Customer Journey Mapping: Tracking the Consumer’s Path

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Shop owners played many roles prior to the rise of vertical integration. Direct customer interaction and on-floor management allowed a shop owner to be not only a salesperson, but also a marketing manager, product distributor, customer service representative, accountant, and, frequently, product designer. The shop owner was present for all aspects of the sales process, from aiding customers in their search for products to redevelopment and design if these products failed to meet consumer requirements. They monitored and analyzed profits, returns, and revenue. The shop owner was present for the entire cycle, and understood the customer experience in an in-depth way.

Utilizing analytics to investigate and analyze the market and customer experience provides businesses the same opportunity as the shop owner, but with a larger scope. Customer journey mapping allows business owners to access the customer experience across all fields, providing a deeper insight into marketing, development, and customer service strategy and further improvements in these areas.

As customers interact with your organization, they come into contact with the business in countless ways. Perhaps a prospective customer locates your organization first through a search or social media. As paid campaigns kick in across email or social networking profiles, these prospects come into contact with reviews and access whitepapers and material from leading industry leaders. Consider the additional “face-to-face” interactions, the customer service representatives, sales teams, and further support a prospective connects with. Across all of these channels, the analytical information your organization accumulates grows rapidly.

Customer journey mapping is a convenient method for strategically analyzing all of that data. It’s particularly conducive for collaboration across departments. Customer journey mapping equips your organization with a structure that examines multiple channels of marketing together in order to help you better identify points in interactions with your organization that may be uncomfortable or jumbled for the customer, also known as gaps. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits to implementing a customer journey map is the shared understanding of how team members fit into the overall organization. A greater awareness of how individual roles correspond to the customer experience helps to facilitate team bonding and cooperation organization-wide.

Analytics provide businesses with the tools to develop a rich understanding of how marketing practices impact the consumer to further business results. An analytical approach to customer journey mapping allows for a comprehensive examination of the entire marketing experience, from customer acquisition to consumer patterns to results and revenue. Customer journey mapping provides a cohesive, “big-picture” visualization of data from the numerous data sources your organization uses: social networks, paid campaigns, email lists, and more. Combining these different strands grants your organization a clearer depiction of what strategies customers respond best to.

Customer journey mapping provides the analytical background your organization requires to implement the best marketing and development strategies possible, ensuring a clearer user experience. Additionally, it allows for cross-departmental dialogue and collaboration. Following a customer journey map is a quick route to ensuring a cohesive, valuable experience for both the prospect and your organization.

A version of this article can be found at the 3XE Digital Conference blog.

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