Customer journey mapping
When you map out different behavioral scenarios using existing data, we call it a customer journey map. These paths can be linear, circular, and even three-dimensional.
But customer journeys don’t provide a better customer experience unless they are unique to each segment and awareness stage.
They are not linear or circular.
Online customer journeys were never meant to be linear. Nor are they “... a more circular journey, with four primary phases.”
Funnels, and customer journeys, are theories we use to bucket our users into something we can measure.
“You have to learn to optimize for the modern funnel, which is similar to a tornado.”
“Funnels have been blown to bits. Users don’t take linear paths to and through apps or products. They get to your app or product how they want to, when they want to and do whatever they want to do. Users own the relationship”
Why are we still trying to force our customers into funnels and journeys?
Antonio Lucio, as stated in the Harvard Business Review, “believes the solution is to shift the focus from the transaction to the relationship. After exploring the Customer Decision Journey, his team developed what they call a Customer Engagement Journey. In this model, transactions occur in the context of the relationship rather relationships in the context of the transaction.”
Our journeys are unique to each one of us and are part of building a relationship with the brand-customer experience.
With more and more consumers turning to online shops, understanding the users’ path to purchase and beyond is necessary.
Drop the customer journey the way you know it, and instead focus on your customer experience and optimize that relationship.
Customer experience trumps all.
A recent client, selling jewelry via their site:
Please help us get customers to do what we want them to do?
They presented me with their customer journey, the way they expected, wanted, and thought their user was moving through their pre-and post-sale funnels. The team spent long, hard hours mapping out the journey with all its relevant tangents. Now it was up to me to, magically, have their mapped customer journey be the one their customer desired.
It was clear that we needed to remedy the obsession with their customer journey (the one they imagined was the truth) and consider the customer experience instead.
We needed to consider how the consumer could reach their goal while still achieving ours.
We reconsidered our ask.
How do we help our customers achieve their goals while still reaching ours?
We dropped the customer journey and its’ funnels, instead focused on the experience.
We started optimized the customers’ experience by evaluating all the touch-points within each of their journeys and creating unique and precise segments.
Adjusting our mindset also required that we look at our data differently and not only measure what was driving the purchase but all steps leading to and away from any given goal.
We needed a new approach.
These methods, which drove our customer experience optimization, lead to a 124% increase in conversions and a 72% increase in CLV for our client.
- Behavioral Segmentation
- Churn & Retention
Research drives our customer experience and online optimization.
“You need to do the research to find out what motivates your customers and do all you can to understand their purchase journey. At ZenBusiness, where we provide the resources needed for others to form, start, and run their own businesses (LLC formation, website development, tax preparation, and more), we continually survey and interview our customers,” – Ryan Pitylak
Understanding the customers’ needs was the only way to improve and provide the user with the experience they desire.
Asking questions, setting up surveys and interviews to understand the customers’ expectations, voice and desires were essential to optimizing the overall experiences and meeting the consumers’ expectations.
The client was segmenting users by source, medium, device, demographic, and age.
We needed to take this a step further and understand each customer’s stage of awareness when entering the site.|
Understanding the customer’s stage of awareness when they reach the site is essential in optimizing your customer experience and journey.
Building behavioral segments by customer journey stage allows you to align communications and personalize experiences to increase conversion at every stage. Moreover, it helps you discover stages where customers are not progressing, so you can identify the biggest obstacles and opportunities for improvement.
Measuring past behaviors, sources, and touch-points led us to understand the users’ stage of awareness better and segment the user to personalize their customer journey accordingly.
Retention & Churn
To retain our customers, we researched which customer was the “right” customer for the client, who was the VIP. By focusing on the most valuable customer, we reduced our acquisition costs, increased or onsite conversion and AOV, and decreased our churn rate.
As Jeremey Krost from GBK Collective says, we “hyper-focus on the needs of our most valuable customers, and then based on the needs of those target customers – not all customers – prioritize building the right products, personalized offers, and CX to delight them.”
Design your customer journey to help your customer experience
Designing and optimize your customer experience focused journey based on research, relevant segmentation, and retention rates are the first steps but, most importantly, always keep your customers best interested in mind and ask yourself:
“How does this benefit the customer in a way that they would want to share it with others without being prompted to do so?”
Optimization of any journey or experience will mean nothing, even when based on research if it does not make the interactions with your website a drool-worthy experience.