Making informed decisions based on your customer's journey

Your business is busy and ever-changing, trying to track a customer’s journey and map each instance of their interaction may seem time-consuming and an exercise in frustration. Why should your business bother?

Customer journey mapping at it’s heart will put you in the shoes of your customer and allow you to make informed decisions. Think of it like being an undercover cop, get inside information on why your customers are doing what they’re doing.

Informed decision making and ultimately better user experience will increase your return on investment and overall improve your brand’s credibility.

See our article on Why your business should care about UX design

Figure out your key instances

Capture key instances in a customer’s journey through their interactions with your business. Instances can be how they navigate through your product, request services or any complete transactions.

Decide which instances are important to track and in particular any areas that cause your customers grief.

Why are there so many last minute abandoned checkouts?

Tracking their journey will help you solve this mystery and give you insight on how to fix the problem.

Hidden Opportunities

Besides solving the problems that arise, there will be an opportunity to better the experiences of your customers. When your user’s experience is positive it leads to increased revenue and loyalty to your brand.

Start Mapping their journey

With all your instances discovered and prioritized you can now begin to track how each of them occur. Start by building a map, this can be as low-fidelity as you’d like ie. sticky notes and markers.

Your map should include what channel your customer is using, and at what stage of the journey the instance occurred. The stages can differ depending on what specifically you’re tracking.

Sally is shopping online for a sweater. She searches sweaters on her mobile phone and comes up with one on your site she likes. She proceeds to checkout and has to input her payment information. She is prompted with a rewards program sign up and and is asked if she would like to sign up for your blog. She declines the rewards program and blog subscription. Before she can proceed with her purchase she is again asked if she can receive emails from you about upcoming sales. At this point Sally abandons her checkout choosing to leave her sweater on the shelf.

The stages of Sally’s journey would be:

Discovery

What steps did Sally take to find your site. Through what channel?

How did she find a specific product in your inventory?

Transaction

How does Sally purchase a product? After she adds the product to her cart how does she complete her transaction? What steps are in your checkout process?

Post-experience

Did Sally provide any feedback to her experience? Sign up for your mailing list or rewards program?

Maps for every instance

Plot Sally’s interactions on your map and do the same for other customers for this instance. What trends do you see? Where are your specific pain-points in your user’s journey? Are there any easy wins you can deal with or will the team have to strategize in order to come up with solutions to your problems.

You can continually develop customer journey maps when new features arise on your site or new problems need solving. The beauty of customer mapping is being able to get insight and see trends of behaviour in a very low cost environment.

Sources
Stephen Foxworthy & Enoch Tan
Hannah Alvarez