Today, customers come into contact with brands through a large number of touchpoints, which sometimes overlap: they can be digital, via social networks, text messages, emails, and the company website . They can also be direct, where customers can engage the company by phone or by visiting a company's store/office. Customers often leverage different combinations of these touchpoints at different stages of the buying cycle. Between product research, customer references, and post-purchase experiences, utilizing both digital and direct touchpoints is now both common and beneficial to the customer.
All the interactions with these touchpoints form a "customer journey" associated to an experience with the brand. The customer experience varies from one touchpoint to another: the customer gets informed, consults other customers’ opinion on social networks, compares offers, services and products, and the customer expects the company to understand their needs and provide personalized service.
Through the course of this journey, the customer will express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the product and service, and will - or will not – choose to do business with the company.
Therefore, companies need to understand the entire customer journey. An "outside in" approach consists of mapping the customer experience first and then building business processes from interactions with customers. This approach enables companies to develop capabilities that meet the expectations of potential customers.
Customer journey mapping can be represented as a table, and includes the following:
Each touchpoint or moment of truth can be evaluated based on customer satisfaction. With this information, the business will be able to modify internal business processes in relation to customer journeys.
Finally, and this point should have been mentioned first, every customer journey must be tied to a customer persona, or market segment. Indeed, the customer experience is different from one persona to another, so it is necessary to segment and group customer behaviors into different customer journey maps.
The challenge for the business now is to link the key moments of the customer journey to business processes to improve its value proposition.
To achieve this, companies need to understand which business processes are in play for each moment of truth in the customer journey. You can then measure customer satisfaction at every touchpoint as well as other process metrics. By doing so, companies will be able to better understand the reasons for a possible break in the buying cycle. Companies can then implement corrective actions to improve their business processes and maximize the customer experience through the purchase phase and beyond.
Using customer journey mapping, companies can also test new processes by taking the customer experience into account. This approach is not always intuitive for companies but it will help them define services better suited to their clients.
Through the mapping of business processes and customer journeys, business managers can develop different scenarios of transformation and adapt their plans accordingly. This gives them more flexibility and agility in the development of their products and services.
To conclude, by combining customer journey and business process mapping, companies can build business processes that better meet customers' expectations. They will achieve greater visibility into the key moments of truth in the customer experience journey and improve overall customer satisfaction.