Customers are one of the most basic parts of any business. No business can survive without customers. Having a strong clientele is extremely crucial for any business to thrive. But, forming a strong clientele for your business can be quite a challenging task if done without making use of the right tools. In commerce, one of the most effective tools that can be used for building a proper and strong clientele for your business is customer journey management. But first, let us understand what customer journey is and how customer experiences effect your business.
What is a Customer Journey?
In any business, customer experience can be described as the effect on a customer produced as a result of an interaction between a particular business and the customer. In simple words, customer experience can be referred to as the degree of satisfaction a customer feels regarding a product or service offered by a business. For instance, if your business has a mobile application for customers to view and purchase your products or services, how secured and user-friendly the application is will result in a customer experience. Again, how helpful and co-operative the customer service of your business is will result in another customer experience.
Every interaction between a business and a customer leads to a positive or negative customer experience. Whether the product or service your business offers is tangible or intangible, it is very important to ensure that your customers have a positive customer experience in every interaction with your business. The sum of all these customers experiences over a period of time determines the type of relationship a particular customer will share with your business. This sum of customer experiences over time is known as customer journey.
Why is Customer Journey Important?
An excellent customer journey is crucial for any business to grow and prosper for a number of reasons. Since customer journey is ultimately the outcome of a series of customer experiences, it is very important for a business to ensure that each of these experiences is positive and result in customer satisfaction. Simply speaking, an excellent customer journey is the result of many excellent customer experiences. But, why is it so important that these customer experiences are positive and lead to a positive customer journey?
You know, whenever a person purchases or uses the products and services offered by your business, they become your customer. But the relationship formed between the customer and your business does not end there. Ensuring that each of your customers and potential clients have a positive experience every time they interact with your business can prove be very beneficial for the growth of your brand. Positive customer experiences will not only help you gain loyal customers but also help you build your brand reputation and automatically promote your brand to potential customers to develop an even stronger clientele. On the other hand, continuous negative customer experiences will not only ruin your brand name and prevent you from gaining any new customers but also affect the faith of your existing customers in your brand. This means, the success of a brand greatly depends upon the customer experiences related to the brand. So, it is very important to make sure the customer journeys associated with your brand are positive.
What is Customer Journey Management?
Customer Journey Management refers to the process of understanding and analyzing customers to ensure their satisfaction with the brand and working out the best ways possible to provide clients with remarkable customer experiences and build positive customer journeys. It basically refers to the process of optimization of customer experiences and customer journeys by studying customers and their points of view. The significance of customer journey management lies in its ability to help the manager of a brand understand the shortcomings in customer experiences and make appropriate changes in the same to improve customer journey.
Customer Journey management comprises mainly of three approaches, namely, journey mapping, journey analytics and journey orchestration; although they are very different from one another, each of these approaches play significant roles in ensuring better and improved customer experiences.
- Customer Journey Mapping refers to the practice of creating detailed customer journey maps in order to visualize the interactions of a customer with a brand over time. This process is also known as user journey mapping. This approach helps the customer journey manager understand the view points of the customers while going through the different interactions associated with the brand. Journey Mapping is mainly concerned with the quality of customer experience and journey.
- Customer Journey Analytics is the process of collecting detailed data on every interaction with every customer of the brand and their behavioural trends over time and scientifically analyzing all those interactions to improve customer experiences and journey. Customer Journey Analytics operates on a bigger scale as compared to that of Journey Mapping.
- Customer Journey Orchestration is the use of the data gathered from the experiences of each customer to develop more personalized interactions for every individual customer in order to improve customer experiences and journey.
With a combination of these three approaches, management of customer journey and ensuring positive customer experiences can become a much easier task.
Customer Journey Maps Vs Process Maps: What is the Difference?
Customer Journey Maps are mainly concerned with the customer and parameters associated with the customer. Whereas, Process Maps are focused on the brand or company and the parameters associated with the brand and business and do not take the perspective of the customers into account. While Customer Journey Maps provide data on customer experiences, process maps are used to enlist and describe the processes, activities, and functions associated with the brand. Additionally, Customer Journey Maps take the emotions of the customer into account and uses the language of the customers as their terminology. But, Process Maps are much more technical in nature and does not take customer emotions into account. Rather, they are concerned with terminology that is specific and relevant to the brand or company.
Despite these differences, when it comes to business and brand management, both Customer Journey Maps and Process Maps are extremely vital tools and if they used together, both the customer journey management and the marketing strategy of the brand can be improved.