What is Customer Experience Journey? A Quick Guide

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    Think of making a long-term purchase. It could be purchasing a personal desktop or buying a car. There are products in the market that usually have a very long customer journey. Sometimes, even a lifetime, for example opening an account in a banking institution. Mapping a customer’s experience along their purchase is known as the experience journey mapping. In this blog, we will discuss the key phases of a journey in touchpoints and how to analyze the journey map.  

    What is Customer Experience Journey Mapping?

    The customer experience journey represents the entire lifecycle of a customer’s relationship with a brand. Mapping this journey is stretched across various touchpoints. Each touchpoint interacts with different phases of the customer journey, influencing perceptions and decisions.

    What Is Defined As A Touchpoint?

    Touchpoints are specific instances where a customer interacts with a brand. These instances include advertisements, website visits, social media mentions, and in-store experiences. These touchpoints are critical in forming opinions and shaping experiences.

    touchpoints

    5 Key Phases of the Customer Experience Journey

    A typical customer experience journey consists of five key phases: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention, and Advocacy.

    Awareness

    Customers become aware of a brand’s existence through marketing efforts, social media, or word-of-mouth recommendations. Effective branding and advertising are crucial during this phase to capture attention.

    One way to capture people’s attention in the awareness phase is by advertising and marketing campaigns. Focus on trends, patterns among your target audience. Curate marketing campaigns that can help you introduce your products and services to new buyers or potential customers. 

    Consideration

    During the consideration phase, customers evaluate the brand’s offerings against competitors. Informative content, product comparisons, and positive reviews play a significant role here.

    During the consideration phase, activities such as social proof, testimonials, and a well-written FAQ page can tilt buyers in your favour. This can help you onboard clients sooner. This includes offering comprehensive information of how your offering will upgrade the requirements of the customers. 

    Purchase

    The purchase phase involves the actual transaction. Simplifying the buying process, offering multiple payment options, and providing excellent customer support can enhance this phase. The purchase phase includes seamless checkout places either offline stores or in an ecommerce setting. Assure people of reliable customer support teams to reduce friction points during phase and post purchase.

    Retention

    Retention focuses on keeping existing customers engaged and satisfied. Loyalty programs, regular updates, and exceptional post-purchase support are key strategies to bolster retention. 

    Post-purchase efforts can increase retention rates of a brand. This includes post-purchase customer support, satisfaction metrics during the first use of the products, closing feedback loop after initial complaints. A lot of the retention rates rely on the overall satisfaction levels of a buyer. Brands can gauge this via Net Promoter Score or NPS surveys, CSAT surveys or Customer Effort Score CES surveys.  It is also during the retention phase that can impact churn rates. 

    Advocacy

    Satisfied customers can become brand advocates, promoting the brand through testimonials, reviews, and social media shares. Encouraging and leveraging this advocacy can attract new customers and enhance brand credibility.

    To keep up with brand advocacy, you can detect promoters via net promoter score surveys. Happy consumers are willing to share positive word of mouth of your brand. They are almost a good candidate for cross-selling or up-selling within the company. Along with the retention phase, it is also during this phase, marketers can study the CLV or customer lifetime value to detect churn rates or brand advocates. 

    Importance of Mapping the Customer Experience Journey

    Mapping the customer experience journey is a strategic exercise that enables brands to visualize the various touchpoints and phases from the customer’s perspective.

    1. Identifying pain points

    By mapping the journey, brands can identify pain points and areas of friction that may hinder customer satisfaction. Addressing these issues can significantly improve the overall experience.

    2. Discovering opportunities

    Journey mapping not only highlights pain points but also uncovers opportunities for enhancing customer interactions. Brands can innovate by improving existing touchpoints or introducing new ones.

    3. Journey mapping tools

    Various tools can aid in journey mapping. For instance, Merren offers intuitive features that help in collecting and analyzing customer feedback, paving the way for informed decision-making.

    How to Map the Customer Experience Journey?

    Mapping the customer experience journey involves understanding customer behaviors and touchpoints. Here’s a quick guide:

    Systematic steps to follow:

    1. Define Objectives: Clarify the goals of the journey mapping exercise.
    2. Gather Insights: Collect data through customer surveys, focus groups, and analytics.
    3. Identify Touchpoints: List all interactions across different phases.
    4. Create Personas: Develop customer personas to represent different segments.
    5. Plot the Journey: Visualize the journey for each persona.
    6. Analyze: Identify pain points and opportunities.
    7. Implement Changes: Apply insights to enhance customer interactions.

    However, opt for robust customer journey mapping tools from Merren. Merren offers a full-fledged customer journey mapping facility. This includes an automated CX facility where marketers can create hands-off CX strategies for their market. 

    Measuring and Analysing The Experience Journey 

    Effective measurement and analysis are essential to evaluate the success of the buyer’s experience journey.

    Key performance indicators (KPIs)

    Key Performance Indicators such as Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Customer Effort Score (CES) are vital metrics. These are standardized CX metrics that can detect unhappy buyers, happy customers and results from rating scales. However, the effort scales of CES (customer effort score metrics) can guide you through the levels of friction and effort a buyer has to go through, to experience the product. 

    Sentiment analysis

    Sentiment analysis can help marketers understand the emotional metrics of people. This can be captured via CX metrics- both qualitative and quantitative feedback. Using Merren, you can segment sentiments using the word-cloud analysis. This can give you an overview of net positive to net negative emotions. 

    Qualitative feedback  

    Encourage people to share their candid responses and feedback based on their experience. Along with numerical value, candid responses can enable people to speak freely based on how they feel about your brand. While it may take some time to measure open-ended feedback, this metric is worth the analysis. Merren can help you capture open-ended responses via WhatsApp survey, Facebook messenger surveys and superfast website chatbots. People can share rich media feedback in the form of audio, video or photos.  

    Real time data on dashboard

    The Merren CX dashboard can visualize trends and patterns on a real-time basis. This means a CX marketer can close the feedback loop at the earliest. From 2024 onward, it is time to do away with batch processing data. Real time conversations can make or break a brand. You can also create instant goal oriented surveys using this AI survey builder in a few clicks. 

    Conclusion

    It is often said that the actual work of a CX professional starts when a person becomes a buyer. Customer experience management is the sum of CX and journey mapping at various touch points to ensure constant buyer satisfaction. Use tools of Merren to create a robust journey mapping campaign for your organisation. Merren offers a 14 day free trial without any credit card details.