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Putting Customer Journey Mapping into Perspective

Get the Complete Picture with Customer Journey Mapping

There are a variety of tools to get the complete picture of the customer. This includes such tactics as shopper intercepts, checkout surveys, in-store interviews, mystery shopping and online pop-up surveys. But customer journey mapping can take it to the next level, offering a broader and deeper assessment of the customer’s path to purchase.

Gold Research, in its blog, “Why Shopper Insights need Customer Journey Mapping,” looks at some of the key reasons it recommends the mapping process to clients:

1. Customer journey integrates multiple research approaches to provide a complete view: The best objective of shopper insight is to provide a comprehensive view of how your product is performing and/or how a customer reacts to your product from the beginning of the process (when they first realize they need what you sell) to the end, when they consider how your product worked in their life. This looks at the entire picture.

2. Touch-point specific approaches are efficient, but less effective: Good shopper insight does more than look at specific sections of the path to purchase process by expanding the scope of research to allow for a more complete analysis. While touchpoint specific research (like advertising or packaging feedback, surveys or online intercepts) can provide valuable insight, they are narrow in scope. Customer journey mapping allows you to look at the entire process from the shopping trigger to repurchase and study the entire shopping experience from the moment a customer recognizes they have a problem to their experience with the product they chose to solve that problem afterward.

3. Moments of truth and pain points easier to identify with customer journey mapping: Shoppers experience a range of emotions during the entire purchase process, and not all of them are positive. Further, some customers experience a moment of truth after purchasing the product and realizing that it either works as well or better than they thought, or it doesn’t work (or they don’t know how to make it work).

Defining Customer Value and Improving Feedback

All Things Insights looked at the purchase journey in “Defining Customer Value to Enhance the Purchase Journey.” Customer value can sometimes be a tricky measurement to determine. Ultimately, customer value measures a product or service’s worth and compares it to possible alternatives. This establishes whether the customer feels like they received enough value for the price they paid for the product/service. There is also the factor of the emotional journey behind the purchase, as well as any buyer satisfaction, or remorse, after the purchase. Still, understanding customer value can help the business price products in a fair manner while reducing some of that bad friction in the customer experience.

In “Improving the Customer Feedback Experience,” All Things Insights also explored the topic through the filter of customer satisfaction. As the buyer journey becomes more complex, in this e-commerce and omnichannel-driven retail world, the customer satisfaction survey remains a foundational tool. With it, companies can measure consumer and brand sentiment and other measurements. This isn’t just about bringing in new customers, but about retaining your older customers and making sure they are satisfied with their products or services. It’s a rather quick and convenient way to ask customers for their feedback, identify technical issues, and discover new opportunities. In addition, it helps maintain relevancy and a competitive edge while monitoring, and improving, progress and operations over time.

Opportunities to Understand the Customer

Customer journey mapping offers several significant benefits in the context of market research. Overall, customer journey mapping is a valuable tool for market researchers to gain insights into customer behavior, identify opportunities for improvement, optimize marketing strategies, enhance cross-functional collaboration, and measure customer satisfaction. We asked ChatGPT to outline some of the top benefits of the practice:

  1. Deep Understanding of Customer Behavior: Customer journey mapping provides insights into the various touchpoints and interactions that customers have with a brand throughout their journey. By mapping out the customer experience from awareness to purchase and beyond, market researchers gain a deep understanding of customer behavior, preferences, pain points, and decision-making processes. This understanding allows organizations to tailor their marketing strategies, messaging, and offerings to better meet customer needs and enhance the overall customer experience.
  2. Identify Opportunities for Improvement: Customer journey mapping helps identify gaps, inefficiencies, and pain points in the customer experience. By visualizing the customer journey, market researchers can pinpoint areas where customers encounter obstacles, frustrations, or confusion. This insight enables organizations to identify opportunities for improvement and develop targeted interventions to address these issues. Whether it’s streamlining processes, improving communication, or enhancing product features, customer journey mapping helps prioritize initiatives that have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  3. Optimize Marketing Strategies and Campaigns: Customer journey mapping provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of marketing strategies and campaigns at different stages of the customer journey. By tracking customer interactions and touchpoints, market researchers can assess which marketing channels, messages, and tactics are most influential in driving customer engagement and conversion. This data-driven approach allows organizations to optimize their marketing efforts by reallocating resources to high-performing channels, refining messaging to better resonate with target audiences, and experimenting with new strategies to improve overall campaign performance.
  4. Enhance Cross-Functional Collaboration: Customer journey mapping encourages cross-functional collaboration and alignment across departments within an organization. By involving stakeholders from marketing, sales, customer service, product development, and other relevant areas, organizations can gain diverse perspectives and insights into the customer experience. This collaborative approach fosters a shared understanding of customer needs and priorities, promotes teamwork and communication, and ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal of delivering exceptional customer experiences.
  5. Measure and Track Customer Satisfaction: Customer journey mapping provides a framework for measuring and tracking customer satisfaction and loyalty over time. By monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) at each stage of the customer journey, organizations can identify trends, patterns, and areas of improvement in the overall customer experience. This ongoing feedback loop enables organizations to make data-driven decisions, iterate on strategies, and continuously improve the customer experience to drive long-term loyalty and advocacy.

Delivering on the Purchase Experience

By leveraging customer journey mapping as part of their market research efforts, organizations can gain a competitive edge and deliver exceptional experiences that drive customer loyalty and business growth. Overall, for the insights professional it’s really about diving deeper into the customer’s behavior and experience to gain a more in-depth perspective of the entire path to purchase journey. This customer journey mapping in turn will enhance the company’s market research efforts, as they identify pain points and moments of truth along the way.

Video courtesy of HubSpot Marketing

Contributor

  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

    View all posts

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