Modern consumers can choose from a huge number of different shopping options. We can buy products from all over the world, with multiple payment methods and door-to-door delivery. With online shopping, the path from the moment they see a product to the moment they buy it is also significantly different in comparison with traditional purchases. This might be confusing for those who are taking their first steps in e-commerce. The good news, however, is that there is a tool that can help in simplifying this situation—customer journey maps.
Customer Journey Map—what is it and why do I need one?
In simple terms, a customer journey map is a visualization of all points and stages where the customer interacts with your brand during the buying process. Creating such a map helps in seeing all the key touchpoints in the relationship between the customer and you. Of course, not all customers will navigate through the exact same path, but at the end of the day, you’ll have a better insight into every step they make.
If you do not have this kind of map in your company yet, here’s why you should:
- Find and fix gaps and drop-off moments – Mapping your customer journey creates a demand to carefully study the whole sales funnel once again. At the same time, it creates an opportunity to find out which stages are so problematic that the customer drops out.
Of course, keeping 100% of customers in the whole funnel is not feasible. If you see that they spend more time in a particular stage and do not move on, take the time to find out why this is happening.
- Find missing connections between the teams that should cooperate – Creating a customer journey map is usually a task handed to the marketing and business development departments. However, these are not the only teams related to the customer journey.
Each staff member from your company has an impact on the satisfaction of customers, from the people who create a product or service, through designers, to the legal department, ensuring the security of customer data.
The map allows you to determine whether the customer experience with each department is satisfactory, and if not, you can fix the issues in the team that needs improvement.
- Find places where you can personalize your message better – your clients are looking for a tailor-made experience. Creating a customer journey map can illuminate all touchpoints and improve personalization.
For example, if your product is dedicated both to B2C and B2B customers, you can identify what stages in the sales funnel differ between groups. For B2C, the price will likely be the most important factor, while B2B will focus on things such as integrations and scalability. Knowing this, you can create more customized content and adjust advertisements placement better.
What else can I do?
Is there any work outside the visualization of the shopping path? Yes, of course!
No less important than a decent analysis is the activity of the "human factor" that will take care of each client so that he or she will feel pampered in every detail.
So what else can you do to make your customers even happier?
1. CSI: testing investigation
Sometimes the reasons why customers do not make a purchase are all too prosaic and rather technical.
Perhaps it is difficult for customers to find a CTA encouraging them to buy? Maybe they use your store via mobile and the website is not adapted to it? Maybe website loading time takes too long? There are lots of possible explanations.
To avoid such situations, test everything you want to implement on the site before the customers see it. Take time for things related to user experience, even the most hyped products will not find buyers if they are unable to easily move around the shop interface.
2. Be Perfectly Proactive!
When customers encounter an obstacle before buying, they do not ask the support team for help, but instead often solve their problem by buying from your competition. The problem might be having to wait too long to contact customer service or it could be the quality of the support once they get through. So how can you sort it all out?
If you notice that customers have entered your website, explored it top to bottom and nothing happened, contact them (if you have permission) to show that you are at their disposal and willing to answer all their questions.
Don’t worry, there’s no need to do everything manually when a correctly set automation scenario will do the trick.
3. Piece-of-Cake Personalization
It’s much easier for the local store owners and managers to make their customers feel special—face to face contact makes personal contact and building long-lasting relationships easy. This doesn’t mean that you can’t provide clients with a personal experience online. You do not have to spend thousands of dollars and precious hours on it; all you have to do is to implement some marketing automation.
How can you connect with customers and create a bond with your store or brand? Some shops collect information about customer dates of birth. If you have this information, send them a discount to use on this special day. I am sure they will be happy with your gift and will come back for further shopping.
4. Get Involved at Every Stage You Can…
…especially in the magic buying moment. If you notice that many customers have a tendency to abandon shopping carts at certain points in the buying process, remember that this can be due to a number of reasons:
- Lack of desire to buy
- Cost issues (including payment methods)
- Complicated ordering process
- Technical issues
- Problems with shipment
- Return policy issues
It’s hard to do something with people who are “just looking” and aren’t really looking to buy, but many other problems are relatively easy to improve. Sometimes it's enough to give customers a greater choice to make them happier. This works in payment and shipment issues if you choose to offer many courier types (DPD, DHL etc.) and other delivery options (e.g. parcel machines) and in the case of payment options (card, PayPal, transfer, cash on delivery).
Similarly, it works also with return policies. If you have a stationary store, let customers choose between making returns in a store or by mail.
Since we have already discussed the most important moment - let's go back for a minute to the very beginning of the sales path in online stores.
If you have identified new customers, you can enrich their shopping path with pop-ups. They can, for example, encourage visitors to leave their personal data or to subscribe to a newsletter. See how Baublebar and Behappy do this:
Also, remember that the moment of purchase is not the end of your relationship with the buyer. Send an after-sale campaign asking about their opinion and giving something in return, like a new promotion related to their previous purchase.
You can measure customer happiness by using NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys, which let you check overall customer satisfaction and the likelihood of them recommending your service/product. Basing on their experience you can categorize them into 3 groups: promoters, passives and detractors.
Stay in touch with customers, regularly reminding them about your products and encouraging them to want to come back again.
An exceptional User Experience is a must, for every brand and across all platforms.
If you carefully analyze the customer journey map, you will easily find areas that can be improved by a small amount of work. Thanks to this, you’ll create a win-win situation where everybody gets just what they want.