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The Ultimate Guide on Customer Journey Mapping

Introduction

customer Journey

When you travel, you need a roadmap. A roadmap guides you to your destination and helps you all along. Just like that, you need to have your customer journeys mapped out. 

You as a business want customers to use your product and be satisfied. 

Customers prefer to do business with brands that have multiple digital touchpoints.- McKinsey Report

Hence, the chances of your service or product being referred or purchased also increase with this.

What is Customer Journey Map

There can be times where defining customer needs, problems, and interactions with your company may seem mind-boggling and sometimes even unnecessary.

But it is important for you to describe and lay out your customer’s journey. A customer journey map is a visual storyline of every customer engagement with your service. 

Creating a journey map helps you directly reach the mind of the customer and helps you see where you may be missing the mark, where are your areas of improvement and what are you doing right.

A journey map plots all touchpoints that your customer may have with your brand – from when the marketing team decided to contact them to the referrals.

Why does your business need Customer Journey Mapping?

Customer journey maps pave the way for customer success

It goes without saying that you want your customers to succeed. But, to do that, you need to understand your customers by mapping their journey. A customer journey helps you gain insight into what is working for your customers and what isn’t working. 

Customers encounter predictable impediments at each buying stage. Suppliers should anticipate and remove these- CEB

By understanding how you can provide your customers the best success, you can create, adjust, and enhance touchpoints to ensure the most effective and efficient process.

Develop a better understanding of your customers

A customer journey map includes all the touchpoints your customers pass through at every stage to achieve their goals with your product. 
As you study all the stages of your customer’s journey, it’ll be easy for you to improve areas where you aren’t meeting expectations. You certainly do not want your customers to say your process was “difficult” or “frustrating”. And this can happen when there are moments that were not planned and hence are disjointed. 

Develop/Maintain a customer-centric mindset in your company

As your business grows, it can be difficult for you to keep that customer-centric mindset you started with. Customers are what really makes or breaks your company. And your prime focus should be customer success. Lead targets, sales forecasts, and revenue milestones can all shift you from the main motive.

Customer journey maps help your company drive better results

A customer journey mapping report shows that 67% of customer experience professionals surveyed across the globe use customer journey mapping. It is also found that almost 90% of companies that implement journeys see a positive impact. These included an increase in customer satisfaction, lower churn, fewer customer complaints, and higher NPS.
Suggested Reading: What are customer journeys in SaaS?

How to create a customer journey map?

Creating a customer persona

A customer persona is a character that represents your average customer based on user and market research. With this persona’s details like age, job function, personal goals, etc., you step into the customer’s shoes and thoroughly develop the customer journey story. 

Deciding what to measure 

The next step is to decide what you need to measure based on the goal you’re trying to achieve. These metrics will be different at every stage of the customer lifecycle. You may also want to revisit your current customer success processes and take a closer look at them. 

According to what you choose, your customer journey map is always customizable and needs to be updated and upgraded over time to meet your customer needs.

Organizing with touchpoints and stages 

Identify touchpoints: A touchpoint is any moment a customer interacts with your company. Throughout the customer journey, your customer engages with you in different ways at different times.

Write out the stages: Every time your customer engages with your company, there should be a goal-driven action behind it. Divide the customer journey into stages based on what your customers need throughout their journey with you. 

Ensure that maps reflect all touchpoints

Once you have laid out your map. It is necessary for you to check if the map reflects all potential communication points through which customers want to connect with your company. This includes email, text, websites, social media platforms, and so on. 

Maps must also be designed in a way that is customizable; meaning they should include various sequences, in case your customers take different paths.

Define Customer Lifecycle stages?

customer lifecycle stages

Reach

This phase is also called the awareness phase. This is where the clock starts and the customer lifecycle sort of officially begins. After all, it’s tough to know exactly when a customer experiences his or her first contact with your business or your brand. In fact, it might be tough for the customer himself or herself to recognize that touchpoint.

Acquisition

This phase of the customer journey is where your contact becomes a lead. At this stage, the marketers are working hard to quantify the success of their efforts.
To figure out which metrics are right for you, start by clearly defining your goals. In this case, you can follow the KISS metrics which says the goal is relatively simple: acquiring customers. From there, work backward to build a funnel. 
What is Customer Acquisition Cost? A detailed guide

Conversion

This is where the rubber meets the road. In other words, you win the sale and your potential lead becomes your customer. The key to success in this phase is focusing on selling the relationship—not just the product.

