Customer journey management (CJM) can help business owners boost customer satisfaction, increase sales and revenues. This is a method of optimising the online and in-store customer experience, often referred to as experience optimisation or journey mapping.

By Bluegrass Digital CEO Nick Durrant

CJM is far more panoptic and extensive than the common practice of customer relationship management (CRM). It combines technology and behavioural science to show one how to develop plans for every step of customer interaction.

More importantly, it uses science to encourage behaviours from customers, like taking action on content, filling out forms or purchasing suggested items.

Businesses can benefit from developing a detailed customer journey map to better understand their company’s interactions with their customers. However, they need the necessary tools like Optimizely to evaluate their customer interactions and to develop strategies for improvement through an omnichannel strategy.

Modern customers are looking for more than a product. People are far savvier with their shopping habits. To keep their attention, one needs to give them the experience they seek.

Studies have shown that 66% of corporations believe they are coordinating a successful customer-centric experience, but the hard truth is that 44% of industry leaders say it is not enough. CJM incorporates behaviour analysis to discover areas in which the business can improve.

Today’s shoppers are looking for more than simply the lowest product price. Marketing research demonstrates that 64% of shoppers will switch brands for any number of reasons per customer data. Number one being customers want an effortless shopping experience, and if they think they can get it elsewhere, they will.

Managing the customer interactions from beginning to end will ensure customer retention, more referrals, increase upselling and engagement and improve the marketing ROI.
Best practices in CJM

Companies of all sizes are looking to increase the quality perceived by their customers. Nearly two-thirds of companies today are using customer journey management to try to edge out the competition. An increase in revenue is experienced by 84% of companies that focus on their customer journey.

The customer journey is the defining piece of the puzzle to outperform the competition. Here is a guideline on how to implement customer journey management:

Re-imagine the customer experience as a journey

Companies often make the initial mistake of focusing their efforts on marketing. Unfortunately, this viewpoint doesn’t include the whole picture. A good customer journey map will cover every area within the business and all who have interactions with the brand. This journey includes employees, vendors, suppliers, management and the customer.

To create a successful customer experience journey, one needs to think holistically. Ensure that every person and business interacting with the company is considered in telling the entire story.

These ideas and functions should be included:

  • Peripheral Contact: What is the point of the first contact? Peripheral contact areas could include both direct and indirect contact. For example, a customer may see an ad or be referred by another customer.
  • External Contact: These contact points include your brand’s external assets like social media, website or store location.
  • Internal Contact: This includes any interactions with an employee or process within the brand. Internal interactions could be with the vendors, suppliers, customer service centres, or anyone representing the business. Treat vendors and suppliers as customers to maintain a uniformly positive customer journey.


Understand the customer better

There is only one chance to make a first impression. Trying to discover and map the customers’ path to interact with the business is only part of knowing who the customers are. Take time to pinpoint the core customers and learn about their own goals when seeking services or products by developing customer personas.

Personas help one find behaviour patterns and visualise the entire approach to creating a customer journey map. If the customer base is other businesses, and B2B marketing is a top priority, understanding each type of customer still matters. One can develop customer personas based on the types of businesses being served.
Setting clear goals

In setting goals for mapping and developing a customer journey strategy, first consider the motivation for initially creating the customer journey map. If it’s just being done because it’s a new suggested marketing strategy, then one is missing the point.

It is essential to set goals and objectives when creating your map to help discover areas that need improvement. Some plans one might consider when in the development stages are solving known problem areas or pain points, improving customer engagement, finding ways to increase revenue and developing a better brand image.
Top tools

To build the best customer journey experience, one needs the right tools. Journey mapping tools collect and create data about how customers interact with a brand, and help one better understand the customer persona.

Some easy-to-use customer journey mapping tools include:

  • Optimizely: A tool that helps companies make data-driven decisions for developing their customer experience and site content.
  • UXPressia: This application builds visual customer journey maps and includes helpful product templates.
  • Smaply: Smaply is a cloud-based tool that builds both basic and complex customer experience maps. It includes a free version.
  • Miro: This is a versatile, digital whiteboard application for creating customer journey maps, retrospectives, mood boards and much more.
  • Gliffy: Gliffy creates workflows, diagrams and customer journey maps.

Depending on the product or service, customers are willing to spend up to 18% more on businesses that provide them with the experience they expect. For almost 80% of US consumers, the most important elements of positive customer experiences are convenience, speed, knowledgeable help and friendly service.

Getting on board with building a quality customer journey experience begins with the right tools, analytics, and a thorough understanding of how one’s company interacts with the public. By adding a solid customer journey management program for a brand and employees to follow, one will see gains in multiple areas like sales, customer referrals and upselling.

A business is more than just a product or service, customers see it as an entity that creates an experience – and how one manages that experience is demonstrated in customer spending and customer satisfaction.