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Written by Sohrab Osati
on November 12, 2020

The customer journey map has been a primary tool developed and utilized by companies and marketers for quite some time. But over the past decade, customer wants, needs, and expectations have changed significantly, forcing many to rethink the customer journey map.

Today’s strategies are focused more on providing a positive and memorable customer experience at every touchpoint along the customer journey. Customer service often plays a key role as well, since consumers today seek more interaction with the companies they choose to do business with.

While some brands have achieved exponential success by rethinking their customer journey, others have faltered. This could be simply because some touchpoints need fine-tuning, but it could also be because many brands fail to differentiate between the customer journey and the process map.

The Difference Between a Process Map and a Customer Journey Map

Both maps serve essential functions. But whereas the customer journey map serves as a tool to mark a customer’s experiences with your brand at all touchpoints, the process map is designed from the company’s perspective and details the company’s internal processes, activities, and functions.

The process map can be used to better examine and fine-tune internal processes, which, in turn, could serve to improve CX on the customer journey as well. So while the two maps can function together, the customer journey map must always be a separate tool, with a focus on CX from the consumer’s perspective.

Customer Experience and the Customer Journey Map

So, to both succeed and lead in today’s competitive marketplace, you may need to rebuild significant portions of your customer journey map to be more CX-focused. Companies that do so outperform those that don’t by nearly 80%. Ideally, every touchpoint should instill brand awareness and brand loyalty by targeting your customers' needs and serving to improve the customer experience.

The center of Mall of Berlin

Consider the journey from beginning to end:

The Trigger—the customer considers several brands based on recent exposure and perceptions.

Active Evaluation—some brands are eliminated based on the receipt of information.

The Purchase—the customer, makes a final decision and choose a brand to purchase a product or service from.

And, it is vitally important not to overlook the Post-Purchase Experience—continued exposure to the brand reinforces brand loyalty and brand awareness, ultimately serving to initiate the next customer journey.

While there can be a multitude of touchpoints along the way, you can see that each primary step of the customer journey map is a critical juncture. And there are two important statistical considerations you must be aware of so that you can fully realize the value in delivering good CX:

96% of customers say customer service is a primary factor relating to brand loyalty.

73% of consumers say a good experience directly influences their brand loyalty.

People working at a table with a computer and notepad

Knowing this, you can see why rethinking the customer journey map is a must. Consistent customer experience management (CEM) is necessary to ensure that your CX-efforts are not only competent but serving to maintain an edge over your competitors.

It may be necessary to conduct an audit of your customer journey, which will provide you with a wealth of information and insight, enabling you to strengthen your CX strategy as well as align your customer journey map with your process map.

Finally, strive to create a CX-focused environment throughout the entire organization. Reward and recognize employees that develop ways to improve the customer experience. Focus your management decisions at all levels to incorporate the needs of your target market. Create a consistent image of your target market when examining your internal processes.

A chatbot on a website helping customers book an appointment

Essentially, you don’t want to be satisfied with just making customers happy—you want to deliver a customer experience that makes an impact. It’s not the product or service that the customer will remember as much as they will the complete, overall experience. Wondering how you can make an impact on your customers without blowing the budget? See how easily integrated chatbots on your website can reduce customer wait times while increasing your sales. 

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