5 Strategies to Simplify Your Customer Journey Mapping

Mar 09 2022

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5 Strategies to Simplify Your Customer Journey Mapping

Brands can't become customer-obsessed without becoming customer-journey-focused and mapping it. Because these journeys are customers' lived realities. However, there is no one way of adopting journey centricity and mapping. A data-driven and insights-based customer journey mapping are crucial for driving customer experience improvements.

Five Strategies to Simplify Customer Journey Mapping

Simplicity is the best approach to promote both company value and customer loyalty, always. But what does it take to have a seamless customer experience that is infused by simplicity in every aspect?

Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. - Steve Jobs

Today, we will explore key steps that can deliver a smooth, simple experience to today's customers' demand:

1: Be Clear About What Simplicity Means to You

Crafting a simplified customer experience begins with knowing what "simple" means for your company. Research suggests that the term 'simplicity' has many elements. First, it consists of reconsidering product development and sales and marketing initiatives with the proper mindset, less complexity in product portfolios, ad campaigns, streamlined transactions and conversions, and more. Next, each brand must decide which areas would reap the benefits from simplification.

After you have recognized the top-priority areas, it's crucial to communicate them to leadership clearly. This can mean reinforcing the significance of simplicity to your company's value proposition and making sure people are genuinely connecting with it.

Take Apple as an example. Their simplification guiding principles is very well-known for its enabling decisions like their policy of intentionally limiting the company's number of products and models. Finding and communicating the areas where simplicity can play a significant role for your business is the crucial first step to ensure everyone acts on those goals.

2: Create A Simple Customer Journey Map

Emphasizing the product or service is essential, but let's not forget the sight of the entire customer experience. This could possibly mean that tailoring your sales and marketing endeavors to make it as effortless as possible to search, buy, and start opting for services or using your products. Ideally, it would help if you also focused on having a plan for "moments of truth." These are known to be the positive interactions that initiate good feelings in your customers. You can use this at touchpoints where frustrations arise.

Start by answering these questions -

  • How to ideate and plan targeted marketing campaigns that truly speak to customers?

  • How can we recognize and focus on the pain point of our customers?

  • How can we make it simpler for customers to grasp and assess our offerings?

  • Can we provide fewer services or products, features, or capabilities without impeding the efficacy of our solution?

While developing your customer journey maps, don't forget to review these aspects -

Touchpoints and Channels - Be sure to map touchpoints and channels effectively. A touchpoint refers to a step in the journey where users interact with a service or company via a channel. For instance, a touchpoint could be "Pay for this invoice," and the channel could be "over the phone," "online," "mail," etc. Brainstorming at this stage can help you see if there are any channels or touchpoints that you might have missed at the beginning of this process.

Current User Research – Having a solid base of user research at your fingertips can make this whole process easier. Be creative and define the journey with the proper research.

Organization Objectives – Figure out your goals for this mapping initiative. Then, explore what organizational needs you need to fulfill.

3: Accept Internal Complexity to Bring Simplicity Outside

Focusing on simplicity doesn't make the internal complexity go away. The process of streamlining your services or product to the simplest form can be quite complicated. Accomplishing such simplicity needs enormous effort behind the scenes. Take Google, for example. Maintaining its simple search engine required a highly rigorous process of constant simplification and design. Keeping the simplicity of their flagship product meant making tough decisions.

After all, knowing what your customers want is often very complex. To create the most interesting and worthwhile service or product, begin doing the challenging work of considering the job your customer needs to achieve. Then, identify their pain points and utilize those to design the features of your service and products.

Simplifying the customer experience takes a great deal of effort behind the scenes. A Service Design or Blueprint can help in capturing the backstage operations. It is also used for developing internal procedures in an organization. It is conducted generally from the company, for the users, to improve its processes better. The starting point could be any one of these two scenarios -

  • Beginning with a new service and shaping its design from the initial step

  • Attempting to redefine any existing service or streamline its structure.

4: Set Up for Success

A successful journey mapping process has three key elements - customer-obsessed perspective, executive commitment, and top priority on insight. Giving attention to the data capture and collaboration process is the key to success. 

Leadership support is essential at this point as you can't produce a successful outcome with it and the right team and customer insight. The goal here is objective, and it needs data-driven commitment. Set the stage by following these key steps -

  • Secure an executive sponsorship

  • Obtain broad leadership support

  • Have the right team in place

  • Set expectations

5: Infuse Your Map with Data

There are many instances where a journey mapping process involves exercises where participants literally visualize a journey for a customer. Instead of following that, create the journey map on data and insight as this will give a solid foundation to have an accurate journey map, thus helping in increased collaboration. You can receive data from -

  • Direct feedback
  • Qualitative research

  • Indirect feedback

  • Market research

  • Operational data

You might think, why do you need all that data to look at? After all, do you know your customers well enough to map their intent and expectations?

Many marketers assimilate customer needs with their own, creating journey maps that express their own marketing goals but are utterly incompatible with customers' genuine needs. The smart approach is to stop assuming about customers and get the available data to explore the journeys they are on to address the pain points.

Keeping the Customer Top of Mind

There is no cookie-cutter way to a successful customer journey mapping. Your business will need to find out what works the best for your brand. These fundamental elements should provide a good head-start at better knowing the journey that your customers travel through as they engage with your brand, partners, service or products, and people.

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