There are a variety of routes a customer may take to get to the service or product offered by your organization. As a customer embarks on this journey, a sales representative has the task of finding instances to interact with them and find insights about their likes and preferences. An effective customer journey map can give you these insights promptly to forecast your customer's path to your organization.
Leading organizations build their credibility and sharpen sales initiatives through well-carved customer journey maps. However, there are several common misconceptions about the customer journey and its mapping which can render your sales initiatives completely ineffective.
In this article, we will discuss in detail the various misconceptions that lead sales teams to build incomplete or ineffective customer journey maps. We will then reflect on the realities that these teams can work toward instead.
What Is Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer journey mapping is the process of developing a hypothetical map or a visual representation of the customer's engagement with the organization or the brand. The customer may interact with the brand via various channels such as social media, online forms, feedback, forums, email, or others.
The most accurate customer journey maps involve a lot of data-driven research that can be easily translated into graphical representations. A number of customer experience metrics are integrated into these visual representations which may include customer sentiments, their goals with your brand, and sales touch points.
For more sales to occur at a quicker pace, it is important to optimize the way a customer journey is mapped. Identifying where the customer is most likely to respond well to a particular sales initiative can improve the efficiency of your sales funnel in general.
Most Significant Myths Around Customer Journey Mapping
Without understanding the path and channels that your customer may take, planning your sales initiative may end up being an empty effort. Understanding this also helps sales and marketing teams target individual prospects among a slew of interconnected touch points. The following are the misconceptions that limit the effectiveness of your customer journey mapping efforts:
Myth #1: Customer Journey Mapping Is The Same As Service Design
A misconceived trend among sales representatives building brands is that of completely overlooking inputs from the end user. In the absence of customer inputs, customer journey mapping is not any different from service design, an initiative that ends up devoid of multidimensionality. Brainstorming only with the internal team is not enough, collecting information from the customer is essential to understand how to make the most of the customer journey.
Reality: The customer needs to be interacted with to investigate which parts of the customer journey map lack in quality of engagement. If an internal hypothesis is ready you need to validate it against customer feedback. Conduct gap analysis and proceed to create a future journey map.
Myth #2: Customer Journey Maps Can Be Generic
Treating every customer the same is the worst way to design a journey map in a marketing sector that relies increasingly every day on personalization. Many marketers fail to realize that the customer and the customer journey itself cannot ever be generic.
Reality: Every customer has their own individual journey of getting to the product or service offered by the brand. This goes beyond a fixed customer persona and includes not just demographics and psychographic traits but a customer's emotions towards the product with respect to how the brand positions itself.
There are moments in the customer's journey when they are overwhelmingly positive about the product and that is the part of the journey that sales and marketing teams must target. Even if it seems from the outside that two customers are having similar journeys their personal perceptions of it may differ.
Myth #3: Customer Personas Are Static Entities
The design of customer journey maps is done around the assumption that the customer personas are going to be static in the long run. This is far from the truth when viewing customers as individual entities with independent opinions and thought processes. Churn in marketing or when a customer stops interacting with the sales or marketing initiative is caused by this very assumption.
Reality: Customers are always evolving, growing, and changing throughout their journey towards their desired product or brand. If the vendor or brand fully recognizes this evolution and operationalizes around this, it can ensure exponential customer-driven growth. The relationship between the customer and the brand's marketing strategy must continually evolve.
Myth #4: Online Behavior Is The Only Data Required
Web-based behavioral data is highly essential in designing efficient customer journey maps. Although this data covers about half the data needs of the mapping processes the data is not useful if consumed and processed in a siloed manner. In fact, siloed interpretations of customer behavioral data can lead to extreme gaps in the customer journey maps causing the brand positioning to go completely unseen and unheard by the intended audiences.
Reality: A good map is the result of constant communication and receiving feedback from the customer from the start to the end of the customer journey. You need to find out what the customer did to reach your website, if they would recommend the same route for future customer engagement, if they were satisfied with the first impressions and so on. Knowing about these factors helps you design a customer journey map that really understands the customer through and through.
Myth #5: Customer Engagement Is Uniform Throughout The Map
Teams designing customer journey maps assume that a customer moves through the map having the same amount of enthusiasm about the product from the beginning to the end. Accordingly, the mapping tends to lack nuances to accommodate the dips and troughs in the level of customer engagement, accounting for when another similar product may catch their fancy or they may no longer be able to remember why they needed the product in the first place.
Reality: Customer-centricity demands that the sales and marketing teams keep innovating on the journey maps keeping in mind the evolution of the customer's mindset. The map needs to be operationalized throughout the customer journey and this must match with the pace of the customer closing in on the product.
Personalization Is At The Core Of Customer Journey Mapping
Customers demand an omnichannel approach to sales, marketing, and customer service as their expectations are constantly in flux. The better you understand your customers the more individualistic and focused your customer journey mapping can be. With worksheets, e-books, reports, and so on, you can leverage Daffodil's Salesforce CRM expertise to develop optimal customer journey maps. To learn more about how you can find the right services for your brand vertical and suitable for your customers' specific needs, book a free consultation with us today.