Develop a Customer success engagement plan in each stage

Customer engagement plan

The only way to ensure your customers are happy and successful is to continually engage with them. You can get the most out of customer engagements with the combination of automation and human interaction. 

For this, you must:

  • build good relationships with your customer
  • Engage with customers at the right times
  • Find upsell opportunities when you see the potential for a particular feature that adds even more value for a certain customer.

The first 90 days are very crucial for you to engage with your customers. Even after this period, you should continue monitoring how and when your customers are using your product.

You should be engaging with your customers across the entire journey of the customer lifecycle. However, remember that the elements of engagement will change as the customer progresses through your customer’s lifecycle.

Suggested ReadFirst 90 days Customer Success Management

Post-purchase Customer Journey

Now, the customer has bought your product, this is not the end but the very beginning of the customer journey. Let’s look at the post-purchase phase.

Onboarding

Customer Onboarding Journey

This is where the customer starts using your product. While onboarding, your customers learn how to set up your product. and also start with the first couple of uses of your product to help. To measure the effectiveness of your onboarding process you should be collecting and tracking a few different data points, these include:

  • days to onboard a new client
  • days to achieve key milestones
  • number of customer interactions during the onboarding process

Onboarding Playbook

CustomerSuccessBox advanced onboarding playbook monitors product adoption automatically and moves the account forward in the onboarding journey. We reduce time to value for your customers.
Bonus Tip: Designing a Customer Onboarding Framework for B2B SaaS
Customer Onboarding Guide

Adoption

After onboarding, this is a critical stage of the customer lifecycle. This is where your customers get acquainted with your product and start adopting the features. To achieve goals, your customer needs to keep using your product. One of the reasons support is so crucial during the first 90 days after the sale is that this is the period during which the customer should successfully adopt your product. 

Customer Adoption Journey

At CustomerSuccessBox, product adoption is driven by automated engagement. It shares high-value action steps with a new user over a self-onboarding drip and also helps you reach out if new users face challenges in adopting the product.
Read: How to calculate the adoption rate and its impact on customer LTV?

Retention

customer retention

At this stage, the customer decides whether they want to continue using your product (renewal), or stop using it (churn). Your customer success journey map will lay out the journey that customers should take to achieve the most success with your product and renew at the end of their contract.
With CustomerSuccessBox, you no longer need to guess who will renew. Instead, real-time account health coupled with customer billing and CRM data, you will have all the data to retain customers. It alerts you when it finds anything suggesting a future churn risk so that you can dive right into where you’re needed, while you still have time to save the account.

Suggested Read-  The Ultimate Renewal Playbook
–  Customer Retention Guide
–  Retention Template

Expansion

Expansion is a crucial stage of the customer success lifecycle. It is obvious that you shouldn’t force an upsell, but you should look out for customers who are a good fit for expanding their accounts.

Expansion

At CustomerSuccessBox, we monitor all license utilization metrics and help you know which account has high license usage. Utilize this segment to determine when to up-sell and to which account.
Suggested Read:  Strategies to drive upsell

Advocacy

Customer advocacy journey

You must keep a watch on your customer reviews and ratings, this helps you track loyalty using retention measures such as churn rate and renewal. 
Moreover, you can get to know about customer loyalty by creating a referral program and tracking its use. Reviews on Rating sites like G2 and Capterra will help people know about you. You can track these by giving participants a page to fill in to whom they are giving these referrals.

Identify customer milestones

Now that you have a good overview of your customer’s journey and the different touchpoints they encounter at each stage. The next step is to ensure those touchpoints are in sync with your customers’ goals.

You must analyze what your customer expects at every stage of their customer journey? What are the key milestones they must hit in order to achieve their desired goals?

Functional milestones within the product, but they won’t just be activity for activity’s sake. They will be the result of meaningful activity and will be tied to other inputs to ensure we know that the customer is actually achieving their desired outcome. – Lincoln Murphy

Suggested Read:  Onboarding Playbook

Final thoughts

Renewal is a transactional process. A contract, if renewed, reflects everything which your customer achieved during the entire journey. Thus, it makes sense to start looking at it from the very first day when the customer signs up with the goal to “renew the contract”. 

Ensure that the value promised by your sales and marketing team is getting delivered. Include the feedback in the product roadmap and invite them to communities to elevate their voice. Build relationships with multiple stakeholders and champions so that they become the best advocates for your business.

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