% of customers who have a “good” experience are likely to buy again
- 94% of customers who have a “very good” experience are likely to buy again
Ramping up the customer experience from an “okay” experience to “very good” can improve the chances of customers returning by 22%.
But where do you even start?
Identifying your customers’ key needs and pain points can feel daunting, especially if you don’t have a clear idea about who you’re serving. However, once you start to dig into the different stages of the customer journey, you can determine what customers need at each and every touchpoint.
What is a customer journey map?
A customer journey map illustrates the journey a customer might take with your brand. Essentially, it covers each step they take from start to finish, from how they find you to where they end up (whether that’s making a purchase or jumping ship to a competitor).
Having a meaningful customer journey map is the first step in creating a strong conversion rate. The better you understand the journey your customers take, the easier it is to optimize each stage for more engagement and sales.
For example, a simple customer journey map for an ecommerce brand might look something like this:
- Discovers the website via an Instagram ad
- Checks out the product page and reads several reviews
- Buys the product
- Shares their experience with others
- Upgrades the product or replaces the product
- This is just a sample journey, and it’s often the case that no two customer journeys are the same (and they’re very rarely linear like this one).
Some customers might skip one stage of the journey completely if they’ve received a solid recommendation from a friend, while others might hang around the research stage for a bit longer, especially if they’re buying a high ticket item.
Don’t confuse the term customer journey with buyer lifecycle, either.
It’s a common mistake ecommerce brands make, but defining the key differences between each one will help you take on a customer-centric mindset.
The customer journey is all about understanding the route to purchase from the customer’s perspective, while the buyer lifecycle is understanding it from the business side. Put simply, the customer journey covers all of the customer-facing experiences that visitors to your ecommerce store will have.
Why Do You Need a Journey Map and When Should You Have One?
Journey maps should always be created to support a known business goal. Maps that do not align to a business goal will not result in applicable insight. The goal could be an external issue, such as learning about a specific persona’s purchasing behaviors, or an internal issue, such as addressing lack of ownership over certain parts of the customer experience. Some potential business goals that journey mapping could be applied toward are listed below.
- Shift a company’s perspective from inside-out to outside-in. If an organization lets internal processes and systems drive decisions that affect customer experience, a journey map could help turn the culture of that organization by refocusing on the thoughts, actions and emotions of customers. Journey mapping sheds light on real human experiences that often organizations know very little about.
- Break down silos to create one shared, organization-wide vision. Because journey maps create a vision of the entire customer journey, they become a tool for creating cross-department conversation and collaboration. Journey mapping could be the first step in building an organization-wide plan of action to invest in customer experience, as it helps answer the question, “Where do we start?” by highlighting areas of friction.
- Assign ownership of key touchpoints to internal departments. Often, areas of inconsistencies and glitches in customer journeys exist simply because no internal team has been tasked with ownership of that element. Journey maps can create clarity around alignment of departments or groups with different stages or key touchpoints in the journey that need addressing.
- Target specific customers. Journey maps can help teams focus in on specific personas or customers, whether that means understanding differences or similarities across the journeys of multiple personas, prioritizing a high-value persona or exploring ways to target a new type of customer.
- Understand quantitative data. If you are aware through analytics or other quantitative data that something specific is happening—maybe online sales are plateauing or an online tool is being underutilized—journey mapping can help you find out why.
Your customer journey map is the backbone of the customer experience.
Your customer journey map drives buyers from one stage to the next by understanding their unique pain points and offering content that tackles any objections. As a result, customers will glide seamlessly through the process, hitting each relevant touchpoint and getting the exact information they need, exactly when they need it.
It’s a no-brainer that a strong customer journey map leads to a stronger conversion rate. When you have a strong map, less customers drop out of the journey, and more make it all the way to the point of sale.